Christopher Morris (photographer)

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Christopher Morris
Born 1958
Nationality American
Education 1980: AiFL photography B.Sc.
Occupation Photographer, film director
Years active 1981 - present
Organization VII Photo Agency[1]
Known for Photojournalism, war, political, portrait, fashion, art, film
Notable work 1989: Casualties of Just Cause[2]
1991: Yugoslav Wars[3]
1992: Slaughter in Vukovar
2006: My America
Awards 1991: Olivier Rebbot award
1991: Robert Capa Gold Medal
2005: World Press Photo[4]

Christopher Morris (born 1958) is an American photojournalist best known for his documentary conflict photographs, a Whitehouse photographer, a fashion photographer, and a film director.

Life and work[edit]

Morris was born in 1958 in California. In 1980, he earned a photography bachelor of science degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.[5] He was appointed runner by Black Star director Howard Chapnick.[6] In 1981, during six months, he documented the underground world of the New York subway in a photo essay published 33 years later in Time.[7]

War photographer[edit]

In 1983, during the civil conflict in the Philippines in Manila,[8] Morris started covering world news as documentary conflict[n 1] photographer for Newsweek.[6]

In 1989 - 1990, he documented the United States invasion of Panama.[2] CBS News and RAI broadcast his short movie.[6] He won one of his first prizes World Press Photo awards for "Casualties of Just Cause, Panama."[9]

On 4 March 1991, near the front of the Persian Gulf War, his photograph of a U.S. Marine holding the American flag above his shoulders made the front cover of Life.[10]

During nine years, he covered the war in the former Yugoslavia.[6] In Perpignan, his photo essay won the Visa d'Or award.[11] However Grazia Neri wrote: "It was in Yugoslavia that the daily exposure to the war on civilians started to weigh heavily on him, on his person, on his soul, and on his photography."[6]

"To me, that shot[3] symbolizes the whole Yugoslav conflict of how emotional and how ridiculous the war was. You can really feel the boy's pain and the family's pain that's holding him."

— Christopher Morris, Photo District News[12]

In May 1992, he has been named the recipient of the 1991 Robert Capa Gold Medal for his coverage of "Slaughter in Vukovar".[13]

About the famine in Mogadishu during the war in Somalia, he said that he did not wish to live again such an experience.[8]

In 1995, he captured movement in a photograph of a Chechen fighter running outside of the demolished presidential palace during the battle of Grozny of the first Chechen War: "At that moment that's the most dangerous place on earth. I'm not sitting there saying, 'Oh, I'm going to shoot slow shutter speeds and I'm going to zoom it!'" Morris said. "You're just shooting."[14]

1998 was the year of the Kosovo assignment.[6]

In 2000, the second Chechen War was the turning point of his career of "war shooter":[8]

"With the vision in my mind of my 2 year old daughter at home whom I rarely had seen nor even photographed. This was the crystal clear moment that made me disengage from this type of photography as a profession."

— Christopher Morris, Emaho magazine[8]
In September 2001, Morris was one of seven founding members of VII Photo Agency.[1]

In 2001, he provided coverage of the terrorism in Yemen[6] and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[15]

In 2011, he documented the Libyan Civil War[16] and, in 2012, the Plan Colombia.[17]

Morris, who was commissioned by Black Star in 1988 to document the Soviet–Afghan War,[6] photographed 24 years later for Time/VII the parents of the POW Bowe Bergdahl, captured in 2009 during the war in Afghanistan.[18]

Political photographer[edit]

In 2000, in United States, as member of the White House pool, he covered the presidencies of George W. Bush[19] and Barack Obama for Time.[20]

In 2013, in France, he documented the presidency of François Hollande for Le Monde.[21] For Elle, he provided coverage of the political campaign race to conquer the Paris city hall for the first time between two women: Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and Anne Hidalgo who both campaigned to become Mayor of Paris.[22]

