Clarence Williams is a freelance photographer who was visiting relatives in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. As a result of his experience, he moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans to document the continuing issues of racism, poverty, and government neglect that were brought to light by Katrina. His first-person account of Katrina, based on a journal he kept during that time, was featured in the Miami Herald along with his photographs; the project was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
From 1995 to 2003, Williams was a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography (1997), Robert F. Kennedy Photojournalism Award (1997), National Association of Black Journalists' Journalist of the Year (1997), and first place for issue reporting by the Picture of the Year Contest (1996). He is a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.