Shanghai resident photographer Fritz Hoffmann moved to China's commercial hub in 1995 to chronicle the country's rapidly growing economy and changing society. He was the first resident foreign photojournalist since 1949 to be granted Chinese accreditation to reside outside Beijing, the political capital.
Hoffmann has covered Asia on assignment for news, business, and feature publications worldwide. His photography has been widely published and exhibited. He opened the Shanghai bureau of Network Photographers in 1997 as a photo-correspondent. In 2002 he partnered with Greg Girard to launch the online picture library documentCHINA.com as a way to distribute pictures in the digital age.
Prior to his move to China, Hoffmann established his place as a respected international photojournalist while working with JB Pictures in New York. He moved his base of operations to Nashville, Tennessee, just before U.S. President Bill Clinton's first term increased interest in the U.S. South. He traveled throughout the region, where he covered breaking news, business, social issues, and culture. He was the first photographer to report at depth on the Gulf War Syndrome, and he took a special interest in documenting mental health and the homeless.
Hoffmann studied photography while slinging king crab on a processing barge in Alaska's Bering Sea in the 1970s and working as a jack-of-all-trades in the early '80s. He learned journalism on the job as a staff photographer at newspapers in Washington, West Virginia, and Tennessee.