Professor Eli Reed

Professor Eli Reed (born 1946) is an American photographer and photojournalist. He was raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He took his first photograph at the age of 10, documenting his mother by the Christmas tree. Primarily self-taught in photography, he attributes his direction to mentor Donald Greenhaus rather than any formal studies. He studied illustration at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, graduating in 1969.
Reed became a freelance photographer in 1970. Magnum Photos became affiliated with him after the success of his work in such conflicts as the wars in Central America, the war in Lebanon (which he covered between 1983 and 1987), the 1986 Haiti coup against “Baby Doc” Duvalier, and the 1989 U.S. military action in Panama. In 1988, Reed became a full member of the Magnum agency.  He has documented the Million Man March, Lebanon during civil war, lives of African Americans, upheaval in Zaire, among other things. Reed started making photographs of films and actors in 1992 and is also a member of Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers (SMPSP).

Reed is a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (1982–83) and is currently the clinical professor of photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin. He was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1982. He is a recipient of the World Press Award and Overseas Press Club Award.

In 2011 Eli Reed was honoured with a Lucie Foundation Award in Documentary Photography. 

Reed has taught in numerous places including Wilson Hicks Symposium, Miami University, Florida; Southeastern Museum of Photography, Daytona, Florida; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.; San Francisco State University; Harvard University; Boston Institute of Art; Academy of fine Art, San Francisco; University of Texas at Austin; Columbia University; Empire State College, New York; New York University, and the International Centre of Photography, New York.

Eli is the author of several books, including Black In America, a special  long-term study on Beirut (1983-87), which became his first, highly acclaimed book Beirut, City of Regrets. He has produced Special Stills for over a dozen block-buster movies including “A Beautiful Mind”, 2 Fast 2 Furious”, “8 Mile”, and “Day of the Jackel”

Other awards include the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Documentary Photography, Kodak World Image Award for Fine Art Photography, Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club Award, Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, Mark Twain Associated Press Award