Born: October 1978 in New South Wales, Australia.
He studied photography at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.
Upon graduating Ferguson received a Griffith University Peace Scholarship involving him in his first international assignment in Cambodia. After freelancing in Mexico, he travelled from port to port as crew on a sailboat to fund the start of his photographic career.
Geographic places this photojournalist shot: New Delhi, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
Your opinion of the work: the rawness of each photo; extremely captivating and compelling.
What they themselves said/say about his/her work (quotes OK): "Yes, making photographs is a way of life. As a photographer I’m personally invested in the work I create, so it’s hard to see it is a merely a job. I never stop thinking or seeing pictures, despite my attempts to turn off from time to time. But this is not a trait unique to photojournalists. Whether you’re a baker or a surgeon and seek to have an impact, you must make your work a way of life. That’s what art requires of you.
But being a ‘war photographer’ is not a way of life for me. War is simply something that I have photographed .There has been a barrage of thought lately about this romantic notion of war correspondents and I don’t buy it. War can give people a sense of purpose, but it also gives people a new realm of emotions to digest. It’s not a normal thing to do, nor is it brave or humble. I believe that the cultish rhetoric around the topic is self-indulgent. We all make our choices and don’t deserve extra credit for them."
Who the photojournalist works/worked for (publication, organization, etc.): TIME Magazine, Wired, The New Yorker, The New York Times, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Monacle, Rolling Stone, ESPN Magazine, The Financial Times Magazine, Stern, Bloomberg Businessweek, Human Rights Watch and Photo District News.
What type of cameras and lens the photojournalist prefers to work with, and why: Adam Ferguson didn't even own a camera when he first decided to become a photographer.
Interesting stories about this photojournalist or his/her work: When in Pakistan, Ferguson was at a suicide bombing where he captured one of his best photos to date. While at the heart of the fire, he saw different explosions coming out from different buildings and different people being dragged out as well. Ferguson writes "It was one of those situations where you have to put fear aside and focus on the job at hand: to watch the situation and document it." His photo of a woman being escorted out of a building was said to have epitomised the whole mood. She was in the centre of the crime. Her facial expression and whole mood was captured in the shot. After winning an award for this photo, Ferguson said "I felt sad. People were congratulating me and there was a celebration over this intense tragedy that I had captured. I reconciled it by deciding that more people see a story when a photographer's work is decorated."
Typical subject matter of photographs made by this photojournalist: From 2007 to 2011, Ferguson lived in New Delhi, India, where he photographed social tensions within the world's largest democracy. He travelled to Pakistan to capture the country's constant struggle with poverty and political insecurity by embarking on his most in-depth photographic project: an exploration into the corners of the U.S.-led military occupation of Afghanistan
Awards (explain nature of award):
- 2016 - Winner, American Photography 32, Annual Photo Book
- 2015 - Magazine Category, Photo District News Photo Annual (The Dogs of War, for National Geographic Magazine)
- 2015 - Personal Category, Photo District News Photo Annual (Outposts)
- 2015 - Finalist, National Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, Australia.
- 2015 - News Picture Story Award of Excellence, Pictures of the Year International (Mount Sinjar for The New York Times)
- 2014 - Shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography - 2013 – Alumnus of the Year, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia
- 2011 - 1st Place News Story Multimedia, Pictures of the Year International (Witness to the Pity of War, Afghanistan, for TIME)
- 2010 - 1st Place Spot News, World Press Photo (Kabul bombing, Afghanistan, for The New York Times)
- 2010 - Professional Award, Australian Reportage Photo Festival (America at War, Afghanistan, for TIME)
- 2010 - 17th World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass
- 2010 - Photojournalism Award, Photo District News Photo Annual (Afghanistan, for TIME)
- 2010 - 1st Prize News Picture Story, Pictures of the Year International (Afghan Elections, freelance)
- 2010 - 3rd Prize Spot News, Pictures of the Year International (Kabul bombing, Afghanistan, for The New York Times)
- 2010 - Award of Excellence, Pictures of the Year International (US Troops in Afghanistan, for TIME)
- 2009 - Photo District News 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch
Style or trademark: war/extreme poverty/ extreme struggles