On February 29, 2016, Morris was involved in an altercation with a United States Secret Service agent while photographing a Black Lives Matter protest at a campaign rally at Radford University in Virginia.[23] Morris cursed at the Secret Service agent moments prior to the physical confrontation. The agent grabbing the photographer's neck with both hands and threw him into a table and onto the ground.[24] While lying on the ground, Morris kicked at the agent.[24] Morris grabbed at the agent's neck which Morris stated was to demonstrate the choke hold he had just experienced. The Secret Service launched an investigation into the incident, a spokesman said, and would "provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known."[25]


In 2006, Morris published his photographic monograph, My America, a personal journey through portraits and landscapes into a Republican America. This book of photographies was produced while on assignment for Time covering U.S. president George W. Bush and those close to him.[n 2][27]

In 2012, Morris continued his series about the American society with his second book Americans.[26][28]

Movie director[edit]

In 2007, for The New York Times, Morris directed the short film The Gentle Shepherd about the pastor Terry Fox[29] at the Wild West World theme park in Wichita.[30]

For Time LightBox, in 2013, Morris directed, edited and produced the short film Conclave about people waiting, in St. Peter's Square, for the announcement of the new Pope.[31]

In 2016, he introduced a new way to film the United States presidential candidates’ rallies using a high-speed camera, his short movies being played back in slow-motion.[32]

Fashion photographer[edit]

In 2008, his book My America is noticed by the editor in chief of the Italian fashion magazine Amica who hired him for a Ralph Lauren shooting in New York.[8][26]

"Fashion for me is about beauty and fantasy, all the complete opposites of my career, which dealt with the ugliness of war and the blind nationalism of politics.
The real difficulty in Fashion is that it’s the complete opposite of journalistic work, which is based on interpretation of reality, with fashion it becomes an interpretation of fantasy."

— Christopher Morris, Berlin Foto-Festival'13[33]

In 2010, he photographed Carmen Jalving[8] and Isabella Rossellini[5] for Amica.

At the Tampa Bay Times Forum, he attended the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa for a shooting featuring Heidi Harrington Johnson in the editorial Beyond the conventions ("Au-delà des conventions") of the French magazine L'Officiel Paris, issue #970, published in November.[34]

In 2013, Dior-clad Marta Dyks was his model during the Haute Couture shows in Paris for L'Officiel, issue #973 of March.[33]

Portrait photographer[edit]

In 2008, Morris photographed the American rock band The Killers:[35] Mark Stoermer, Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci, Jr., and Dave Keuning near Las Vegas.[8]

In 2011, Monastery Girl featuring Ilaria Pozzi in Italy was a personal project.[8]

In 2015, Laetitia Casta opened her doors for him in Lumio about the Paris Match editorial The independent ("L'indépendante").[36] This French language weekly news magazine quoted the name of the photographer directly in the title of an associated article, attracting the attention of readers who wished to know more about him.[37]

Still photographer[edit]

In August 2015, on the shooting of the movie En Moi, Morris photographed the instant where the Dutch model Lara Stone is become actress for her first leading role of the woman. He captured on film the moment where the French actress Laetitia Casta is become film director for the first time.[38] He was the witness of the metamorphosis of the Japanese actor Akaji Maro in his role of the man of service into the butoh-dancer in the Palais Garnier where the French Danseur Étoile Jérémie Bélingard interpreted the lover of the woman in front of the camera of the French film cinematographer Benoît Delhomme.[39]



  • 2013: From War & Politics to Fashion, Berlin Foto-Festival[33]


Short films directed by Morris:[40]

People of Power[edit]

  • 2006: The Dear Leader
  • 2009: Obama’s War, Obama’s Burden, The New Leader
  • 2011: Oval Of Power
  • 2016: the candidates’ rallies[32] for Time: Bernie, Cruz, Hillary, Jeb, Marco, Trump


In Wichita:

  • 2007: The Gentle Shepherd

In Rome:


For Amica:

  • 2009: Givenchy, “The Dress”
  • 2011: “Planet Queen” Louis Vuitton, Anastasiya Bondarenko in Chanel Couture, Dior Couture in Paris
  • 2011: “Deranged” Carmen in Roberto Cavalli featuring Carmen Jalving in Èze
  • 2012: Sasha with Sasha Melnycuck

For Time:

