Peter Marlow (born 1952, Kenilworth, England) is a British news photographer and member of Magnum Photos.
Marlow studied psychology at Manchester University, graduating in 1974. He then started his career as an international photojournalist, working on an Italian cruise liner in the Caribbean in 1975 before joining the Sygma news agency in Paris in 1976. In the late 1970s he worked in Northern Ireland and Lebanon, but soon found that the competition of photojournalism did not suit him. He returned home to Britain, and worked in Liverpool on an 8-year project. He became associated with Magnum photos in 1981 and became a full member in 1986.
In 1991 he received an assignment from the Somme department in France to photograph Amiens for which he turned to a medium-format, square-frame camera. Later he began to work abroad again, traveling to Japan, the United States, and other parts of Europe. His photography now is primarily in color. Though well known for his depictions of places, Marlow has also documented politics with a collaboration with Tony Blair.
Although gifted in the language of photojournalism, Peter Marlow is not a photojournalist. He was initially, however, one of the most enterprising and successful young British news photographers, and in 1976 joined the Sygma agency in Paris. He soon found that he lacked the necessary appetite for the job while on assignment in Lebanon and Northern Ireland during the late 1970s; he discovered that the stereotype of the concerned photojournalist disguised the disheartening reality of dog-eat-dog competition between photographers hunting fame at all costs.
Since those days, Marlow's aesthetic has shifted - in that he makes mainly color photographs - but his approach is unchanged. The color of incidental things became central to his pictures in the same way that the shape and mark of things had been central to his black-and-white work.
Marlow has come full circle. He started his career as an international photojournalist, returned to Britain to examine his own experience, and discovered a new visual poetry that enabled him to understand his homeland. Having found this poetry, he has taken it back on the road: he now photographs as much in Japan, the USA and elsewhere in Europe as he does in the UK.