About | Bio

This website emerges from what I have learned in almost fifty years working in this field, from when I started as a picture researcher at Time-Life Books in 1973 just months after the weekly Life picture magazine folded, to becoming picture editor of the New York Times Magazine and Horizon magazine as well as executive editor of Camera Arts magazine, to creating the first multimedia version of the New York Times (1994-95) and then in 1996, with photographer Gilles Peress, the first major non-linear photo essay online, “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace” which the Times nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in public service. In 1999 I also co-founded and directed PixelPress.org, an early award-winning multimedia publication that experimented with new forms of documentary photography as well as collaborating with humanitarian organizations on a variety of projects from ending polio worldwide to supporting an orphanage for Rwandan children to advancing the Millennium Development Goals.


Over the last thirty years I have also written several books on the future of imaging including In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture, 1990), After Photography (W. W. Norton, 2008) and Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture, 2013), and written essays in dozens of others. I have also curated exhibitions including Contemporary Latin American Photographers, The End of Polio, An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastião Salgado, and Chasing the Dream at the United Nations. I was a professor at New York University in the Department of Photography & Imaging as well as in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (1991-2014) where I began the Photography and Human Rights Program with Susan Meiselas, and have taught and lectured in many countries. Currently I am Dean Emeritus of the International Center of Photography in New York where I founded the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program in 1983, and continue to write, teach and lecture widely, particularly on image-based strategies for social justice and human rights. I also serve as President of the Catherine Leroy Fund honoring the life and work of the pioneering French conflict photographer.