  • 2012: Can You See Her featuring Katryn Kruger, Elena Bartels, Zuanna Bijoch, Irina Nikolaeva, Aline Weber, Alex Yuryeva, Olga Sherer in Paris

For Le Monde:

  • 2012: “La Robe” Serkan Cura, “La Robe” Versace, Valentino’s Atelier, On Aura Tout Vu, Just Look in Paris

For InStyle UK:

  • 2012: “Turn Away” for Roberto Cavalli in Milan

For Fragrance Inspirations:

  • 2014: Phantom Portraits in slow motion in Paris


  • 2010: The Black Tide off the Louisiana coast
  • 2011: Temporal from Arles to Nice


Morris, commissioned by Black Star, won:

  • In 1990, the 2nd prize World Press Photo Award, section Spot News Series for "Casualties of Just Cause, Panama."[9]

For Time, the two following prizes:

  • In 1991, the Olivier Rebbot award.[41]
  • In 1992, the 2011 Robert Capa Gold Medal for "Slaughter in Vukovar".[13]

His other awards included:

  • In 1992, the Magazine Photographer of the Year award from Pictures of the Year International.[42]
  • The Infinity Photojournalist awards from the International Center of Photography, New York.[43]
  • The Visa d'Or award, section News for Yugoslav Wars.[11]
  • In 2004, the 2nd prize National Press Photographers Association's Best Of Photojournalism Contest, section Magazine News Picture Story.[44]
  • In 2005, the Feature photography Overseas Press Club: "Inside the Hermit Kingdom".[45]
  • The 1st prize World Press Photo Award, section: people in the stories.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^

    "This is war. It's not a film, it looks like it, but it's real. I documented it for you. Can we do something?"

    — Christopher Morris, The Digital Journalist[6]
  2. ^

    "The images are from the time period 2003 to 2006, when the country was really heavy into blind nationalism. In this period I felt that much of the country had wrapped its eyes so tightly with red, white and blue that it went blind."

    — Christopher Morris, Los Angeles Times[26]


