Ian Berry • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"The great single picture is emotionally satisfying, whereas getting a good journalistic story is more about being a professional"

- Ian Berry


Based in Salisbury, UK


Available for commissions
& assignments

Ian Berry was born in Lancashire, England. He made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Daily Mail and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims’ innocence.

Henri Cartier-Bresson invited Ian Berry to join Magnum in 1962 when he was based in Paris. He moved to London in 1964 to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. Since then assignments have taken him around the world: he has documented Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia; conflicts in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam and the Congo; famine in Ethiopia; apartheid in South Africa. The major body of work produced in South Africa is represented in two of his books: Black and Whites: L’Afrique du Sud (with a foreword by the then French president François Mitterrand), and Living Apart (1996). During the last year, projects have included child slavery in Ghana and the Spanish fishing industry.

Important editorial assignments have included work for National Geographic, Fortune, Stern, Geo, national Sunday magazines, Esquire, Paris-Match and LIFE. Ian Berry has also reported on the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR.


2005 National photography magazine award for lifetime achievement in photography

1996 Made Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society

1990 Made Honorary Fellow, University of Lancashire

1981 Pix of Year, magazine news, Award from Missouri School of Journalism and National Press Photographers of America

1977 Nikon Photographer of Year Award (first ever)

1974 Awarded British Arts Council’s first major photographic bursary (led to his book, The English)

1969 Art Director’s Club of New York Award

1960 British Press Pictures, Feature Photographer of Year Award

1959 British Press Pictures, Feature Photographer of Year Award

1959 Nikon World Photo Contest Awards – 1st and 3rd


2009 South Africa update in Wales

2007 Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan – Child Slavery

2007 The Lowry Gallery– Water

2007 The Lowry Gallery – The North

2007 Guardian Gallery – A Look at Colour Magazines

2004 Living Apart at the Royal Armoury Museum, Leeds

2004 South Africa at the Brunei Gallery, London

2001 English Revisited at Focus Gallery, London

1998 Exhibition at Museum of Photography, Bradford

1997 Exhibition at Aix en Provence literary week

1996 Living Apart, Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England

1995 Main exhibition at Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan

1986 The English, XYZ Gallery, Belgium

1986 South Africa, FNAC Gallery, Paris

1985 Contemporary British Photography, Museum of Modern Art, Paris

1984 Britain in 1984, National Museum of Photography

1983 Geographic colour prints at Olympus Galleries, Paris and Hamburg

1982 Year of India, joint exhibition at National Theatre

1979 Participated Magnum Exhibition, Tokyo

1977 Exhibition Hamburg Culture House

1976 Solo colour exhibition at Paris Photo Fair

1976 The English, Photographer’s Gallery, London

1973 Inside Whitechapel, First Photographic Exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery

1972 Photographers’ Gallery, London

1970 Personal Views, British Council Exhibition


2008 Sold into Slavery

2008 Mar (The Sea)

2006 I Grandi Fotografi

1996 Living Apart (Phaidon) text by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

1992 Book on fishing port of Vigo

1991 Spanish book for Hologramme, Paris

1990 In Our Time: The World As Seen by Magnum Photographers

1989 Les Grands Travaux (book of modern French architecture)

1988 L’Afrique du Sud with text by Francois Mitterrand

1981 World Photography: 25 Great Photographers (by Bryn Campbell)

1978 The English (Penguin and Allen Lane)

1960 Book on black stage musical, King Kong


2005 BBC profile on digital photography

1980 BBC TV series, Profile of a Photojournalist

1976 Profiled by the BBC in a TV documentary comparing the turn-of-century photographer Frank Sutcliffe with contemporary photographer

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Selected works

Arts & Culture

Ian Berry’s Personal Exploration of English Life

Ian Berry

Ian Berry's 1978 book sees him return to his native homeland to rediscover the English way of life

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent


Gold Mining in Uganda

Ian Berry

Arts & Culture

Stories of the City: A Magnum exhibition on the Paris Metro

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 18 Stories

Magnum at 70: What’s On

Current Exhibition
Paris, France

Magnum Photos in the Paris Metro

Magnum Photographers
Until Jun 30

Theme | 19 Stories

Migration and Refuge

Past Exhibition
London, United Kingdom

I Welcome: an Amnesty International & Magnum Photos exhibition

Magnum Photographers
Until Dec 18, 2016

Past Square Print Sale

Conditions of the Heart: on Empathy and Connection in Photography

Magnum Photographers
Oct 31 - Nov 4


Aberfan: The Village That Lost a Generation

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 6 Stories

Modern States of Britain


On the Campaign Trail with Jeremy Corbyn

Ian Berry

Theme | 8 Stories

On Photojournalism: Going Behind the Story

Past Workshop

Sharjah Workshops with Ian Berry and Carolyn Drake

Magnum Photographers
Oct 11 - 15

Past Exhibition
Eschborn, Germany

Magnum Contact Sheets

Magnum Photographers
Until Aug 19, 2016


The A to Z of Brexit

Magnum Photographers

Past Square Print Sale

The (More or Less) Decisive Moments

Magnum Photographers
Jun 6 - 11

Arts & Culture

This is Whitechapel

Ian Berry

Past Square Print Sale
Online Only,

Up Close & Personal

Magnum Photographers
Nov 9 - 13

Theme | 11 Stories

Public / Private: Love Stories and Intimate Journeys