Nikos Economopoulos was born in the Peloponnese, Greece. He studied law in Parma, Italy, and worked as a journalist. In 1988 he started photographing in Greece and Turkey, and eventually abandoned journalism in order to dedicate himself to photography. He joined Magnum in 1990, and his photographs started appearing in newspapers and magazines around the world. In the same period, he started traveling and photographing extensively around the Balkans. This won the "Mother Jones Award" (San Francisco, CA) for work in progress. Upon the completion of his Balkans project in 1994, he became a full member of Magnum. His book "In The Balkans" was published in 1995 in New York (Abrams) and Athens (Libro).
In the 1990s, he started working on borders and crossings, photographing the inhabitants of the "Green Line" in Cyprus, the irregular migrants on the Greek-Albanian borderline, and the mass migration of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo. In the mid-1990s, he started photographing the Roma and other minorities. In 2000 he completed a book project on the Aegean islands storytellers, commissioned by the University of the Aegean. A retrospective of his work titled "Economopoulos, Photographer" was published in 2002 and later exhibited at the Benaki Museum, Athens. Subsequently, he returned to Turkey to pursue his long-term personal project on the country, where he received the Abdi Ipektsi award (2001), for peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish people.
He has recently turned to the use of color. Currently, he is spending most of his time away from Greece, traveling, teaching and photographing around the world, in the context of his long-term “On The Road” project.