Damir Sagolj was born in 1971 in Sarajevo, in what is now Bosnia. After school, he began studying architecture, but after a year moved with his family to Moscow, where his father worked as the correspondent for the main Bosnian newspaper Oslobodjenje.
In Moscow, he continued his studies at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, but in 1990 moved back to study engineering in Sarajevo. During the 1992-95 war in the Balkans, Sagolj served with the Bosnian army, and began taking pictures. In 1995, he started working with Paris-based Sipa press agency, and offering pictures to Reuters—eventually becoming Reuters’ chief photographer in Bosnia, in 1997.
As the situation in the Balkans quietened, Sagolj started traveling to the Middle East, mainly to Iran, Lebanon and Israel, and after 9/11 to Afghanistan and Iraq. A photo from his coverage of coalition troops in Iraq was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Beside covering conflict in the Balkans, Middle East and Asia, Sagolj shot other assignments for Reuters, including the Olympics, the soccer World Cup, and various European and Asian sports championships. Most recently he has covered floods in Pakistan and Thailand, the tsunami in Japan, as well as the hunger crisis in North Korea, and the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He is currently based in Bangkok as Reuters chief photographer for Thailand and Indochina.
Sagolj’s photos have been published in such leading magazines and newspapers as Time, Newsweek, Spiegel, Stern, The New York Times, Life, The Washington Post, and Le Monde. He is the recipient of several international awards for photojournalism, and has had numerous exhibitions, including a solo show at Visa pour l’Image, in Perpignan.