March 1 (UPI) -- UPI photographer Kevin Dietsch won the first-place prize in the White House News Photographers Association 2021 Eyes of History contest for the 2021 presidential inauguration.
Dietsch said it required a great amount of concentration to capture the moment while standing on a riser with not much space to move but said he knew "right away" that the embrace would make for one of the more memorable images from the day.
"I saw it as kind of a quiet moment the family took to reflect on all they have faced, as in, all these years of Biden running for president and how much he wanted it and worked for it and all the hardships he and the family faced, loss of his first wife and daughter, the death of his son Beau and the other failed attempts at running for president, he finally made it," he said. "At the same time, you could see a slight tear in Hunter's eye. I'm sure they were all remembering Beau and how much they wanted him there."
Dietsch, who has worked at UPI's Washington, D.C., bureau since 2005, has won multiple honors from the White House Press Photographers Association in the past, including the Award of Excellence in the Sports Action category in 2019 and the first- and second-place prizes for Sports Feature/Reaction in 2020.
In 2021, Dietsch also placed second in both the Sports Feature/Reaction and Sports categories for his photo of Tiger Woods walking off the green at the 2020 Masters golf tournament as rain began to fall and a photo of a Washington Nationals fan peering through a fence as the team opened its season without fans in the stands due to the COVID-19 pandemic respectively.
Dietsch was also recognized for other political photos including earning the Award of Excellence in both the On Capitol Hill and Politics categories for his photo of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's socially distanced confirmation hearing and an empty parking lot on Capitol Hill amid the pandemic.
Dietsch earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in photojournalism from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and two children.
In addition to Dietsch's awards, UPI freelancer Tasos Katopodis also placed third in the Sports Feature/Reaction for capturing Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Rashad Fenton and linebacker Demone Harris celebrating their 2020 Super Bowl victory in a sea of confetti.