  1. ^ a b Laurent, Olivier (21 May 2014). "VII Photo rises to challenges of changing photographic landscape with dynamic new agency model". British Journal of Photography. Retrieved 2016-06-09. if Christopher Morris wants to make a film he has the freedom, contacts and support to make that film. 
  2. ^ a b Morris, Christopher (9 June 2014). "The Photo That Made Me: Christopher Morris, Panama 1989". Time. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  3. ^ a b Morris, Christopher (April 2001). "Battlefields". The Digital Journalist. Retrieved 2016-06-12. The image above is almost a self portrait...A portrait of a whole nation weeping. 
  4. ^ a b "Christopher Morris". World Press Photo. 2005. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  5. ^ a b Gibson, Mike (2011). "Christopher Morris". L’Artiste magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Neri, Grazia (April 2001). "The Battlefields of Christopher Morris". The Digital Journalist. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  7. ^ Conway, Richard (22 January 2014). "Grit, Grime and Graffiti: Christopher Morris on the New York Subway, 1981". Time. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Katyal, Manik; Budhraja, Marukh (27 November 2012). "Genre Straddler – Christopher Morris". Emaho magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  9. ^ a b "List of Winners in 1990 World Press Photo Contest With PM-Press Photo Awards". The Associated Press. 1990. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  10. ^ "75 years of Life magazine". The Telegraph. 4 March 1991. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  11. ^ a b "International Festival of Photojournalism". Visa pour l'image. 1992. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  12. ^ Wignall, Jeff (1998). "Legends Online". Photo District News. Black Star. p. 10. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  13. ^ a b "Overseas Press Club Gives Award to Terry Anderson". The New York Times. 6 May 1992. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  14. ^ Wignall, Jeff (1998). "Legends Online". Photo District News. Black Star. p. 7. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  15. ^ Morris, Christopher (19 March 2003). "Iraq: Photographer Christopher Morris Covers the War". Time. VII. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  16. ^ Morris, Christopher (8 April 2011). "Theater of War: Photographs by Christopher Morris". Time. VII. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  17. ^ Padgett, Tim; photographer Morris, Christopher (12 April 2012). "Colombia’s President Talks with TIME About Castro, Capitalism and His Country’s Comeback". Time. VII. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  18. ^ Padgett, Nate; photographer Morris, Christopher (17 May 2012). "America's Last Living POW: Christopher Morris Photographs a Family in Waiting". Time. VII. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  19. ^ Gabriner, Alice; photographer Morris, Christopher (17 October 2014). "Meet TIME’s New International Photo Editor". Time. VII. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  20. ^ Osipova, Olga (13 November 2015). "Christopher Morris: I Have a True Love of Documenting People of Power". Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  21. ^ Leparmentier, Arnaud; Nougayrède, Natalie; Wieder, Thomas; Giret, Vincent; photographer Morris, Christopher (30 August 2013). "François Hollande sur la réforme pénale : "Mon seul objectif, c'est la sécurité"". Le Monde (in French). VII. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  22. ^ Laurent-Simon, Caroline; photographer Morris, Christopher (7 November 2013). "Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet / Anne Hidalgo : Paris à tout prix". Elle (in French). Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  23. ^ "Secret Service, photographer, scuffle at Trump rally". Miami Herald. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  24. ^ a b "TIME Responds to Confrontation With Secret Service at Trump Event". Time. Archived from the original on 29 Feb 2016. Retrieved 29 Feb 2016. We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK 
  25. ^ Acosta, Jim; Holmes, Kristen; Manchester, Julia; Diamond, Jeremy. "Photographer: Secret Service agent choked me at a Trump rally". Retrieved 29 Feb 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c Davidson, Barbara (18 March 2013). "reFramed: In conversation with Christopher Morris". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  27. ^ B., S. (2006). "My America". Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  28. ^ Morris, Christopher (3 December 2012). "‘Americans’: Christopher Morris Captures a Nation Divided". Time. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  29. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D.; photographer Morris, Christopher (28 October 2007). "The Evangelical Crackup". The New York Times. VII. Retrieved 9 June 2016. That story was the centerpiece of the liberal writer Thomas Frank’s 2004 book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” He might have called it “What’s the Matter With Wichita?” 
  30. ^ Morris, Christopher (26 October 2007). "The Gentle Shepherd". The New York Times (video). Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  31. ^ Morris, Christopher (14 March 2013). "Conclave: A Short Film by Christopher Morris". Time (video). VII. Retrieved 2016-06-09. Habemus Papam 
  32. ^ a b Laurent, Olivier; Tsai, Diane (8 February 2016). "Behind the Scenes of The Candidates by Christopher Morris". Time (video). VII. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  33. ^ a b c "From War & Politics to Fashion". Berlin Foto-Festival. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  34. ^ "L’Officiel Paris Goes To Republican National Convention". 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  35. ^ "Antiwar songs by The Killers". Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  36. ^ Morris, Christopher (25 February 2015). "Laetitia Casta, l'indépendante". Paris Match (in French). H&K. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  37. ^ Morris, Christopher (25 February 2015). "L'œil du photographe : Christopher Morris commente ses photos de Laetitia Casta" [The eye of the photographer: Christopher Morris comments his Laetitia Casta’s photographs]. Paris Match (video) (in French). Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  38. ^ Diderich, Joelle; photographer Morris, Christopher (22 May 2016). "2016 Cannes Film Festival: Model Laetitia Casta Unveils Directorial Debut". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 2016-06-14. Laetitia Casta behind the camera 
  39. ^ Morris, Christopher (23 August 2015). "Laetita Casta "En Moi" avec Lara Stone" [Laetitia Casta "In Me" with Lara Stone]. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  40. ^ Morris, Christopher (April 2016). "Christopher Morris". Vimeo (video). Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  41. ^ "Peter Arnett Wins Special Press Club Award". The New York Times. 24 April 1991. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  42. ^ "University of Missouri News Pictures of the Year Competition and Exhibition". POYi. 1992. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  43. ^ "1992 Infinity Award: Photojournalism". ICP. 12 March 1992. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  44. ^ "Best of photojournalism 2004 still photo winners announced". NPPA. 28 March 2004. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  45. ^ "2005 OPC Award Winners". OPC. 2005. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 

External links[edit]