Initially a student in philosophy, Tomas van Houtryve discovered his interest for
photography while enrolled in an overseas program in Nepal. Upon graduation in 1999,
he was hired by the Associated Press and posted to Latin America. He was the first
AP photographer to cover the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and, in 2002,
he traveled to Kandahar to photograph families of the Guantanamo inmates.
Van Houtryve left AP in 2003 to concentrate on large-scale projects, starting with
the Maoist rebellion in Nepal. The resulting photos of the rebels' rise to power
earned him wide international recognition including the Visa pour l'Image-Perpignan
Young Photographer Award and the Bayeux-Calvados Prize for War Correspondents.
In 2006, van Houtryve was named one of PDN's 30 Emerging Photographers. Over the
following two years, he managed to gain access into North Korea twice and was able
to photograph factories, hospitals and government offices, many of which had never
before been seen by a Western photographer.
Van Houtryve was awarded an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship in 2008, to
continue documenting the world's remaining communist states. In 2010, was named the
POYi Photographer of the Year.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been shown in Paris, New York City, Spain and
Italy. His pictures and writing appear regularly in publications worldwide,
including Time, The New York Times, Newsweek, Le Figaro, Le Monde, The Independent
Magazine, GEO, Stern, Smithsonian, Foreign Policy and National Geographic.
Van Houtryve joined the VII Network in 2010. He is based in Paris.