Robert Yager

Robert Yager is a British born freelance photographer based in Los Angeles. Studying photography in the US, Yager decided to start documenting Los Angeles street gangs in 1991. From there, Yager has been a contributing photographer to a host of magazines.


Robert Yager grew up in London, England and is a Los Angeles-based photographer. With an interest in anthropology, particularly street and counter-culture and having studied Latin American Studies in the UK and Mexico, as well as photography in the US, Yager decided to delve into the world of Latino street gangs in Los Angeles. It was 1991 and he has been documenting the lives of gang members ever since.

For two decades Yager has been a contributing photographer, doing covers and features, of portraits and reportage, for a host of magazines. Among them: The New York Times Magazine, The Observer (UK), The Independent, The Telegraph, The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Times, Fortune, The Fader, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Newsweek and TIME.

Among the accolades he has received, Yager was awarded a fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Yager published a book of photographs with great Circle Books, titled 'a.k.a. BooBoo', which covers a 14-year time span in the life of Cindy Martinez, a female gang member. An exhibition of this work led to becoming David Lee Roth's personal photographer, documenting his return to touring the USA & Canada in Van Halen, during 2007, 2008, and again in 2012.

Awards and achievements

  • 2012 – Finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography
  • 2008 – PDN Music Photography Award: 2nd place – David Lee Roth & Eddie Van Halen
  • 2008 – International Photography Award: 3rd place- People/Lifestyle – David Lee Roth
  • 2005 – International Photography Awards: 1st place – Editorial/Photo Essay – Playboys Gang Life
  • 2004 – AOP Zeitgeist Award for editorial photography
  • 1998 – 'Award of Excellence' Communication Arts
  • 1996 – ‘Individual Photographer’s Fellowship’, Aaron Siskind Foundation, School of Visual Arts, NY.
  • 1994/95 – 'Southern California Journalism Award', Los Angeles Press Club -'Best Photo Essay' in a weekly newspaper.
  • 1994 – Finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography


  • 2012: Mariposa Nocturnal – Smoking Mirrors, Pomona, CA. August–September
  • 2011: Land of the Lost Angels – Canal Club, Venice, CA. April
  • 2011: Valley of the Dolls – L.A. Design Center, Los Angeles, CA. February
  • 2010: Tonanzin – Smoking Mirrors, Pomona, CA. December
  • 2010: Callajeros – Smoking Mirrors, Pomona, CA. February
  • 2009: Document" – Paul Bright Gallery, Toronto, Canada. May
  • 2007: a.k.a BooBoo – A&I Photo Lab, Los Angeles, CA. June–August Solo Show
  • 2006: Gang Life – Jennie Ricketts Gallery, Brighton, England. September Solo Show
  • 2006: Vice Show – Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY. July
  • 2005: Create:Fixate (Deluxe) – HD Buttercup, Los Angeles, CA. May
  • 2005: Park Your Art (curated by Ethan Cohen) – Art LA, Santa Monica, CA, January
  • 2004: Create:Fixate (The Photography Show) – Spring Arts Tower, Los Angeles, CA. July
  • 1999: Remembrance: The Eternal Present- Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX. March–May
  • 1997: Visa Pour L’Image festival of photojournalism – Perpignan, France. September
  • 1997: The Cross in a Contemporary World – Sag Harbor Picture Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY. March–May
  • 1996–1997: Wedding Days: Images of Matrimony in Photography – Japan. May–March
  • 1995: P.L.A.N. (Photography in Los Angeles Now) – Unity Arts Center and Spring Street Galleries, Los Angeles, CA. July–September
  • 1995: Pulp Fact – The Photographers’ Gallery, London, England. May–June
  • 1995: Artists For Chiapas – Julie Rico Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. May
  • 1994: Current Works – Leedy Voulkos Art Center Gallery, Kansas City, KS. September–October
  • 1993: Wings of Change -The Directors’ Guild of America, Los Angeles, CA. November–December


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