Taking us across 5 continents, photographer Stuart Franklin explores humanity's complex relationship with trees
"I love photographing. It's that simple"
- Stuart Franklin
Stuart Franklin combines a direct documentary-style with a strong personal vision. He has photographed some of the most important news events of the 21st Century as well as producing many acclaimed personal projects, exploring subjects relating to the Anthropocene. Franklin says his practice “repaints the boundaries of documentary in order to create a sense of freedom”. His core interest today is in producing work, mostly about nature-society relations, that is open to multiple interpretations.
It was in 1989 that Franklin took his acclaimed photographs in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where a demonstration for freedom ended in a massacre. After that, he began to move away from news into magazine feature photography. Between 1990 and 2008 he photographed about twenty stories for National Geographic Magazine. During this time, Stuart decided to pursue a better theoretical understanding of some of the issues he confronted, by embarking on a period of academic study in 1995. He graduated with a first class degree in Geography from Oxford University and went on to complete his doctoral thesis there in 2001. Franklin was awarded a professorship in documentary photography in 2016.
He has been published by numerous global publications including The Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, Art Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic Magazine.
Franklin joined Magnum Photos in 1985 and has been a full member since 1989, serving as the agency’s elected president between 2006-2009.