Born in the UK but of Welsh descent, David Hurn is a self-taught photographer who began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. While a freelance photographer, he gained his reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
Hurn eventually turned away from coverage of current affairs, preferring to take a more personal approach to photography. He became an associate member of Magnum in 1965 and a full member in 1967. In 1973 he set up the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, and has been in demand throughout the world to teach workshops.
He recently collaborated on a very successful textbook with Professor Bill Jay, On Being a Photographer. However, it is his book Wales: Land of My Father, that truly reflects Hurn's style and creative impetus. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Wales experienced a remarkable transformation. From a country with an economy, culture, and landscape dominated by agriculture and the heavy industries of coal, steel and slate, Wales has become a place where the mines, mills and quarries are closed - either for good or to be reinvented as mythical 'heritage' tourist attractions - and where the new industries are high-tech and computer-based. Hurn's book, a collection of carefully observed photographs, reveals both the traditional and the modern sides of the country.
David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain's leading reportage photographers. He continues to live and work in Wales.