Christopher Anderson - On Evolution


Recorded remotely on 24th April 2020 during lockdown, Gem chats to renowned photographer Christopher Anderson, who continues to have a fascinating journey through the industry. He’s created world-renowned photojournalism, some of the most disarming magazine covers of the last two decades as well as a series of fascinating photo books about a range of different subjects from his children to documenting the NYPD in the wake of 9/11. He first gained recognition for his pictures in 1999 when he boarded a handmade, wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America. The boat named the Believe In God, sank in the Caribbean. In 2000 the images from that journey would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal.

In this conversation, Christopher shares his unexpected and organic journey into photography and his constant search for meaning. We talk about how his career evolved and how he crafts and refines his visual language. We discuss how he approaches portraiture, and it's complex power dynamics. He shares personal insight into sittings with Barack Obama and Donald Trump. We learn about his ethos about picture-making and how he uses photography as a tool to understand the world better. We discuss how he doesn't describe a scene, but instead tries to capture emotional energy exploring what it felt like to be there in that moment. We talk about his new book Pia published by Stanley Barker about his daughter and the process of creating and editing such profoundly personal work. We talk about social media, what it means to him and the highs and lows of the tool itself. We talk about slow photography and the importance of photographers building a body of work.


Follow Christopher on Instagram @christopherandersonphoto on Instagram and visit to see his work. Christopher is a member of Magnum Photos. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email


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