Colin Boyd Shafer (b. 1983) is a Canadian documentary photographer and high school social sciences teacher born in Kitchener, Ontario. He is specifically interested in migration, diversity and belonging.
In 2016, Shafer was chosen by the Governor General of Canada to photograph inspiring Order of Canada recipients. These portraits are featured in Figure1 Publishing's They Desire A Better Country (2017), a book that commemorates Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada.
Shafer's recent photography projects include INTERLOVE which tells interfaith love stories in Ontario, and Cosmopolis Toronto, a project that features someone from every country of the world who now calls Toronto home. Currently, Shafer is planning a project called Finding American, which will feature stories of migration in every state of the United States.
Shafer's work has been featured widely in the media, including National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, The New Internationalist, Salon, BBC News, 6Mois, Foto8, F-Stop Magazine as well as CTV, CBC and Global National News channels. Shafer also presented on his project Cosmopolis Toronto at TEDxToronto and to the United Nations Alliance of Civilization's Global Forum.
In 2014 Shafer won first place at the Toronto Urban Photography Festival and the 2013 Human Rights Watch Film Festival's Photography Competition in London, UK.
Shafer holds an MSc in Political Economy of Violence Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies. While teaching at Taylor’s College in Malaysia from 2008 to 2012, Shafer founded the TEDx- featured ongoing Everyone has Hope Project wherein Malaysian college students teach photography to Burmese refugee youth.
Shafer is currently teaching Social Sciences in Bulgaria at the American College of Sofia, working on a number of photography projects and is open to new assignments.