Benoit Aquin

Benoit Aquin is a Montréal-based photojournalist and landscape photographer whose work explores large-scale environmental issues and their impact on humanity. In 2008, Aquin won the inaugural $100,000 Prix Pictet for his series taken in northern China, The Chinese Dust Bowl, one of the greatest environmental disasters of our time.

Aquin has received numerous other awards, including the Grand Prix in the Lux competitions in 2001 and 2007. His photographs have not only been featured in publications worldwide, but are also held in many permanent collections such as the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, and Library and Archives Canada.

His latest projects have taken him from the California desert to banana plantations in Nicaragua and to his own backyard in rural Quebec.

Selected photo: 1988

David Barbour

Ottawa-based photographer/instructor David Barbour shot for CIDA from 1984 to 1994, visiting 30 countries to document CIDA's work in the field in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 1985, Barbour won a World Press Photo award for his image of a schoolgirl in Egypt taken while on an assignment for CIDA. The photo, he says, changed his life: it brought him exposure and professional recognition at a critical time early in his career.

Since then, Barbour's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many collections, such as the Canada Council Art Bank. One of his latest exhibits, Havana, is the culmination of 10 years of recording life on the streets of that city. Recently, his work has expanded to include landscape photography.

Selected photos: 19931985 World Press Photo award

Paul Chiasson

After graduating from studies in cinematography in 1975, Paul Chiasson began working as an assistant cameraman and set photographer. Working steadily as a news photographer since 1977, Chiasson has contributed to many Canadian and international publications, including Le Droit, Maclean's, Time, Business Week, and L'Actualité. In addition to working on contract with CIDA, Chiasson has also worked in Paris for the Associated Press.

When Chiasson became a staff photographer for the Canadian Press in 1984, his focus turned to covering elections, prime ministers' trips, the Olympic Games, the Stanley Cup finals, and other major news events, both in Canada and around the world. Chiasson's awards include winning a National Newspaper award and the Canadian Press Photographer of the Year.

Selected photo: 1982

Stephanie Colvey

Montréal-born Stephanie Colvey credits photography with allowing her to explore, discover, and describe the richness of life and the resilience of the human spirit. Colvey has documented aid and relief projects for CIDA, CARE Canada, World University Service of Canada, the International Development Research Centre, and other organizations. She has photographed in 11 countries for CIDA, and has contributed more than 4,000 images to the CIDA photo library. As well, Colvey received a Canada Council grant to document Tibetan refugees in India.

Colvey was a co-founder of Dazibao, Centre de photographies actuelles, in Montréal. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Canada and abroad, including major exhibitions such as Contemporary Québec Photographers, the National Film Board's The Female Eye, and CIDA's Rights & Realities. Colvey is currently working on a project on the elderly in Montréal.

Selected photo: 1997

Douglas Curran

Douglas Curran began studying photography at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and the Banff School of Fine Arts. Since then, he has become an internationally recognized photographer and producer of movie stills from more than eighty feature films and television projects.

For more than thirty years, whether examining the world of Métis settlers in northern Alberta or of migrant farm workers in Malawi, Curran has used photography to document his explorations of lesser-known subcultures and societies. Since 1977, he has participated in more than thirty group and solo exhibitions throughout North America and Europe and has won many awards.

In addition to his most recent publication, Extreme Deviance, Curran has been involved in the documentary video project The Elephant Has Four Hearts. Now based in Vancouver, his work is held in numerous private and corporate collections, including the National Gallery of Canada.

Selected photo: 1986

Patti Gower

Patti Gower's path to photojournalism was firmly set during a trip to Europe when she fell in love with travelling and photography. Soon after, she enrolled in the Loyalist College photojournalism program in Belleville, Ontario. After graduating, Gower spent 12 years as a staff photographer for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. However, her urge to tell complex stories led her to leave newspaper work and focus on more personal projects. One such project in 2002 took her across Canada for more than a year documenting the state of adoption in Canada.

Gower has worked on assignment for CIDA and other aid organizations, continues commercial work, and contributes to PhotoSensitive, a Toronto-based, non-profit collective of photographers who explore how photography can contribute to social justice. Gower, who has won a National Newspaper award, now is a professor in the Loyalist College program.

Selected photo: 2004

Greg Kinch

Canadian-born Greg Kinch, now based in New York City, is a commercial photographer who specializes in working on location. Kinch excels in controlling natural light. With the keen eye of an artist-journalist, he is able to capture the story behind the image.

Kinch provided extensive coverage in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Guyana over the years for CIDA. It was Kinch's image of a schoolgirl in Guyana that was featured in the International Development Week 2008 campaign. His work from Ecuador was also published in CIDA's Action Plan on Basic Education (2002). His clients include the United Nations, Pitney Bowes, Air Canada, and Simon & Schuster, among others. Currently, Kinch is photographing the decline of small rural towns in Texas and Montana.

Selected photo: 2001


Leslie Knott

Leslie Knott has worked as a journalist in Afghanistan for the past six years with agencies such as UNICEF and Human Rights Watch, as well as with the high commissions of Britain and Canada. She set up a radio station for rural women in northern Afghanistan, taught photography to rural women in Badakhshan, and reported on the situation of women in Afghan prisons. Her photographs have been published in the Guardian, Sunday Times, and other international publications. In 2002 and 2003, she received the Jack Webster Journalism Award. She recently completed her master's degree in international development.

