Ashley Gilbertson

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Ashley Gilbertson (born 22 January 1978) is a photographer with the VII Photo Agency known for his images of the Iraq War and the effects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on returning veterans and their families.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Gilbertson started his career at thirteen taking pictures of skateboarders.[1] After graduating secondary school, he was mentored by Filipino photographer Emmanuel Santos,[1] and later Masao Endo in the Japanese highlands.


While he was based in Australia, Gilbertson worked on socially driven photo essays ranging from drug addiction in Melbourne to war zones in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. In 1999 he photographed Kosovar refugees in Australia. For the next three years Gilbertson's work focused on refugee issues around the world.[2]

In 2002, Gilbertson travelled to the Kurdish enclave of Northern Iraq. Shortly thereafter, President George W. Bush made a case for war in Iraq, and Gilbertson travelled back to cover the story at the beginning of 2003. His work was published widely, and one of his images from the invasion was included in Time Magazine's 'Pictures of the Year'. In 2004 Gilbertson won the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award from the Overseas Press Club for his photographic reportage on the Battle for Fallujah. The Capa Award is for "the best photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise".[3] Gilbertson continued to cover Iraq on contract for The New York Times until 2008.[1] A photographic memoir of Gilbertson's time there entitled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War was published by the University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2007.[4]

In March 2009, he became a member of the VII Photo Agency's VII Network, and in 2011 he became a full member.

In 2011, Gilbertson won a National Magazine Award for his series Bedrooms of the Fallen, published as a work in progress in The New York Times Magazine.[5] Bedrooms of the Fallen was published in book form by the University of Chicago Press in 2014, with a foreword by the journalist Philip Gourevitch. The panoramic black-and-white photographs in the completed series depict the bedrooms left behind by 40 U.S., Canadian, and European servicemen and women—the number of soldiers in a platoon.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Gilbertson lives with his wife and son in New York City.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2001 - Leica/CCP Documentary Award (Melbourne)[7]
  • 2004 - Photo District News '30 under 30' (Winner)
  • 2004 - Publisher's Award, New York Times
  • 2004 - Robert Capa Gold Medal, Overseas Press Club (New York) (winner)
  • 2004 - Photographer of the Year, National Photo Awards (Minnesota) (winner)
  • 2005 - Leica/CCP documentary awards (Melbourne) (finalist)
  • 2005 - I.C.P. Infinity Award, (New York) (finalist)
  • 2005 - Photo District News Photo Annual, (New York) (finalist)
  • 2005 - Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo (Amsterdam) (participant)
  • 2006 - The Walkley Awards (Australia) (finalist)
  • 2006 - Pictures of the Year International (honorable mention)
  • 2007 - Association of American Publishers (honorable mention)
  • 2007 - Written Press Trophy, Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents (finalist with Joanna Gilbertson)
  • 2008 - The Staige D. Blackford Prize for Nonfiction
  • 2009 - Photo District News, Photo Annual
  • 2010 - Aaron Siskind Foundation, grant recipient
  • 2011 - National Magazine Award, Photography
  • 2014 - Photo District News, Photo Annual
  • 2014 - National Magazine Awards, Multimedia, Finalist
  • 2014 - Emmy Award, Multimedia, Finalist
  • 2015 - Alfred Fried photography award, Finalist




  1. ^ a b c Harrison, Dan (17 February 2008). "Eyes on cameraman with a conscience". The Age. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Leigh Dicks, brett (21 November 2007). "Photographer Ashley Gilbertson Gets Personal in Iraq". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ashley Gilbertson Wins The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award For Coverage Of Fallujah". National Press Photographers Association. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Filkins, Dexter (18 November 2007). "In Frying Pan and Fire". New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Gilbertson receives National Magazine Award". New York Times. May 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ Teicher, Jordan G. "Heartbreaking Photos of the Bedrooms of Fallen Soldiers". Slate. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]