Eli Reed

2011 Honoree: Documentary

GracielaELI REED, a 1982/83 Harvard University Nieman Fellow, with Magnum Photos since 1983 and full member since 1988, and a Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Texas since 2005.
Reed has covered world news events since 1982. He worked for the Middletown Times Herald, Detroit News, and the San Francisco Examiner newspapers before joining Magnum. He has worked for National Geographic, Life, Time, People, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, London Independent, Stern, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, GQ, American Heritage, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Vibe, Modern Maturity, Ford Foundation, Save Our Children, Amnesty International, and many others.
Awards: Eugene Smith Grant in Documentary Photography, Overseas Press Club, Kodak World Image Award for Fine Art Photography, Leica Medal of Excellence, POY Nikon World Understanding Award, World Press, Pulitzer Prize Finals, and Visa pour L'image Festival Du Photoreportage.
His books include "Beirut, City of Regrets”, “Black in America” (preface by Gordon Parks), and I Grandi Fotografi Eli Reed. He has also worked on various group projects such as Korea Now, “Black in Rochester”, a Magnum “Access to Life Campaign” (Documenting HIV treatment in Peru in the fight against AIDS,  and other book projects.
         Reed is a member of Kamoinge and the Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers (SMPSP). He photographed approximately thirty feature films, documentary, and cable network films. Including films such as "Kansas City" (collaboration with Robert Altman), "Clockers," Rosewood, Ghosts of Mississippi", "The Jackal", "One True Thing", "A Beautiful Mind"," 8 Mile". His film on Detroit gangs, “Getting Out", was honored by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame International Independent Film and Video Competition. His photographic essay on the effects of poverty were an emotional core for an NBC hour film documentary, "America's Children, Poorest in the Land of Plenty", which was directed by Scott Fraser and narrated by Maya Angelou.


I have never been at a loss when deciding what I wanted to photograph next. Before I ever got into the position of making photographs for publication, I explored my surroundings through my photography. It has brought me into places both of a physical and spiritual nature. It has also helped to enlarge my understanding of the external world in ways that I would have perhaps found difficult if not for the camera in my hands.  W. Eugene Smith, once stated, “Let truth be the prejudice!” I believe that is still a good way of doing work that is important to me.
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