Fires, crime scenes, SWAT standoffs, traffic-strangling accidents — you name it, John Spink has covered it. The award-winning visual journalist is synonymous with the breaking news beat. He has a reputation in the newsroom — and among some emergency personnel — of being everywhere at once. It’s not a case of just chasing news.

For Spink, it’s reflecting the drama, humor and humanity of the situation — the suspects, the police, the firefighters and even grieving families. With more than 40 years of covering fires, in particular, he’s seen his share of grief. “The last thing I want to happen in the paper is for folks to read about fire deaths as a statistic,” he said in an AJC documentary “Into the Fire.” “I’d rather put them there in the photos to allow them to really get a sense of this was somebody’s mother, this was somebody’s father, this was somebody’s child that passed. How would you feel?”

Spink joined the AJC staff in 1984 and has photographed a variety of news stories and sports, including the AJC’s Super Bowl coverage in Houston and Atlanta and the Braves World Series celebration.