Kevin Frayer

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Kevin Frayer (born 1973 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian photojournalist noted for his wartime work in the Middle East including the Gaza Strip, Lebanon,[1] and Afghanistan. He started his career in 1991 for the Canadian Press reaching the level of National Photographer; his first assignments were in Yugoslavia. From 2003-2009 he was working in the Middle East, and was based in New Delhi as Chief Photographer for South Asia for the Associated Press.[2]

In 2006, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his images from the war in Lebanon.[3][4] His photographs of Palestinian protesters caught in a tear gas assault won a prize from the World Press Photo awards in 2009.[5] He is married to the journalist Janis Mackey Frayer, Asia Bureau Chief for the CTV Television Network.

In 2013, Frayer left AP and joined Getty Images as a freelance contributor in Asia. He is currently based in China, residing in Beijing.[6] In April 2015 he won the Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award, which included $20,000 to help finance his documentary projects. At the time, he told TIME magazine of his rationale for having become a freelancer some 18 months previously, to allow more time for extensive coverage of important issues. “I felt that the cycle of news I was working on wasn’t necessarily [allowing me] to tell the stories I wanted to tell,” he said. “You go to the breaking news because that’s what you’re assigned to do, and as soon as the violence ends you leave that story and, maybe, never return.”[7]

More recently, Frayer won two major awards in the 2016 World Press Photo Contest for photojournalists, including a first prize in the Daily Life category for an image from China and a second place in the Daily Life 'stories' category for a series about the Tibetan Dharma festival.[8]

On April 21, 2016, the Sony World Photography Awards announced in London that Frayer had won the award in the Professional Photography category Environment, with his series Eagle Hunters of Western China, covering a traditional hunt with eagles in Qinghe County, Xinjiang. This photo essay had been featured in multi-page spreads in publications such as TIME and Canada's Maclean's.[9] Frayer won a second category award too, People, for his series Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau; Frayer depicted the subjects' lives which have been affected both by climate change and forced resettlement.[10] This was the first year in the history of the Awards that a single photographer was declared a winner in two categories.[11]


  1. ^ Time magazine
  2. ^ World Press Photo profile
  3. ^ "Kevin Frayer". Dream the End. Dream the End. 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Kevin Frayer: Afghanistan, Helmand.". Art of Photojournalism. The Photojournalism Blogspot. February 7, 2001. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ World Press Photo Awards, 2009
  6. ^ Frayer, Kevin (2016). "Kevin Frayer Photojournalist". Kevin Frayer. Kevin Frayer. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ Laurent, Olivier (April 16, 2015). "Kevin Frayer, Diana Markosian Win Chris Hondros Fund Awards". TIME. Time Inc. 
  8. ^ Mitsui, Evan (February 18, 2016). "2016 World Press Photo Contest winners include a Canadian". CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ Browne, Rachel (February 22, 2015). "Photo essay: The last Kazakh eagle hunters". Maclean's. Rogers Media. Retrieved April 8, 2016. Kevin Frayer, a Winnipeg-born photojournalist who lives in Beijing, travelled north at the end of January to document the festival and the goings-on behind the scenes: families dancing together around the horses, a young boy staring into the sky in awe, and elderly hunters laughing and sipping hot butter tea. 
  10. ^ "The winners of the Sony world photography awards 2016 – in pictures". The Guardina (London, UK). April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Sony World Photography Awards 2016". BBC News. BBC. April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. The 2016 awards attracted a record-breaking 230,103 entries, with images submitted from 10 countries in seven Documentary and seven Art categories, as well as a youth, student and an open award. For the first time, two Professional categories have been won by one photographer in the same year. Kevin Frayer was the Environment winner for his series The Eagle Hunters of Western China.