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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Abbie used her own experience of being an overweight teenager to connect with six young men who struggle with their weight.

There are over 150 million malnourished children in the world today.

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

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

On 7 July 2014, following weeks of growing tensions over the tit-for-tat murders of three young Israeli students and a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem and rockets being fired out of Gaza, the Israeli army launched a large scale military operation in the coastal territory dubbed ‘Operation Protective Edge’.

What would you do if the place you call home was torn apart by violence?

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

There is another side to the Land of Smiles.

The shocking, hidden lives of refused asylum seekers whose bids for sanctuary have been rejected by the British government are revealed in a new exhibition and multimedia presentation commissioned by Panos Pictures.

Tinginaput is an ordinary village in remote rural India: two rows of neat mud houses, a couple of water pumps, a mango tree where people gather to talk.

Working on assignment for an NGO in Kabul this summer, I found out what it means to work under the auspices of a security-conscious international organisation in times of conflict and unrest.

The Afghan Women’s Boxing Club – the only such organisation in the country – boasts 20 members, mostly girls in their late teens, who share a passion for a sport that even in less conservative countries might be deemed inappropriate for young women.

What do Adele, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua and the late Amy Winehouse have in common other than their talent and extraordinary success over the past years?

Charities try to help people in less affluent parts of the world with a variety of donations, from food and monetary payments to sending their staff to care for people without access to medical services.

Like much of the Sahel, Chad’s Guera region is experiencing another bout of an all too familiar phenomenon: severe drought, food shortages, hunger and chronic malnutrition.

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.

The Rev George Buannie is a powerfully built man, with a voice to match.