World-Renowned, Award-Winning Photographer and Founder, The People's Portfolio
Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Leadership
A gifted communicator and storyteller, portrait photographer Platon shares his experience photographing an eclectic mix of world leaders, celebrities, our men and women in the military, members of the civil rights movement and human rights champions. He takes his audience on a roller coaster of emotions—from laughter to tears—with the most poignant and mesmerizing stories behind the photos. He answers the question, “Who is this person?” His presentation includes highlights from his book, "Power", chronicling over 100 Heads of State including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe and Silvio Berlusconi. He also shares the stories from his photo essays on the U.S. military, civil rights movement, his work with Human Rights Watch which includes the leaders of the Egyptian revolution, his photo for TIME of Aung San Suu Kyi and, most recently, photographing Edward Snowden in Moscow for his exclusive interview with Wired magazine. His presentation promises to leave your audience wanting more from this master of his craft.
After working for British Vogue for several years, Platon was invited to New York City to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, George.
Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, The New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and The Sunday Times magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with TIME magazine, producing over 20 covers for them. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for TIME magazine's “Person of the Year” cover. This image was awarded 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest.
In 2008, he signed a multi-year contract with The New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced several large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon's New Yorker portfolios have focused on themes including the U.S Military, portraits of world leaders and the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2009, Platon teamed up with Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of TIME—days after her release from house arrest. In 2011, Platon was honored with a Peabody Award for collaboration on the topic of Russia's Civil Society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch.
Platon has published four book of his work: Platon’s Republic (Phaidon Press, 2004), a retrospective of his early work; Power (Chronicle, 2011), 100 portraits of the world’s most powerful leaders; China: Through the Looking Glass (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015), in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Service (Prestel, 2016), dedicated to the men and women in the United States Military, their physical and psychological wounds, their extraordinary valor, and the fierce emotions that surround those who serve.
Platon is a communicator and storyteller. He has been invited to be a keynote speaker on leadership at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chanel, Nike, Yale University, Oxford University, Wharton University, the National Portrait Gallery in London and International Center of Photography in New York. He has also appeared on a range of television media including Charlie Rose (PBS), Morning Joe (MSNBC), Fareed Zakaria's GPS (CNN) and the BBC World News.
Platon's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. He has exhibited in New York at the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as internationally at the Colette Gallery in Paris, France. The New York Historical Society has exhibited a solo show of Platon's Civil Rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum's permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon's photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida and The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria and the Scotland National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
In 2013, Platon founded a non-profit foundation named The People's Portfolio. The foundation aspires to create a visual language that breaks barriers, expands dignity, fights discrimination, and enlists the public to support human rights around the world. He serves as the Creative Director at Large for the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia.