Chang W. Lee, Staff Photographer at
Whether he is photographing the war in Afghanistan, chronicling the ravages of pollution in China or delighting in the Olympics in Sydney, Nagano or Beijing, Chang W. Lee takes lyrical and poetic pictures. He believes that everyone has a story to tell and that every story, no matter how painful, contains beauty in life because it is how one endures and completes one’s life, not just live a life.
“Someone shares his or her story with me,” Mr. Lee said, “then it becomes my story. Then it becomes your story when I share the story with my pictures. Then when it’s recorded and shared, it eventually becomes ‘HISTORY’ or ‘HERSTORY,’ if I may say.”
Starting as an intern at The New York Times in 1994, he has developed a unique photographic style that combines an impeccable sense of light with complicated composition and surprising juxtapositions.
Mr. Lee was a member of the teams that won the Pulitzer Prizes for photography in 2002: one for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the other for Feature Photography for documenting the pain and perseverance of people enduring protracted conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Lee was also among the New York Times journalists who won the 2008 Grantham Prize for “Choking on Growth,” a series that examined the effects of industrialization on the Chinese environment. In addition, he has won numerous awards in prestigious photographic competitions such as Pictures of (POYI), the Best of Photojournalism (BOPJ) and the New York Press Photographers (NYPPA) annual contest and two Emmy Awards Nominations.
Born in Busan, Korea, in 1968, Mr. Lee came to the United States in 1986 and graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993.
He is married to Seolbin Park, with whom he has a son, Gio.