"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 works on long-term, photo-based projects, seeking to interrogate dominant historical narratives and creatively reimagine them. Her practice embraces collaboration, and has, in recent years, melded photography with sewing, collage, and sculpture. She is interested in collapsing the traditional divides between author and subject, as well as the real and the imaginary.

Drake was born in California in 1971, and studied media/culture and history at Brown University in the early 1990s. Following her graduation, she moved to New York and worked as an interactive designer for many years before departing to engage with the physical world through photography. After living in Istanbul and Ukraine and working internationally for a decade, she returned to the US in 2013 to work on more self-reflective projects close to home. 

Drake has authored four books, with her fifth, Men Untitled, released in September 2023. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Peter S. Reed Foundation, Light Work, the Lange-Taylor Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, among others. She became a full member of Magnum Photos in 2019.

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

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