Justin Merriman is a freelance photojournalist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and founding member of American Reportage, a collective of documentary photojournalists specializing in comprehensive storytelling of the American experience.
After covering the September 11, 2001 crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military's War on Terror. He followed this story across the United States and into the conflict zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to eradicate polio from its population, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012, the 2013 conclave and election of Pope Francis in Rome, the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution and subsequent unrest, Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the international political crisis that unfolded in Ukraine in 2014, he offered a look inside of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2015 and its uncertain future, and most recently, traveled the entire U.S. border with Mexico documenting issues on immigration.
Merriman’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Time, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and publications across the globe.
He has been recognized with awards from organizations including Pictures of the Year International, Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, National Headliners Awards, the Society for News Design, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Northern Short Course, the Southern Short Course, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Military Reporters and Editors Association, and the Western Pennsylvania Press Club. He was awarded Photographer of the Year by the News Photographer Association of Greater Pittsburgh four times and most recently was honored with the Keystone Press Awards 2016 Distinguished Visual Award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.
After years of overseas work, Merriman has turned his camera towards the places he calls home. Working extensively in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia he is working on telling the stories of the communities throughout the region and the issues that they are facing.
Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Merriman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2000 with a B.A. in English Writing. In 2009, the university awarded him its prestigious Alumnus of Distinction award.
Currently Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancée, Stephanie Strasburg, a photojournalist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.