Wire photographers are at the forefront of the news, and while their names may often remain unknown, their images appear on the front pages of newspapers and magazines around the world. For the last six years, TIME has turned the spotlight on the best of these photographers. This year, it was AFP’s Angelos Tzortzinis who clinched the 2015 Wire Photographer of the Year title “for his heartfelt work documenting his country’s response to two unprecedented crises” – the refugee crisis in Greece, as well as the country’s economic crisis.
The young Greek photographer began his career as an independent photographer and joined AFP as a stringer in 2007, while also working as a freelancer in Middle East, Ukraine and Turkey. He also worked for the New York Times and his pictures have appeared on Time, Newsweek and other publications.
For the last six years, Tzortzinis has focused on the various crises facing Greece, from violence in the streets to the mass arrival of migrants. He admits that his closeness to the story can hinder the news-gathering process, but he strives to find the truth as to what is happening. His images of the economic crisis have been powerful reminders of the true impact on people’s lives of political decisions made in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.
Currently, Tzortzinis is covering the migrant and refugee crisis in Greece, traveling across the Greek land and sea borders but also documenting migrants’ lives in Athens and their efforts to leave a country undergoing a severe economic crisis. “My goal is not to be one more witness to this situation. I try to keep as much distance as possible and show things people might not usually see. I want to make images that pose questions about the future of these people”.