David Alan Harvey • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"It's a lot of work living the life that you want to live, but that's what I'm doing"

- David Alan Harvey

b. 1944


Based in New York, USA


Available for commissions
& assignments

Born in San Francisco, David Alan Harvey was raised in Virginia. He discovered photography at the age of 11. Harvey purchased a used Leica with savings from his newspaper route and began photographing his family and neighborhood in 1956.

When he was 20 he lived with and documented the lives of a black family living in Norfolk, Virginia, and the resulting book, Tell It Like It Is, was published in 1966. He was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1978.

Harvey went on to shoot over forty essays for National Geographic magazine. He has covered stories around the world, including projects on French teenagers, the Berlin Wall, Maya culture, Vietnam, Native Americans, Mexico and Naples, and a recent feature on Nairobi.

He has published two major books, Cuba and Divided Soul, based on his extensive work on the Spanish cultural migration into the Americas, and his book Living Proof (2007) deals with hip-hop culture.

His work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Nikon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Workshops and seminars are an important part of his life.

Harvey is founder and editor of the award-winning Burn magazine, featuring iconic and emerging photographers in print and online.

His latest book, Based on a True Story, was published by BurnBooks in 2012.

Harvey joined Magnum as a nominee in 1993 and became a full member in 1997. He lives in NC and NYC.

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Selected works


(based on a true story)

David Alan Harvey

David Alan Harvey's photo novella captures the vibrancy and cultural energy of Rio de Janeiro

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Magnum Square Print

David Alan Harvey

Past Exhibition
Milan, Italy

Home, Milan

Magnum Photographers
Until Oct 28, 2018

Past Exhibition
Köln, Germany

Home, Photokina

Magnum Photographers
Until Sep 29, 2018

Theme | 13 Stories


Past Exhibition
Hong Kong, China

Home, Hong Kong

Magnum Photographers
Until Aug 27, 2018

Past Exhibition
Tokyo, Japan

Home, Tokyo

Magnum Photographers
Until Jul 30, 2018

Past Exhibition
Paris, France

Home, Paris

Magnum Photographers
Until Jun 19, 2018 · Free

Past Exhibition
London, United Kingdom

Home, London

Magnum Photographers
Until May 27, 2018 · Free


The Big Picture: 2017 in Review

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 19 Stories

Expert Photographic Advice from Magnum

Past Exhibition
New York, United States

David Alan Harvey’s Jeju Haenyeo

David Alan Harvey
Until Dec 22, 2017

Theme | 16 Stories

Behind the Image

Theory & Practice

Behind the Image: David Alan Harvey’s Work Horse on a Family Porch

David Alan Harvey

Past Square Print Sale


Magnum Photographers
Jun 5 - 9

Past Workshop
, United Kingdom

London Portfolio Review with David Alan Harvey

David Alan Harvey
Mar 22 - 24

Past Artist Talk
London, United Kingdom

Magnum Photos Now: Digital Territories

David Alan Harvey
Mar 24 2017