Gilbertson’s early work focused on refugees around the world, an interest that in 2002, led him to Iraq. His work from that country, made largely on contract for The New York Times, earned critical acclaim from, among others, the Overseas Press Club which awarded Gilbertson the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his 2004 work in Falluja. Gilberton’s first book, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, released in 2007 to critical acclaim, went on to become a best seller.
After Iraq, Gilbertson shifted his focus to the home front where he specialized in veterans issues, working on stories that drew attention to post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and traumatic brain injuries. Gilbertson’s second book, Bedrooms Of The Fallen, a collection of photographs depicting the intact bedrooms of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, was released in 2014. That work was published in The New York Times Magazine, and received a prestigious Ellie award, regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of the magazine world.
Today, Gilbertson is widely recognized for his critical eye and his unique, experimental approaches to issues that are often well covered by other media. Gilbertson continues to focus on war related issues; refugees as well as other social issues that he is passionate about. In addition to working as an photographer, Ashley works on multi media films (which earned him a Emmy nomination in 2013), group projects with his colleagues at VII Photo, and frequently lectures at universities and museums globally. His work is included in the permanent collections of notable museums around the world.