Sam Phelps is an Australian photographer based in Pakistan. Passionate about documenting contemporary world events that society wouldn’t otherwise witness, his work is driven by a desire to move people and challenge their concepts of different cultures through intimate portraiture and commitment to story telling.
He grew up in Canberra, ACT and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Digital Media at the College of Fine Arts, Sydney in 2003. After university he spent time working in a nickel plating workshop in Oslo and in 2004 lived in Jakarta, Indonesia editing commercials for local television. Sam’s interest in photojournalism was sparked during this period. Whilst commuting through this vast city everyday, he struck up frequent and fascinating conversations on buses, taxis, motorbikes and on the street with Indonesian locals.
Upon returning to Australia he worked as an Assistant Photographer on fashion shoots before embarking on his first dedicated endevour into the world of documentary photography in mid 2007. This journey took him overland from Mumbai to Paris with the goal of telling engaging, newsworthy stories about a diverse mix of cultures and individuals. A reportage on the Mumbai Fire Brigade resulted in a 2008 exhibition at the Indian National Centre of Photography. After crossing the Khyber Pass to Kabul he subsequently became embedded with one of the US Coalition forces that was responsible for provincial reconstruction. His most recent story documents Qat production and consumption in Yemen. He has published with international magazines including Liberation and Der Spiegel.
Sam recently completed an internship with VII Photo agency Paris and is currently based in Pakistan.