Ian Berry

The whole point to me of 35 mm photography is to remain unobserved, working with available light, discovering pictures while a scene is in motion. – Ian Berry

Who is Ian Berry?

Ian Berry is a Magnum photographer, I am guessing you are now getting the picture of where I look for inspiration! I discovered Ian Berry’s work in Shanghai, through an exhibition of his work that ran alongside that of Bruno Barbey. Ian Berry is a Journalistic photographer. However, if you look at his photography and read the quote at the top of this page, you will see that he treads on the ground of Street Photographers.


Ian Berry


It was Berry’s photos of China that primed my interest in his art. China is one of many countries he has covered, but he is perhaps most famous for his coverage of a massacre in Sharpeville, South Africa in 1960. His photographs were used at trial to prove the innocence of the victims. Berry’s work includes both black and white photography and colour.

Street Photography Inspiration

As ever, this is a post that is intended to springboard you into finding out about these artists yourself. They have influenced me, and maybe they could help you to further your skills and learning (more importantly, to help train your eye). I have just been looking at his ‘The English,’ series of photos, which provide a contrast to how Martin Parr covers this wonderful country. Apparently, it was inspired by ‘The Americans,’ by Robert Frank.

Learning from Ian Berry.

  • Do not be afraid to use colour and black and white.
  • Focus on becoming invisible.
  • Ian Berry aligns with the metaphor of a hunter. Be there, be ready and have your camera with you. Read about metaphors for Street Photographers HERE.
  • Framing and composition is an essential area of study, and we can learn a lot from studying Berry’s work. However, once again, his photos have layers of meaning and purpose.

I’m not adding a bunch of links this time (I have school reports to write…). Google is your friend. You also need to hunt out his images as I am trying to make this site legit, and only use photos with the correct licenses (there is a bit of a backlog of work to do here!).

Have fun and keep clicking, Chris.

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