Donna Ferrato documentary photographer/ activist photographer


  • Award winning New-York based, activist photographer
  • Published 7 books including, “Living with the Enemy”(sold over 40,000 copies)
  • Received numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Grant (1986), the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987), the International Women in Media Courage in Journalism Award (1996), and the LOOK3 Insightful Artist of the Year (2013)
  • November 2016, Ferrato's photograph of a man hitting his wife was named by TIME as one of the "100 Most Influential Images of All Time"
  • In 2008, the City of New York proclaimed October 30 “Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day” for her “continued service as an example of advocacy and activism and as a citizen that the city is proud to call one of its own.
Self portrait in paris, 1977.


In this video, Donna Ferrato mentions that she, at times, lives with the people she photographs, she partakes in household chores and interacts with everyone, she then states that when she feels that her subjects are becoming too extreme in behavior or when they want to set up photos she'll pull away for a while and refrain from taking pictures, does cohabitation with her subjects contradict her statement? In Ferrato's case, Should a photographer strictly be a bystander or is interaction and cohabitation crucial?

named by time, "100 most influential image of all time."
"Ferrato rode over 6,000 hours with police around the country to get some of the photographs in Living With the Enemy. In the introduction to Living With the Enemy, Ferrato writes, “Much of the book was born out of frustration – first, because I felt powerless in the face of the violence I had seen, and, second, because for a long time no magazine would publish the pictures. It was only when I received the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1986 that magazine editors began to take the project seriously.” Ferrato felt the problem had been concealed from public view for too long and it was important to show as many aspects of the problem as she could. Some of the names in the book were changed, but all of the photographs and stories are real."-


Last week we mentioned some major issues go uncovered because many photographers are too afraid to cover life threatening issues, although domestic violence is not a major life threatening matter (towards a photographer), Do we have less photographers covering major issues because it is life threatening or because they can't find major media outlets that will publish their photographs?



  • The mission at I AM UNBEATABLE is to raise awareness, educate and prevent domestic violence against women and children, featuring personal stories, interviews and photographs.
  • I AM UNBEATABLE aims to educate through photography to understand the dangers associated with domestic violence.
  • To recognize the warning signs.
  • To know that love has nothing to do with violence.
  • By photographs and video narratives I Am Unbeatable will become a joined archive put together in a repository to create a history of the movement since 1982.

Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc. (DAA)

  • Ferrato formed a nonprofit organization, Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc. (DAA) and used her images to raise money for women's shelters.
  • Hosted more than 400 exhibitions worldwide and raised millions of dollars
  • still exists, but Ferrato is not as actively involved as she used to be


Is an activist photographer still considered a photojournalist, why or why not? In Ferrato's case, is she still considered a photojournalist?


For ten years after the attack on the World Trade Center, Donna Ferrato has photographed the healing and the rebirth of Tribeca, New York City’s most historic neighborhood.

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