"I became a photographer because I have no memory. Photography allows me to reconstruct the family albums I never had, the missing images becoming the engine of my research. My contact sheets are my personal diary"

- Patrick Zachmann

b. 1955


Based in Paris, France


Available for commissions
& assignments

For more than 40 years, Patrick Zachmann has produced acclaimed, long-term projects that use photography and film to explore themes of memory, identity and immigration. He has documented the Chinese Diaspora, Jewish identity and the plight of migrants in Marseilles, all the while pushing himself to subvert his ‘style’ by working with both analogue and digital, colour and black and white, and using multimedia formats. “I don’t want to repeat myself like many photographers do by developing a special style,” he says of his practice.

Zachmann was born in 1955 in Choisy-le-Roi, France and became a freelance photographer in 1976. In 1982 he began an in-depth project on the Naples police and mafia, which resulted in his first monograph, Madonna! (1983), accompanied by a fictional novel inspired by his pictures. Following that he began a seven-year study of Jewish identity in France—finishing with his own family—which resulted in his second book, Enquête d’identité. Un Juif à la Recherche de sa Mémoire / Investigation of Identity. A Jew in Search of his Memory (1987).

In 1989, his coverage of the events in Tiananmen Square, Beijing was widely published in the international press. In the same year, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Niépce for his work. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the events on Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, Zachmann made a web-documentary “Generation Tiananmen” in 2009, shown on Le Monde, Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera’s websites.

He is represented by Magnum Gallery, Clair Gallery (München) and Beaugeste Gallery (Shanghai). Zachmann joined Magnum in 1985 and became a member in 1990.

Read More

Selected works

Arts & Culture

W. Or The Eye Of A Long-Nose

Patrick Zachmann

The tremendous power and complex mysteries that lie at the heart Chinese culture, documented in Patrick Zachmann's decade-long cross-cultural study

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Magnum Square Print

Patrick Zachmann


Devastation and Restoration in Notre-Dame de Paris, One Year On

Patrick Zachmann

Theme | 23 Stories


Past Course

One Year Course: Creative Documentary and Photojournalism with Magnum Photos and Spéos, 2019-20

Magnum Photographers
Sep 1, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020 · Fully booked

Past Square Print Sale

Obsessions: The Magnum Square Print Sale

Jun 10 - 15


Tiananmen Square, 30 Years On: Patrick Zachmann reflects on the hope and freedom that preceded the violence

Patrick Zachmann

Theme | 7 Stories

Magnum and Cinema

Past Workshop
Paris, France

Patrick Zachmann Documentary Workshop in Paris

Patrick Zachmann
Jul 17 - 20

Past Exhibition
Paris, France

From Here

Magnum Photographers
Until May 31, 2019

Zhejiang, China. February 1991.

Patrick Zachmann