Putin’s photograph, which was used on the cover of Time magazine, won the prestigious international World Press Photo 2007 contest.
The issue of the most popular weekly in the world with Putin on the cover was published on December 21, 2007 with the print-run of about 50 million copies. The photo was taken by British photographer known as Platon.
The U.S. magazine awarded “person of the year” title to Putin for his efforts in strengthening stability in Russia and increasing Russia’s role in the world.
Time’s editors said that it was extremely hard for them to choose the person of the year 2007. Preferences balanced between Russia’s Putin, China’s Hu Jintao and the former vice president of the USA, Al Gore.
The magazine’s final decision to give the title to Vladimir Putin received an extensive coverage all over the globe. Putin’s picture that was used for the cover the December issue of Time won at the World Press Photo 2007 as Best Portrait.
The photo depicts Putin as an odious, cold and mysterious ruler. The picture shows a strong and determined Putin who evokes fear and anxiety. Perhaps, this is the Putin, the President of Russia, as the Western world sees him.
World Press Photo, founded in 1955, is an independent, non-profit organization with offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is known for organizing the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.
The awards ceremony is held in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. After the contest, the prizewinning photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that is visited by over a million people in 40 countries. A yearbook presenting all prizewinning entries is published annually in six languages.
Another primary objective of the organization is to support professional press photography on a wide international scale, to stimulate developments in photojournalism, encourage the transfer of knowledge, help develop high professional standards in photojournalism and promote a free and unrestricted exchange of information. It organizes a number of educational projects throughout the world: seminars, workshops and the annual Joop Swart Masterclass.
In 2007, a total of 4,460 professional photographers from 124 countries entered 78,083 images in the competition. The international jury selected a color image of the US photographer Spencer Platt of Getty Images as World Press Photo of the Year 2006. The picture shows a group of young Lebanese driving through a South Beirut neighborhood devastated by Israeli bombings. The picture was taken on 15 August 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes.
In 2008, the award was won by British photographer Tim Hetherington. The winner will receive 10,000 euros and a new camera.