Gilles Nicolet

a bit about me

I am a self-taught photographer who has been living and working in Africa for almost 35 years now, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but became a full-time professional photographer in 1992. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic, GEO, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match.

I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that – I hope – has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife or nature, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white.

I have been the recipient of several awards, including a Fuji Award and a World Press Photo Award. My recent work on the Swahili Coast recently obtained 3 Honorable Mentions at the Monochrome Awards (USA); won the 2nd Prize (Portfolio category) of the Hamdan International Photography Awards (UAE); won the 2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards; won the 2nd Prize of the 2017 IPA International Photography Awards; and was nominated for the Meitar Award.

This work on the Swahili Coast will be featured in my upcoming book “Six Degrees South”, to be released  by Contrejour Publishers in September 2018.