Autumn Payne (formerly Autumn Cruz) works as a documentary photojournalist at The Sacramento Bee.  She measures her success by the impact she has in her community, which has been profound in the 14 years she has worked in this field. She has photographed The Bee's Book of Dreams holiday giving series for six years which has raised approximately one million dollars in that time to fulfill community needs. She has seen her stories inspire, educate and create positive change in people's lives many times on many levels, leading her to believe that she just may have the best job in the world.

Society of Professional Journalists First Amendment Award for Interactive Media
People Helping People "Dick Cable Media Award" from Community Link
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar
California Press Photographers Association (CPPA)
California News Publishers Association (CNPA)
San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association (SFBAPPA)
Pennsylvania Press Photographers Association (PPPA)
Children’s Advocacy Institute
The National Council in Crime and Delinquency PASS Award
College Photographer of the Year International (CPOYi)
Hearst Foundation

As a student Autumn twice won the "Greg Robinson Student Photographer of the Year" award from SFBAPPA.