David Chancellor

David Chancellor is a multi-award-winning documentary photographer, his work brings him across the world, from the tribal lands of Kenya to the sombre mountains of Scotland. His interests are mapping that jagged and bloody line where Man and Beast meet. He has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, exhibited in major galleries and museums, and published worldwide. Recognized by World Press Photo, the Taylor Wessing National Portrait Prize and Pictures of the Year International, David published the monograph ‘Hunters’ in 2012. His work continues to examine mankind’s commodification of wildlife.

huntress with buck, south africa-from the series 'hunters' David Chancellor

Visually reminiscent of 19th-century daguerreotypes, David’s photographs are arresting, engaging, and thought-provoking. His passion for his work allows him to consistently succeed in navigating the minefields surrounding his chosen subjects. The resulting bodies of work never fail to draw people in and create a space for a much-needed dialogue.

Love and loss, life and death are at the heart of Chancellor’s work, whether looking at the elephant poaching crisis in Africa, documenting a mountain lion hunt in Utah, or photographing his wife and son in a hotel room in Zurich – the viewer is always confronted with what Myles Little (TIME) so eloquently describes as ‘loss and love intertwined forever. His work constantly journeys between what is his private life, and public work. Known widely for his projects dedicated to wildlife conservation, his personal work offers a stark antidote to his documentary practice but allows them to exist in parallel, as this is how they exist for Chancellor; family permeates the landscape of wild animals, whilst the ‘lingering scent and memory of hunts’ punctuate the domesticity of home.

lmuget le nkarna # VIII, sasaab village, westgate community conservancy, northern kenya-from the series 'with butterflies and warriors'-David Chancellor

Chancellor’s photographs documenting ‘that jagged and bloody line where Man and Beast meet’ are incredibly arresting, thought-provoking and, more often than not, difficult to look at. Though we are not confronted with such conflicted imagery in Chancellor’s personal work, they are by no means less remarkable. They represent a different world, perhaps more tender and sentimental, but one equally as difficult to navigate. At first seemingly a different, even separate world, the viewer starts to realise that we are presented with the same topic – love, loss, life and death. There is a fragility to this ‘other world’ which Chancellor strives to keep safe yet at the same time excludes it, not deliberately, but perhaps to ‘keep it alive’.

Named Nikon Photographer of the Year three times, he received a World Press Photo Award in 2010 for Elephant Story from the series Hunters. Chancellor won the Taylor Wessing National Portrait Prize in 2010, exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery London. In 2012 he received a Sony World Photography Award (Nature and Wildlife) and Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. In 2013 he received the World Understanding Award in the Pictures of the Year International competition; the Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award for portraiture; the Vienna International Photo Award for documentary photography; and the Kontinent Award for documentary photography. In 2018 ’should we kill animals to save them ?’ – National Geographic – was awarded best documentary story at the Siena international Photography Awards, and his work in the Scottish Highlands ‘a gamekeepers life’ – GEO Magazin was a finalist for the Environmental Vision Award, POY76 – he currently lives between London, South Africa, and northern Kenya.