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Alison Wright, a New York based social documentary photographer, has spent a career capturing the universal human spirit through her photographs and writing. For many of her editorial and commercial projects, Alison travels to all regions of the globe photographing endangered cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition.

Wright has been named a 2013 National Geographic Traveler of the Year as someone who travels with a sense of passion and purpose.

Wright is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography and a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. Wright was recently awarded “The 2014 Most Compelling Woman in the Travel Industry” by Premier Traveler magazine. She is an Explorers Club fellow and longtime member of the Association of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Association (NPPA), American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

Wright’s photography is represented by the National Geographic Image Collection and has been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Islands, Smithsonian Magazine, American Photo, Natural History, Time, Forbes, The Oprah Magazine and The New York Times. For four years she covered the world as a photojournalist correspondent for the Travel Channel Photo Journeys website. She has traveled to 150 countries.

Alison completed her Photojournalism Degree at Syracuse University and graduated with a master’s degree focused on visual anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, based on her years of living and working among the Himalayan cultures of Asia. She has since been leading National Geographic’s Photo Expeditions as a South East Asia expert as well as teaching many of NG’s travel photography seminars across the country.

Wright has photographed/authored nine books including “The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk,” based on her two-decade friendship with the Dalai Lama, “The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile,” “Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World,” documenting the lives of children in developing countries, and three books for National Geographic on “London,” “Great Britain” and “China.” In her latest book, “Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit,” Alison has created over 200 luminous and inspiring global portraits of individuals from the plateau of Tibet to the continent of Africa, celebrating the visual tapestry of humanity in all its diversity and splendor.

On January 2, 2000 Alison’s life was nearly cut short during a devastating bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Wright’s recent memoir, “Learning to Breathe; One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival,” chronicles this inspirational story of survival and years of rehabilitation, and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid photojournalist. The book details her ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as her circumambulation of Mt. Kailash in Tibet.

As an eminent inspirational public speaker, Alison is affiliated with the National Geographic Speakers Bureau as well as Speaking Matters, and has presented her captivating stories and digital photo presentation, along with exhibiting her work, to numerous schools as well as the American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Newark Museum, Sony Corporation, The Explorers Club, Chautauqua Institution, American Society of Media Photographers, the George Eastman Kodak House, B & H Camera, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles and was a featured speaker in the National Geographic’s Live Masters of Photography Series.

Wright has photographed for a multitude of non-governmental and humanitarian organizations with much of her work focused on post-conflict, disaster relief and human rights issues especially in the realm of women and children. Wright spent a year photographing children in poverty in America for the Children’s Defense Fund and was based in Nepal for four years documenting the Convention for the Rights of the Child for UNICEF. Other clients include BRAC, Women for Women, Nest, Peter C. Alderman Foundation, CARE, ILO, Save the Children, US AID, SEVA, Direct Relief International, The Children’s Defense Fund, the Global Fund for Children and the Global Fund for Women.

This experience and her work in post disaster/conflict areas inspired Alison to give back to the communities that she photographs by connecting photography and philanthropy by starting her own non-profit, Faces of Hope ( a fund that globally helps support women and children in crisis through education and healthcare.

twitter: @awrightphoto

instagram: alisonwrightphoto

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National Geographic, “Face to Face: Portraits”


National Geographic Proof


National Press Photographers Association.


CNN Travel:


National Geographic Live: Portraits of the Human Spirit


National Geographic Live: Wild Tales with Mongolian Nomads