Zed Nelson lives in London. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide.
Having gained recognition and major awards as a documentary photographer working in some of the most troubled areas of the world, Nelson has increasingly turned his focus on Western society, adopting an increasingly conceptual approach to reflect on contemporary social issues.
Gun Nation - a disturbing reflection on America’s deadly love affair with the gun - was Nelson’s seminal first book. The project has been awarded five major international photography prizes and is regarded by many as the definitive body of work on the subject.
Love Me - Nelson’s recently published second book - reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty. The project explores how a new form of globalization is taking place, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand. The project spans five years, and involved photography in 18 countries across five continents. Love Me was recently nominated for the 2011 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, short-listed for the Leica European Publishers Award for Photography, and received First Prize in the 2010 Pictures of the Year International awards.
Previous awards include the Visa d’Or, France; First Prize in World Press Photo Competition; and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, USA.
Nelson’s work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, the ICA and the National Portrait Gallery, and is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Nelson has had solo shows in London, Stockholm and New York.
First Prize, 2010 Pictures of the Year (PoY) Competition (USA)
Judges' Special Recognition in the 2010 Pictures of the Year (PoY) Competition (USA)
Best Photography Book for Love Me
Third Prize, 2010 World Press Photo Competition (Netherlands)
Contemporary Issues – for Love Me
First Prize, Pictures of the Year (PoY) Competition (USA)
Best Photography Book for Gun Nation
First prize, Alfred Eisenstaedt Award (USA)
Best Photo Essay
LIFE magazine/Columbia University
First Prize, Nikon Award (UK)
Best Photo Essay
First Prize, World Press Photo (Netherlands)
World Press Foundation
Visa d'Or, International Festival of Photojournalism (Perpignan, France)
Best Magazine Story of the Year
Nominated for the 2011 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize
Shortlisted for the CENTER (Santa Fe Center for Photography) Project Award (USA)
Shortlisted for the Leica European Publishers Award for Photography
Nominated for the Citigroup Private Bank Photography Prize, in association with the Photographers Gallery, London
Nominated for the St. James Group Photography Prize, in association with Flowers East Gallery, London