One of the most widely published photographers worldwide, Michael Freeman has worked for most major international magazine and book publishers in a long career. An MA in Geography at Oxford, which included Anthropology, set the course of his reportage work, much of which has focused on Asia, including extended studies of cultures such as the Akha and Pathan, while a few years in advertising straight after university inspired a very different specialisation in studio still-life.
A leading photographer for the Smithsonian Magazine for three decades (more than 40 assignment stories), Freeman has also published 147 books on subjects as varied as Angkor, Sudan, ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia, the Shakers, and contemporary Japanese design and architecture. His 67 books on the practice of photography are standard works, and have sold over 3 million copies in more than 20 languages (4 million for all his books). London-based, Freeman travels for half of each year on shooting assignments, principally in Asia.
His latest large-format reportage book is The Life of Tea, the result of a three-year exploration of the world of fine tea, covering the top artisanal growers on tea mountains in China, Japan, Sri Lanka and India, the Buddhist monasteries associated with tea, and the connoisseurs and tea ware craftsmen.