Carolyn Drake • Photographer Profiles • Magnum Photos

Magnum Pro

Editorial Cultural Creative Search Image Archive

Would you like to:

Explore Magnum's stories


Commission a photographer


Licence an image


"Images can describe, abstract, interpret, but they are not absolute"

- Carolyn Drake

b. 1971


Based in San Francisco, USA


Available for commissions
& assignments

Carolyn Drake was born in California and is now based in Athens, Georgia. She studied Media/Culture and History in the 1990s at Brown University, where she became interested in approaches to documentary and the ways that history and reality are purposefully shaped and revised over time. She worked for multimedia companies in New York for many years, but eventually left her office job to engage with the physical world through photography.

Between 2007 and 2013, Carolyn traveled frequently to Central Asia from her base in Istanbul to work on two projects which became acclaimed photo books. The first, Two Rivers, explores the connections between ecology, culture and political power along the Amu Dary and Syr Darya rivers. The second, Wild Pigeon, is an amalgam of photographs, drawings, and embroideries made in collaboration with Uyghurs in western China.

Carolyn is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, a World Press Photo award, a Magnum Emergency Fund grant, and a Fulbright fellowship, among other awards.

Carolyn became a Magnum Nominee in 2015.

Read More

Selected works


Two Rivers

Carolyn Drake

A photographic journey along the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers tracing the shifting political, social, and geographical landscapes

Open story