Bran Symondson is considered to be one of the finest reportage photographers of the 21st Century. He began his career working alongside renowned photographers such as David La Chapelle, Nadav Kander, and Gavin Bond. Bran Symondson ventured into portraitures, having his first success in the 2003 Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery.
“There’s a similarity between a soldier and a photographer, they are both looking intensely for the moment.”
During active service with Special Forces Reserves in Afghanistan, Symondson gained intimate access to the lives of the Chai Boys who serve within units of the Afghan National Police. His extraordinary photographs led to a commission from the Sunday Times Magazine and a critically acclaimed exhibition at the Idea Generation Gallery (now The Proud Archivist) called 'The Best View Of Heaven Is From Hell'. His feature 'Lost Boys', set in the Debab Refugee Camp in Kenya, won the prestigious Amnesty International Media Award in 2011.
Bran developed the concept of his photographs further in the sellout show “AKA Peace”, through which he established the groundbreaking concept of gun transformation - taking decommissioned AK47 guns from active war zones and masterfully embellishing them with butterflies, dollar bills and symbolic materials. He worked with artists such as Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk, Antony Gormley and Chapman brothers, and invited them to take on this idea to create works for a charitable cause. This resulted in a critically acclaimed show which raised in excess of £430,000 in one night.
His works have been collected internationally from art collectors to acclaimed artist Chapman Brothers through to Sir Elton John and the Prince of Bahrain.