“Knowing failure is part of our process, and leads to new ideas, stronger work, and more honest questions, liberates us to peer, a little less frightened, into the unknown.”  – David duChemin

David duChemin photographs the souls of his subjects. Home, when he’s there is Vancouver, Canada. Most of the time he’s on a photographic adventure in one of the seven continents on the planet. He has visited and photographed in all of them.


David’s goal as a photographer is to create images that convey the hope and dignity of the vulnerable, the oppressed and children for non-governmental organizations. He has worked for Save the Children and WorldVision.

Nomad with a camera

He has carried his camera to more than fifty countries so far. He prefers to dive deeply into a place and take the time to get to truly know the people living there. His work has had him enduring Amazonian summers and Russian winters. He’s traveled among nomads in Indian Himalayas and in North Kenya.

Assignment work has taken him to many, many locations. Here’s a short list: Bangladesh, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Hati, Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

Locations, where he has done personal work, is impressive too: Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, Antarctica, Iceland and Tunisia.

Photo books

DuChemin writes a lot. His books cover the art and the craft of photography. Many of them are best-sellers that have been translated into a dozen languages. Some of his titles are “The Heart of the Photograph,”  “The Soul of the Camera,” as well as “Within The Frame,” “The Visual Toolbox” and “A Beautiful Anarchy.”

On Photography: David duChemin, 1971-present
David duChemin

David duChemin interview with John Paul Caponigro

In an interview with John Paul Caponigro, duChemin was asked about how he gets inspired and influenced.

“I like to see through the eyes of others, to see what I have not,” duChemin says. “I’m a very curious person and this gives me a glimpse into a world in ways I’ve not considered it.”

When it comes to those who have influenced him, duChemin has several people he looks up to.

“My earliest [influences] were portraitists, like Karsh, and later, Steve McCurry. I think you can see that in some of my work. But I also cut my teeth on work by Cartier-Bresson, and Adams, and Rowell. And in terms of teaching, the earliest voice rattling around in my head was Freeman Patterson.”

Sources: David duChemin, John Paul Caponigro

Read about other inspiring photographers in On Photography.