Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before taking up photography, concentrating on issues of social justice. He set up the Drik and Majority World agencies, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and the Chobi Mela festival.
Honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and visiting professor at Sunderland University, Alam has chaired the World Press Photo jury among other honors. Alam is also a new media pioneer and introduced email to Bangladesh. His book My Journey as a Witness has been described as “the most important book ever written by a photographer” by John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine.