David Guttenfelder has spent all of his career as a photojournalist working, and living outside of his native United States. He began as a freelance photographer in East Africa after studying Swahili at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. As an Associated Press photographer he has been based in Kenya, Ivory Coast, India, and Japan.
Traveling to more than 75 countries while working for the AP, he has covered a wide range of news events including the genocide in Rwanda, U.S.-led wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the 2008 election of US President Obama, the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, and three summer Olympic Games. As a contributing photographer to National Geographic, his work was featured in 125th anniversary special photography edition of the magazine. He is currently completing his fifth story for National Geographic.
Guttenfelder is a seven-time World Press Photo Award winner. He is the 2013 International Center For Photography Infinity Prize winner for photojournalism. He is a recipient of the Overseas Press Club of America John Faber, Olivier Rebbot, and Feature Photography awards. Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association have named him Photojournalist of the Year. He is a seven-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Guttenfelder’s work from the U.S.-led war in Afghan is part of “War/Photography:Images of Armed Conflict and It’s Aftermath” that is currently being exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum.
He has also exhibited his photography at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France; The Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York; “El Valor del Momento” in Havana, Cuba, and Spain’s Encuento International de Foto Periodismo where he won the “Cuidad de Gijon” International Journalism Prize.
He has taught and lectured at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the NatGeoLive! lecture series, the NPPA traveling short course, the Eddie Adams Workshop, and the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation. He has served as jury member for World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year international.
Born in the U.S. state of Iowa, he graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, African Studies, and Journalism.
He now lives in Tokyo as AP’s chief photographer for Asia.