Lu Guang was born in 1961, in Zhejiang Province, China. He has been passionate about photography since he held a camera for the first time, in 1980 when he was a factory worker in his hometown in Yongkang County. Between 1993 and 1995, he took classes at the Fine Arts Academy of Tsinghua University (formerly the Central Academy of Crafts and Fine Arts) in Beijing.
His work on the Aids villages won First Prize in the Contemporary Issues category in the 2004 World Press Photo contest. His picture story on drug addicts in southern Yunnan was exhibited at Visa pour l’Image that same year. In 2005, he became the first photographer from China to be invited by the US Department of State as a visiting scholar. In 2008, Lu Guang won the Henri Nannan Prize in Photography in Germany; in 2009 he was a recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, and in 2010 he won a National Geographic Photography Grant.