Award-Winning Career

DM Barlow spent 30 years in advertising, winning 25 international awards as copywriter and executive creative director. He has worked for Ogilvy & Mather, DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson and Doremus.

In addition, DM Barlow has written and photographed numerous magazine features. He has been a stock photographer and travel blogger for international clients, including Cathay Pacific Airways.  

Writer, Artist, Photographer

In 2010, DM Barlow left advertising  to become a stock photographer and freelance writer, based in Shanghai.  He photographed the fast disappearing shikumen lanes of Shanghai, documenting life there before, during and after demolition. He mounted his images in ancient wooden window frames rescued from the fallen lanes and made his art at the top of a condemned 1920s mansion where he lived with the demolition crews from Sichuan. 

A 2015 exhibition in Shanghai featuring DM Barlow's art.

DM Barlow (2017)

DM Barlow's framed photographs on the roof of his workshop in Shanghai.

"My little workshop was a magical place. There was no electricity, no running water, but I worked on my pictures there day and night - often by candlelight. I was in the zone, and I loved it." - DM Barlow

DM Barlow's workshop at the top of a derelict 1923 mansion in Shanghai.

Exhibitions and Beyond

DM Barlow's unique, framed pictures took pride of place in the main lobby of Radisson Blu, Pudong, where they remained on display for over a year. DM Barlow moved away from stock and magazine work in 2015. He sees photography as the emerging  art form of the 21st Century. 

A double-page spread on DM Barlow and his work in Chinese magazine, FLASH ON.

DM Barlow has twice won the RTHK/SCMP Short Story Competition.

Photo Impressionism 

In 2018, DM Barlow started work on a new photographic technique which he calls Photo Impressionism. "It's a complex, time-consuming and often frustrating technique," he explains, "I don't use Photoshop or any editing software."

DM Barlow taking pictures of shikumen remains in Shanghai. Photographed by Laura Zhou (2012)