Born in California, David Alan Harvey studied art and in 1969, after graduate school in journalism at the University of Missouri, went to work for the Topeka Capitol Journal in Kansas. He was encouraged to photograph in color by a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It gave him the means to work freely in his native region and produce a slide-show toured by the museum. Then he went back to black and white to produce work on the Black community and the Civil Rights movement.
In the early 1970s, Harvey relocated to Washington and started to work for the National Geographic: his first article (1973) was on a little island of fishermen out in the Chesapeake. Harvey was staff photographer at the Geographic from 1978 to 1986 and then became a freelancer. In 1978 Harvey was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer's Association.
Harvey spends months on stories around the world, most often for the National Geographic Magazine, including French Teenagers, The Berlin Wall, The Maya Culture, Vietnam, Native Americans, Mexico and Naples. He has shot more than 30 stories for the Geographic and his photographs have also appeared in Life, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. He has been repeatedly drawn to the passion and lyricism of Spanish culture both in Spain and the New World, which will be the subject of a new book and exhibition centered on Cuba.
David Alan Harvey's photography has a lyrical mood and often highlights spectacular backgrounds. His success as a color photographer stems from his synchronization with his subjects and his gift for anticipating the fleeting, revealing moment.
He joined Magnum as an associate in 1993 and became a member in 1997.
The Mysterious Mayas, 1977
America's Atlantic Isles, 1982
Cuba, Oct. 1999
Divided Soul, 2003
David Alan Harvey merchandise available at the Magnum Store