Monday Masters : David Alan Harvey

This Monday we look deeper into the work of, in my opinion, one of the Legends of travel and street photography – Mr. David Alan Harvey. A member of Magnum photos agency and an editor/publisher of Burn magazine, an online publication featuring the work of emerging photographers.


 “Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”  D.A.Harvey

David Alan Harvey shot over forty essays for National Geographic magazine. He has covered stories around the world, including projects on French teenagers, the Berlin Wall, Maya culture, Vietnam, Native Americans, Mexico and Naples, and a recent feature on Nairobi.

I would recommend checking out Harvey’s books – “Cuba”, “Divided Soul” and the most recent, “Based on a true story” – which was designed by Harvey’s son.

“I hate looking at my work. I delay it for as long as possible. I just know that it won’t live up to my own expectations. And yet, facing the task is inevitable and crucial, not only in order to arrive at the finished result – a print – but also in order to learn from one’s mistakes or successes and incorporate those lessons into future work” D.A.


Although Harvey shoots also in B&W, he is known for his colour photography work. When I look through his images, I can’t help but totally immerse myself into each one of them. They invite you to step into a beautiful world where colour, light, people all come in harmony to create a beautiful image. The positivity and life that Harvey transfers to us through his photographs is undeniably contagious.

This week’s master is also known for completely immersing himself into the project. Taking all the time he needs, he integrates with the communities where he photographs, be it a Brazilian drug lords gang or following Women divers on Jeju Island.

Harvey’s first ever photojournalistic project was documenting the lives of a family living in a Norfolk Virginia slum. The project was called “Tell it like it is” which has been reissued this year and if you have time, do follow the link above – the special edition book looks an absolute Masterpiece!

Favourite photo is taking from the mentioned project:


Its simple, its beautiful, not perfect and perfect, its so real and surreal at the same time.


All images are by David Alan Harvey.

If you would like to share your favourite image or share anything about this monday’s master – all you have to do is attach the hashtag #MondayMasters on twitter. You’ll find us there!

Thank you for reading and till very soon friends!




5 comments on “Monday Masters : David Alan Harvey

  1. I think David was a great choice Yuri. I find it interesting how he joined Magnum later on even though he had been shooting for a long time and was celebrated by magnum some 20 years earlier. It’s also really interesting the effort he invests into helping train photographers and bring exposure to their work. Great master.

    • So true. I watched lots of interviews with him and he seems to be such a cool and warm guy. He shines with positivity and motivation for anyone in photography. I also like the fact that he’s not bothered about so much bad photography going on and social media and uses it to his advantage and also to promote photography. Hats off to him!

      • Makes me think of the expression “a rising tide lifts all ships” I wonder if all the “crap” social media photos just helps promote great photography more…not for everyone of course but love of photography has always been niche. I hope I’ll always focus on the positives like that.

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