Knott's photos, as well as those of Lana Slezic, are featured in an exhibition travelling in Europe entitled Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the News. She is currently producing and co-directing a documentary film on the Afghan cricket team, entitled Out of the Ashes.

Selected photo: 2007

Jean-François Leblanc

Since 1982, Jean-François Leblanc has devoted himself full time to a career as an independent press photographer and photojournalist. In 1987, he founded the collective Agence Stock Photo in Montréal, which has become a leading national and international resource. He has participated in nine solo exhibits and more than twenty-five group exhibits. Leblanc's work has been widely exhibited in Montréal and abroad, including at the international photography festival Les Rencontres d'Arles in France. His images have been published in numerous newspapers and Quebec magazines, as well as international publications such as Le Monde. His clients, among many others, include Cirque du Soleil.

In 1995, Leblanc won the Prix de la photographie de plateau, awarded by Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois. He was also a finalist in the Lux Québec et Lux Canada competitions and he won the 2004 Grand Prize in the Photography Book category. His work is currently showing in The Living City (Ville en vie) exhibit in the Canada Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

Selected photo: 1989

Roger LeMoyne

Montréaler Roger LeMoyne studied film and music at Concordia University, toured Canada with a band, and worked in documentary filmmaking before turning to photography. Since the early 1990s, he has spent most of his time documenting conflict, human rights issues, and international aid in the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. LeMoyne's work has appeared in publications ranging from Paris Match to UNICEF annual reports, in major exhibitions such as the CIDA display at the International Conference on War-Affected Children, and at international photography festivals.

LeMoyne, whose work has been compared to the work of famous photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, has won more than fifty international awards, including the World Understanding Award from Picture of the Year International in 2006 and a World Press Photo award in 2007. His first book, Détails obscurs, a hard look at the effects of conflict on civilians, won awards in 2007. Most recently, he received a grant from the Quebec Arts Council to photograph gold mining in the Amazon.

Selected photos: 199019921996199819992010

Dilip Mehta

Photojournalist, now filmmaker, Dilip Mehta was born and educated in India, but moved to Toronto in the 1980s. He won international recognition for his photos of the Gandhi family and his five-year coverage of the 1984 Bhopal tragedy.

Mehta greatly enriched the CIDA photo library with his images from South Asia and the Caribbean in the early 1980s. His work has also appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and he has won numerous awards, including a World Press Photo award in 1984, and the Overseas Press award. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom co-produced the one-hour documentary Traveling Light: The Photojournalism of Dilip Mehta.

Working with his acclaimed sister, director Deepa Mehta, led him into making documentary films such as The Forgotten Woman, about widows in India, and now feature films such as Cooking with Stella, a comedic clash of cultures. Mehta also continues to document the effects of modernization on Asian societies.

Selected photo: 1983

Pat Morrow

For most of his adult life, Pat Morrow has been behind a camera, gaining recognition first as a still photographer and, for the past dozen years, as a videographer. This vocation has taken Morrow and his partner, photojournalist Baiba, all over the world, from the steamy jungles of New Guinea and the landlocked Kingdom of Bhutan to the fiery volcanoes of Kamchatka, Russia, and the icy Andean peaks.

Mountaineering, another of Morrow's passions, led to him receiving the Member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and the Summit of Excellence in 1990. He has won seven National Magazine awards and several film festival awards. Currently, Morrow is working on a number of volunteer film projects to promote best practices in environmental and conservation in Canada and abroad.

Selected photos: 19841987

Bruce Paton

Bruce Paton was a documentary photographer and journalist who was dedicated to photographing the developing world. He shot nine photographic missions for CIDA. Paton's work was featured in the photo library's two highly successful exhibitions: Development in 1987 and Other Children in 1989. These CIDA exhibits, co-produced with the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, toured Canada from coast to coast.

His first assignment for CIDA was in Grenada, in 1983. Paton was also the first photographer CIDA hired to document HIV/AIDS in Africa, and he covered the Mozambique elections for CIDA in 1994. Many of his images were acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, and his work is still represented by Panos Pictures, London. Although Paton died in 2002, his work lives on. His mother-and-child photo, taken in Mozambique, was used as the centrepiece image for the Halifax 2010 G-8 Development Ministers Meeting.

Selected photos: 19911994

Wendell Phillips

Wendell Phillips moved to international development photography after working as a newspaper photographer for 15 years. His images have appeared in more than a hundred different publications such as the New York Times, South China Morning Post, and national dailies in the United Kingdom. In 2006, Phillips' international AIDS photographs were exhibited at United Nations headquarters in New York City.

Phillips has travelled the world on a breathtaking variety of assignments, including the Olympic Games, Nepalese prisons, landmine clearing in Cambodia, floating hospitals in Bangladesh, narwhal hunters of polar Greenland, and refugee camps of the Karen people of Burma (Myanmar).

