Isadora Kosofsky (b. 1993, USA) is a documentary photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She began photographing at the age of 14, documenting individuals in hospice care. At the age of 16, she worked on a photo reportage in a Romanian youth prison, becoming the youngest journalist to ever work in a penal setting. She takes an immersive approach to photojournalism, spending months and years imbedded in the lives of of the people she shadows. For her, the relationships formed with the subjects are tantamount to the image-making. Her area of focus is American social issues, looking at the intersection of personal and political conflicts. She works on a range of subject matters through the lens of one individual or group of people, looking at mental health, incarceration, substance use, disability rights, gender violences, childhood trauma, senior citizen rights, documenting from an interpersonal, humanistic stance. Her method is to become a part of the group she is shadowing, so as to study communities as an occupant rather than a visitor.
She has contributed to the NY Times, TIME, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, The Washington Post, Stern, Le Monde, M le Magazine du Monde, GEO Germany, Paris Match, The London Sunday Times, The Guardian, Slate, Internazionale, and many others. She is the recipient of the 2012 Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation for her multi-series work on the aged. She was nominated for a 2016 Lead Award (German Pulitzer) for her long-term documentary about a senior citizen love triangle. She was a participant in the 2014 Joop Swart Masterclass of World Press Photo. Her work has received distinctions from Flash Forward Magenta Foundation, Ian Parry Foundation, Social Documentary Network, International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Women in Photography International, Prix de la Photographie Paris, The New York Photo Festival and others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and can be found in Family Photography Now (Thames and Hudson, 2016), a photographic anthology, and in Public Private Portraiture from Mossless. She had an exhibition of her work on youth facing incarceration and their families at the 2017 Visa Pour L’Image International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France. She is the recipient of a 2017 Getty Images Instagram Grant for elevating the stories of marginalized communities. Her storytelling has also been used for public policy, doubling the budget of a program to connect children with their incarcerated parent; her work has been used as evidence for the need for additional rights for women in prison through the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, a congressional bill.
In addition, she is a teacher and has lectured at the National Geographic Photography Seminar, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Ohio University School of Visual Communication, Loyola Marymount University, the National Conference on Crime and Delinquency, and has instructed high school students on topics related to the language of empathy, working intimately with subjects, and trauma studies; she is an instructor in critical visual journalism with the Connected Academy, sponsored by the World Press Photo Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Gender Studies from University of California Los Angeles. She is a recipient of a 2018 Grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting for her ongoing work on girl survivors of complex trauma. Isadora is a TED Fellow, part of a network of 450 global change makers, and gave a talk at TED 2018 in Vancouver.
Available for assignments in the US and around the world.