Shuttering Success: 2 Photographers Call it Quits After Capturing Over 53,000 Images

**The Legacy of Two Photographers**

John McDonnell and Bill O’Leary, two renowned photographers for The Washington Post, have brought the world an extraordinary collection of photographs spanning a combined total of 85 years. Their work encapsulates the essence of the nation’s capital and the entire country – from poignant and dramatic imagery to the quaint and peculiar, immortalizing moments that would have otherwise faded into obscurity.

**The End of an Era**

As the curtains close on their illustrious careers at the close of 2023, McDonnell and O’Leary reminisce about their journey and share some of their most cherished photographs. Their choice of images predominantly revolves around the Washington region, a place that holds profound significance as it was their birthplace and eventual lifelong abode. Remarkably, their association with The Washington Post was not meticulously planned, with both individuals finding themselves drawn to the publication through fortuitous circumstances.

**Passion and Thrills**

McDonnell’s sheer delight and gratitude for the opportunities his photographic endeavors have afforded him are palpable when he describes his work as an “incredible privilege.” The energy and dynamism of the newsroom, under the stewardship of the legendary Ben Bradlee, captivated O’Leary, drawing him into a career that was initially intended to be short-lived.

**A Timeless Legacy**

Quantifying the exact number of images captured and published by these two esteemed photographers is a Herculean task. The majority of The Post’s extensive archives primarily feature works from the digital era, while McDonnell and O’Leary commenced their careers in an era dominated by film photography long before the advent of digital technology. Despite this challenge, the impact of their work and the extent of the visual heritage they have created is immeasurable.

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As the chapter draws to an end for John McDonnell and Bill O’Leary, their indelible contributions to photojournalism have left an enduring mark. Their vivid and timeless images will continue to resonate, engendering a deeper understanding of history, society, and the human experience.

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