Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominated photographer and founder of the the first digital online news photo agency which became Getty Images News Photos in 1999. After freelancing out of college including a year covering Washington with United Press International;  Richard joined Reuters as a staff photographer in Hong Kong in early 1985 covering major stories around Asia including the People's Power Revolution, Coups in Thailand and the Philippines, riots in Korea and Queen Elizabeth's historic visit to China.

In 1987 Richard was posted to New Delhi as the first Reuters Chief Photographer for South Asia where he covered the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, civil war in Sri Lanka, uprisings in Nepal, The Punjab, Pakistan, Bangladesh and a variety of conflicts around the region.

As part of the Reuters team covering the Tiananmen Square massacre he was nominated for his first Pulitzer. In the aftermath of Tiananmen he was posted with his family to Beijing where he spent two years covering the crackdown and response to the protests. During his time in China he was the first photographer to transmit a news photograph from Mongolia as democracy protests spread throughout the Soviet Bloc.

Away from Asia Richard spent 4-months covering the First Gulf War outside the restricted coverage pools running around the desert in a four-wheel drive capturing uncensored news. In part because of this coverage he was nominated a second time for the Pulitzer as part of the Reuters coverage of the war.

Upon returning to Beijing he was posted to London to create a news coverage operation for the UK and Ireland where he continued covering major events while organizing the first domestic photo operation for Reuters. As events in the former Soviet Union continued to unfold Richard was sent on his last posting to Moscow where he covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many wars and conflicts spurred by the turmoil. One such was was the end to the Soviet installed government in Kabul. As part of his coverage in Afghanistan Richard captured a series of pictures of an Afghan Secret Policemen being executed by the Mujahedin which resulted in his third and only solo Pulitzer nomination. 

After leaving Reuters in 1994 Richard worked for US News & World Report as a contract photographer in Moscow then returned to Washington where he covered the Presidency of Bill Clinton as the Sygma News Photographer. Richard also worked as the NBC TV still photographer covering the live television show Meet the Press. During his time in Washington Richard created the first online digital news photo agency called Newsmakers. Newsmakers grew quickly and was acquired by Getty Images in 1999 to become the foundation of their editorial operations which Richard ran until late 2001 when he went on to become the Senior Vice President for Business Development and Strategy a role he held until 2007.

Richard now lives in Charleston, South Carolina where he teaches advanced photography at the Art Institute as well as workshops and seminars and runs a photo studio with his photographer daughter, Gillian Ellis, where they offer editorial, portrait, commercial and travel photography. His images are represented by Getty Images, Zumapress, Alamy and directly through Richard Ellis Photography