Alison Wright

Alison Wright, a New York based 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. She has traveled to 150 countries.


Alison is a contributor to numerous outlets, including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Creative, Outside, Islands, CNN, The Travel Channel, Discovery, Smithsonian, The New York Times, UNICEF and The Children’s Defense Fund. She is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography for her work on child labor in Asia, a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, an Explorers Club Fellow and Premier Traveler magazine named her "The 2014 Most Compelling Woman in the Travel Industry."

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


Alison completed her Photojournalism Degree at Syracuse University and with a Master’s Degree in 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 National Geographic travel photography seminars across the country.


Wright has photographed/authored ten 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, three books for National Geographic on "London," "Great Britain" and "China," "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit," portraying 200 luminous and inspiring global portraits of individuals from the plateau of Tibet to the continent of Africa. Her newest book, "Human Tribe," due out in the fall of 2018 celebrates 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 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 humanitarian aid 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 was based in Nepal for four years documenting the Convention for the Rights of the Child for UNICEF and worked on a year long project photographing children in poverty in America for the Children’s Defense Fund. 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.



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


National Geographic Live: Poverty on the Homefront


National Geographic Live: My Friend, the Dalai Lama


Sorrow in the Land of Smiles: Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand

Social Documentary Network:


Travel Tips from the Master of Disaster, Premier Traveler magazine


National Geographic Proof: