Stuart Franklin (born London, 16 June 1956) is a photographer, a member of Magnum Photos, and a former President of Magnum Photos (2006–2009). He was born at Guys Hospital, London.
Franklin studied drawing under Leonard McComb in Oxford and Whitechapel, London, and from 1976–1979 photography at West Surrey College of Art and Design, where he graduated with a BA. Moreover, between 1995 and 1997, he studied geography at the University of Oxford, first receiving a BA and the Gibbs Prize for geography. He received a doctorate in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2000.
From 1980 until 1985, Franklin worked with Agence Presse Sygma in Paris. During that time he photographed the civil war in Lebanon, unemployment in Britain, famine in Sudan and the Heysel Stadium disaster.
Joining Magnum Photos in 1985, he became a full member in 1989. In the same year, Franklin photographed the uprising in Tiananmen Square and shot one of the Tank Man photographs, first published in Time Magazine, as well as widely documenting the uprising in Beijing earning him a World Press Photo Award.
In 1989 Franklin traveled with Greenpeace to Antarctica. He worked on about twenty stories for National Geographic between 1991 and 2009, subjects including Inca conqueror Francisco Pizarro and the hydro-struggle in Quebec and places such as Buenos Aires and Malaysia. In addition, he worked on book and cultural projects. In October 2008, his book Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux was published by Thames & Hudson. An ominous photographic document of Europe’s changing landscape, it highlights Franklin’s deep ecological concern.
During 2009 Franklin curated an exhibition on Gaza – “Point of No Return” for the Noorderlicht Photo Festival. Since 2009 Franklin has focused on a long term landscape project in Norway published as “Narcissus” in 2013. Recently Franklin has worked on documentary projects on doctors working in Syria, and immigration in Calais. Franklin is a Professor of Documentary Photography at Volda University College, Norway. Franklin’s most recent book, “The Documentary Impulse” was published by Phaidon in April 2016. It investigates the nature of truth in reporting and the drive towards self-representation beginning 50,000 years ago with cave art through to the various iterations and impulses that have guided documentary photography along its differing tracks for nearly 200 years. He writes regularly for the Guardian, London.