James Nachtwey (born 1948) is one of today's most influential war photographers.
Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts; he graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Influenced by imagery from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement, he became a self-taught photographer.
He started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976. Since the early 1980s, Nachtwey has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues. He spent considerable time in South Africa, has shot iconic images of wars in Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States. He also made a remarkable series of photographs about the September 11 attacks.
James Nachtwey has been associated with Time Magazine as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked for Black Star from 1980 until 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he was a founding member of the photo agency VII.
His photographs have been exhibited throughout Europe and the States; Nachtwey has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. The Swiss documentary War Photographer about his work by director Christian Frei received numerous awards.