Phillips has received more than twenty Picture of the Year awards, many nominations for Canadian Photojournalist of the Year, and a number of National Magazine awards. In 2009 he was honoured to receive the International Understanding through Photography Award from the Photographic Society of America.

Selected photo: 2007 Picture of the Year award

Pedram Pirnia

Born in Iran during its war with Iraq, Pedram Pirnia experienced first-hand the upheaval of millions of Iranian citizens. Pirnia was a teenager when he immigrated to Canada in 1987.

Photography has helped him express his views on war, homelessness, child labour, and other political issues. Pirnia further explored these issues working as a policy analyst for CIDA in various field postings, including Afghanistan. Several of his photos are included in the currently travelling exhibit Afghanistan360º.

Pirnia is currently a policy analyst working for the Council for International Development, and living in New Zealand. He has received honours from the Government of New Zealand for his work in Afghanistan.

Selected photo: 2003

Steve Simon

Growing up in Montréal, Steve Simon had developed a passion for photography by the age of 12, which has led to an exceptional career. His work has borne witness to some of this generation's worst tragedies, such as the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and the scourge of AIDS.

Simon's solo shows have been held in North America and Europe. His work has been acquired by the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Library and Archives Canada, and the Comune di Verona.

Now living in New York City, Simon is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography-one of the world's most respected photography schools and research centres-and has published four books, including Heroines & Heroes: Hope, HIV and Africa.

His many awards include the Canadian Association of Journalists Award, Canadian Press News Picture of the Year, Canadian Newspaper Photographer of the Year, Global Health Council Award for Photography, and National Press Photographers Association Picture of the Year.

Selected photo: 2008

Lana Slezic

Lana Slezic has been a documentary photographer since 2000. In 2005 she was invited to participate in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam, one of 12 young photographers selected worldwide. In 2007 she won the Luis Valtuena Special Prize for Humanitarian Photography and the World Press Photo of the Year Award for her images of Afghan women. Later that year she published her first book, Forsaken: Afghan Women, which portrays the sometimes harsh realities of the daily lives of Afghan girls and women. In 2008, the book was chosen as one of the Top Ten Photo Books of the Year by American Photo magazine.

Slezic has exhibited in many countries in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Her images have been published in National Geographic, the New York Times, and Time, among many other publications. Slezic currently lives in India.

Selected photo: 2006

David Trattles

David Trattles has been working as a social documentary photographer for 15 years. He often focuses on people who struggle to retain their sense of identity and purpose within an increasingly globalized culture. He characterizes his work as having "the common thread of ordinary people looking into themselves, their friends, their families."

Trattles has won many awards and received many grants to pursue his work. In 2005, he was chosen by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, along with two other Canadian photographers, to create a photo essay illustrating the struggle and triumph of people who choose to stay and make a living in rural Canada. For this documentary, Legacy, Trattles focused on the people of Fogo Island, Newfoundland. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions such as the recent Human Conditions exhibit at the International Photo Festival in Groningen, Netherlands.

Trattles' documentary project The Muslim Girl Boxers of Calcutta, the result of a two-and-a-half-year effort, was recently exhibited in cities throughout India.

Selected photos: 20002002

Antonio Suárez Weise

Antonio Suárez Weise is a Bolivian photographer who grew up in New York City. His wide-ranging career includes a long stint as a staff photographer at Time, covering five World Cup competitions, five summer and winter Olympic Games, various U.S. election campaigns, and space shuttle launches and landings. For the past 12 years, he has lived in Bolivia, where he works as a freelance photographer, focusing on photojournalism, documentary photography, commercial photography, portraiture, and sports.

One of Suárez Weise's passions is documenting the customs, culture, and history of our time. He is now preparing a book on Bolivia's Carnaval de Oruro, which UNESCO declared in 2001 to be one of Mankind's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Selected photo: 2009

Nick Westover


Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Nick Westover studied photography on the West Coast before moving to Toronto to work as a photographic assistant. After several years of working in editorial and advertising photography, Westover left to pursue his own projects in Asia for three years. He now lives in Vancouver.

Although Westover focuses on international development photography, he also works with publications such as the Financial Post, Report on Business, and Le Monde. He has been on assignment in numerous countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. He has also worked in Saskatchewan, the Canadian Arctic, and the far reaches of British Columbia. Currently, he is documenting immigrants to Canada, the West Coast fishery, and women's ordination.

Selected photo: 2005

Iva Zimova

Iva Zimova immigrated to Canada from the former Czechoslovakia in 1982 and studied photography in Montréal. Early on, she resolved to document the persecuted and the forgotten. She soon received a Canada Council grant to photograph Czech minorities in Romania and a grant from the Quebec government to photograph Native peoples in northern Quebec.

In 1995, CIDA hired her to document women's lives in Ukraine. She brought a deep understanding of life and culture in Central and Eastern European countries to this project. Since that time, Zimova has exhibited her work in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her work is represented by Panos Pictures, London.

Her current international exhibits feature her recent work from Afghanistan. Zimova's images from Ukraine were also featured in the Rights & Realities exhibition, co-produced by CIDA and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, which captured what human rights mean in the daily lives of women around the world.

Selected photo: 1995