Abbie Trayler-Smith

London, United Kindgom


Welsh, 1977

Born in Wales and based between London and Devon, Abbie is a self-taught documentary and portrait photographer. Her work draws primarily on an emotional response and engagement with her subjects. She embraces the personal and private aspects of people’s lives and is driven by a desire to get under the skin and straight to the heart of the issues that they strive to deal with.

Abbie spent eight years as a photographer with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, covering world events such as the Darfur conflict, the Iraq war and the Asian tsunami, before deciding to go freelance in 2007. She went on to determine and develop the issues and subjects that held meaning for her and this proved to be the right move. She now works for a wide variety of clients including Time Magazinbe, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Tatler, Monocle, Vice, Oxfam, Save The Children, IRC, UNICEF, Sony and BBC worldwide.

Abbie joined Panos Pictures in 2008 and the following year had her first major solo show, "Still Human Still Here" looking at the lives of failed asylum seekers, at HOST Gallery in London. Her portrait of Chelsea from her childhood obesity project "The Big O" won the 4th prize in The National Portrait Gallery’s 2010 Taylor Wessing Prize. In 2014 she won a World Press Photo Award for her image of Shannon from the same project and in the same year she helped set up a Welsh Photography Collective - "A Fine Beginning" - which showcases photography created in Wales.

Other exhibitions include "Build Hope in the City" in collaboration with Concern Worldwide shown in London, Belfast and Enniskillen (2016), Ideastap Magnum Photographic Award in London (2014), Bursa Foto Fest (2013), 'On Solid Ground' Panos group project with the International Rescue Committee exhibited in London, Brussels, Zagreb, Munich, Perpignan and Vienna (2013).

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Click here for a brief overview of Abbie Trayler-Smith's work.

This series of portraits looks at a slice of life for women in Iraq in the wake of Islamic State (ISIS).

For the first time in history more than half the world’s people live in cities.

The huge number of injured was largely the result of much of the fighting and recurrent Israeli air raids being carried out in densely populated areas.

In Sierra Leone, the whole giving birth business is still widely regarded as women’s stuff.

Despite the fact that they were in the vanguard of the revolution which toppled the country’s long serving strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh in February 2012, Yemen’s women have yet to see any meaningful improvement in their daily lives.

In Chad’s Guera region, the familiar pattern of drought, hunger and malnutrition is once again exacting a heavy toll.

Oxfam’s latest campaign brings business opportunities and employment to Senegal by exporting unwanted bras to a country with a large market of keen customers.

With some of the hottest names in music, film and dance featuring on its alumni list, The BRIT School is a dazzling model of success for state funded arts education.

Not lacking in ambition and pure determination, the team has now set its sights on the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and 21-year old Shahla Sekandari, who briefly rose to fame by bringing home a bronze medal from the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam in 2009, looks like the country’s best hope for a medal in London.

A visual diary of Kabul shot on the iPhone.

There is something very modern perched on the tiles of each roof in Tinginaput, an ordinary village in remote rural India: a solar panel the size of a couple of A4 books.

All of the individuals featured in the exhibition have been refused asylum and are living in extreme poverty rather than return to their home countries, in most cases out of fear of what might await them upon their return.

In Thailand’s deep south, only 150 miles from its tourist-filled beaches, 1.

A girl stands beside the main Agra to Jaipur highway.

Although Yemen is a very conservative country, women have more rights than in any other country in the region.

Working with IRC and ECHO, seven Panos photographers asked people in seven communities affected by some of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters what ‘home’ means to them.