Jean-Pierre Laffont

Jean-Pierre Laffont Bio Headshot

Jean-Pierre Laffont is an Algeria-born French photographer who grew up in Casablanca, Morocco. He attended the School of Graphic Art in Vevey, Switzerland, where he graduated with a Master’s in Photography. Jean-Pierre was a founding member of the Gamma USA and Sygma Photo News agencies. For more than five decades, Laffont travelled the globe, covering his time’s news, people, and social and economic issues. His photos were published in the world’s leading news magazines, including Le Figaro, London Sunday Times, Newsweek, Paris Match, Stern, and Time.

Laffont was named one of the one hundred most influential people in photography. Laffont has received numerous awards from the Overseas Press Club of America’s Madeline Dane Ross Award, the World Press Photo General Picture Award, the University of Missouri’s World Understanding Award and the First Prize from the New York Newspaper Guild.

Fox Street in the Bronx, NYC, NY, Summer 1966. An abandoned Plymouth Savoy car becomes a playground for kids to play.
In 1996, Jean-Pierre was honored with the National French Order of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a Knight in the National French Order of Arts and Letters). In 2016, Jean Pierre was named International Photographer of the Year of the Pingyao Photo Festival in China. In 2020, he received The Lucie Award for Achievement in Photojournalism and The Visa D’Or Award du Figaro Magazine for Lifetime Achievement. In 2023, he was nominated as Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of the Legion of Honor for 60 years at the service of photojournalism. Laffont resides in New York with his wife Eliane.
Jean-Pierre Laffont’s lens captured the pivotal moments that shaped America across the decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s. With a keen eye, he documented the monumental events that marked this transformative era: the stark realities of the Vietnam War, the unraveling of Watergate, the historic departure of President Nixon, and the ground-shaking movements of women’s liberation. Often recognized as a unique French photographer, Laffont devoted a significant portion of his life to chronicle the profound shifts that swept through the United States.
“War is Over” Concert in Central Park, May 11, 1975 in New York City.

Beyond American borders, Jean-Pierre’s photographic journey extended to the world’s various conflicts and upheavals. His lens captured the turmoil of riot-stricken Pakistan, the war-torn landscapes of Vietnam, and the explosive aftermath of bombs in Guam. He documented the fervor of Mozambique and Angola’s fight for independence, the devastating floods in Bangladesh, and the aftermath of Nicaragua’s earthquake. His camera lens transported him to India, where he spent two years following Indira Gandhi’s story, Cuba with its iconic cigar factories, the awakening of China, the complexities of Soviet Poland, the enigmatic USSR, and the strife in Lebanon. Among his subjects, he immortalized legends like Muhammad Ali, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and several presidents during his White House tenure.



1962 / Cross for Military Valor for his humanitarian acts during the Algerian War
1979 / First Prize: New York Newspaper Guild, for “Child Labor”; Overseas Press Club: Madeline Dane Ross award, for originating the use of photography to raise awareness of child labor conditions around the world.
1980 / World Press: First Prize, General Picture category; University of Missouri, School of Journalism: First Prize, World Understanding Award
1996 / French National Order of Merit: named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
2016 / International Photographer of the Year of The Pingyao Photo Festival; China.
2020 / Visa d’or Award du Figaro Magazine for Lifetime Achievement.
2021 / Lucie Award for Achievement in Photojournalism.
2023 / Knight of the Legion of Honor



Books, Films and Exhibitions

Exhibitions (selective)

2012 / “Mon Algérie”, Projection – Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France
2014 / Photographer’s Paradise – Turbulent America 1960-1990, film – Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France
2015 / Turbulent America, Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris, France
Photographer’s Paradise – Foto Fusion: Cultural Center, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
 / Turbulent America – Photo Biennale, Central Exhibition Hall Manège, Moscow, Russia
Turbulent America, Tri Postal, Lille, France
Turbulent America, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
2017 / New York City Up and Down, Projection – Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan, France
Jean Pierre Laffont, Un Français à New York – Galerie de l’Instant, Paris, France
2017 – 2018 / Turbulent America, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City, NY, USA.
2018 / Laffont’s Long March – Beaugeste Gallery, Shanghai, China
New York Up and Down – Shenzhen Photo Festival, Shenzhen, China
Jean Pierre Laffont New York Down and Out – Leica New York City, NY, USA
2019 / Jean Pierre Laffont Turbulent America – Candiani, Mestre, Italy.
Mes Stars en Amérique – Les Grandes Rencontres Salon de La Photo, Paris, France.
2020 / Mes Stars en Amérique – Galerie De L’Instant, Paris, France.
2023 / Gangs and Protests by Jean Pierre Laffont – Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City, NY, USA.
Hip- Hop: Conscious and Unconscious – Fotografiska New York, NY, USA.