Ian Berry

Ian Berry (born 1934 in Preston, Lancashire, England) is a British photojournalist with Magnum Photos. He made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Daily Mail and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims’ innocence. Ian Berry was also invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum Photos in 1962 when he was based in Paris; five years later he became a full member. Berry moved to South Africa in 1952  where he soon taught himself photography.He worked under the tutelage of Roger Madden, a South African photographer who had been an assistant to Ansel Adams.

After some time as an amateur photographer, Berry began photographing communities and weddings. During this period he met Jürgen Schadeberg, also a European immigrant and photographer. Schadeberg was offered a position with the new African Sunday newspaper eGoli but declined, suggesting Berry apply for the position instead. After working there only 10 months, the newspaper closed, and Berry began working for the Benoni City Times, but he soon became more interested in freelance work.

Ian moved to London in 1964 to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. Since then assignments have taken him around the world: he has documented Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia; conflicts in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam and the Congo; famine in Ethiopia; apartheid in South Africa.

The major body of work produced in South Africa is represented in two of his books: Black and Whites: L’Afrique du Sud (with a foreword by the then French president François Mitterrand), and Living Apart (1996). During the last year, projects have included child slavery in Ghana and the Spanish fishing industry. Important editorial assignments have included work for National Geographic, Fortune,Stern, Geo, national Sunday magazines, Esquire, Paris-Match and LIFE. Ian Berry has also reported on the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR.