Impact Now for Humanitarian Relief

I am honored to launch a new Vital Impacts flash print sale with the photographers of National Geographic. 100% of profits will be donated to Direct Relief who are allocating these funds to the regions in the world in most need of humanitarian aid. They are working in Ukraine now to provide medical aid to people affected by the war. Act now.

This is a way to support humanitarian efforts and have a unique opportunity to purchase some of the most memorable fine art prints from the world’s leading photographers. 

These iconic fine-art photographs are printed to museum quality standards. Hurry before this sale ends on April 20, 2022. Please share this and help amplify it to make a difference. 

See all the images and get involved today at Vital Impacts.

Exceptional Alien: ‘Kenya reminds us of all the wonder and magic of this world.’

World-respected, Montana-based photographer Ami Vitale has captured extraordinary scenes in more than 100 countries. Yet there’s one place that remains at the top of her list when it comes to creative inspiration: Northern Kenya.

Since her first visit to the region in 2009, the Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic photographer has returned regularly to immerse herself in the stories of heartbreak, but more importantly, in the stories of hope. It’s through this hope-filled lens that Ami then shares her compelling imagery of Northern Kenya. Now, with a strong connection to the community and the many conservation organizations there, Ami finds herself returning time and again. We chat to Ami about her lens on the world, her favorite spots to marvel at all living things and her top Travel Gems to explore in Northern Kenya.

Read the full article in Exceptional Alien here.

National Geographic: These photos were among the favorites of our 200 million Instagram followers

My photograph of keeper Joseph Wachira comforting Sudan, the last living male northern white rhino, as he laid dying at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in March 2018 was among the works that most resonated with National Geographic’s 200 million Instagram followers.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their account, National Geographic is looking back at some of the photographs that have been the most impactful over that time.

National Geographic has posted more than 26,000 stunning images by more than a hundred photographers. They’ve gotten nearly 82 billion impressions, eight billion likes, and more than 43 million comments since they first started recording audience data in 2016.

The images capture the beauty and wonder of the world we live in and the creatures that inhabit it. Amongst all those, Sudan stood out. To watch the last of something die is something I hope never to experience again but Sudan was surrounded by love, together with the people who committed their lives to protecting him. If there is any meaning in his death, it was my hope that Sudan could be our final wake up call. In a world of 7 billion, we need to start recognizing that we are not separate from nature. When we see ourselves as part of the landscape and part of nature, then saving nature is really about saving ourselves.

It fills me with hope that so many have made this moment a rallying point, and showed their determination to use this as a wake up call of our shared humanity and planet. 

See the article here.

“Shaba” Honors & Film Festivals: Jackson Wild and more

I am proud to say that Shaba my film about the first matriarch of the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary has been selected as a finalist in THREE categories – Conservation Short Form, People & Nature Short Form and Our Human Planet Short Form – at the Jackson Wild Media Awards. Widely considered the most prestigious honor in natural history media, the Jackson Wild Media Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in science and nature storytelling. These are the Oscars of nature filmmaking. The film will be screening at the festival and winners will be announced Sept. 30. 

Jackson Wild is a catalyst for accelerating and elevating impactful storytelling at the nexus of nature, science and conservation. Through innovative and collaborative community gatherings, skill-building initiatives and mentorship programs, Jackson Wild creates an inclusive forum for storytellers to more deeply illuminate connections to the natural world and our collective responsibility to the wild.

The Jackson Wild Summit will be held September 27 – October 1, 2021. Passes are available here.

It has also been selected as an Award Finalist in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, held in New York, where it will be screened on October 20. And the short film will be featured in the upcoming Innsbruck Nature Film Festival in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria from October 19 – 22, and at Docutah November 1 – 6 at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah.

Earlier in the year, Shaba won the LA Independent Women Film Awards and was an official selection of the EarthXFilm Festival, Walla Walla Movie Crush, the Toronto International Women Film Festival, the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Doclands Film Festival.

Watch my website for festival information and more updates.

Ami Vitale on CBS Sunday Morning

Ami was honored to have recently been featured on the program CBS Sunday Morning in the segment, “Travel photographers on capturing images close to home.

During the pandemic, photographers who are used to working in exotic locations have been focusing on more local subject matter, opening up new avenues of creativity. Correspondent Rita Braver talks with Ami Vitale, whose work frequently appears in National Geographic magazine, and lifestyle photographer Gray Malin, about how the lockdown forced them both to reach a new understanding of their work – and their purpose.

Some of the work included in the broadcast included Cows in the Mist, Kamera and Kilifi Under the Umbrella, Lekupania and Giraffe, Yeye in the MistWellGujarat Montana Mane and Mountains, and The Last Goodbye.

Art for Conservation

I am excited to share this collaboration with the extraordinary artist Mantra, my wonderful friends at both Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, Sarara Camp and National Geographic, who conspired to make this wild dream into a reality! For many years, I have been using photography and filmmaking to tell the powerful stories of this community in northern Kenya. I wanted to use other mediums and think about ways to inspire creativity and pride around protecting our planet and the creatures we coexist with.

Reteti is the home of the first indigenous owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa. Rock Paintings are the oldest form of storytelling. The Samburu elders living here guided us to a place that holds powerful symbolism. THIS ROCK was once used by elephant poachers as a place to hide but now, it is a place for community members, elders and visitors to gather. Mantra is the extraordinary artist who brought my two dimensional photo of a wild elephant from Namunyak to life using water based paints. My concept was to create something from nature that was meaningful and ephemeral. The painting will not last forever, but the memory of what has been created in this community will always live on.

Mantra is a self taught painter who has been painting in the streets since 2008. I was honored that he agreed to bring his genius talent and come to Namunyak for this wild idea. The team at Sarara Camp rallied together with friends at Reteti to build scaffolding and Mantra painted this photo free style in one day. Miracles can happen and we can all do more to make sure our children experience the beauty and wonder of this world.

I am working on another project and looking for financial support. Please email me at ami@amivitale.com if you are interested in helping me with more initiatives to bring together stories, art and conservation. I believe these stories and art shape us and can change the way we see each other. I invite you to be a part of it.

Lavazza 2021 Calendar: The New Humanity

I am incredibly honored to be partnered again for the Lavazza 2021 Calendar which has just launched! The theme this year is called ‘The New Humanity’ which asks us to work for a better world that is sustainable and just for all of us. Each photo had a meaning and a message. My message was that the environment has always been, and will always be, a social justice issue. We are all connected to one another and the outcome to every single story of humanity is always dependent on nature. The project aims to spread hope, bringing it where it is most needed.

My work was featured alongside these legendary photographers: Simone Bramante, Martha Cooper, Charlie Davoli, Carolyn Drake, Joey L., David LaChapelle, Christy Lee Rogers, Steve McCurry, Eugenio Recuenco, Denis Rouvre and Martin Schoeller.

Explore this powerful photography and the messages behind each image now at calendar.lavazza.com

Nikon Donates New Z 50 and Lenses to Joseph Wachira at NYWild Film Festival

I was honored to introduce the moving documentary film Kifaru directed by David Hambridge about the last male northern white rhino, “Sudan” at the 7th Annual New York Wild Film Festival opening night. Joseph “JoJo” Wachira flew in from Ol Pejeta in Kenya for the festival where Nikon surprised him with a new Nikon Z 50 and two DX lenses, the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR presented by Steve Heiner, so he can continue to tell this important story!

I am so grateful to Nikon for this empowering gift. I also wish to extend a huge thank you to Kenya for donating his ticket and to all of you who came out for this powerful evening.
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Currently, I am running a print drive to benefit the rhino keepers who selflessly have committed their lives to these creatures. You can own a signed photo of the moving final moment with JoJo and Sudan while also helping them personally. Details are available at amivitale.com/product/sudan. 100% of the profits will go directly to all the keepers.

Behind the Scenes at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

I am excited to release a new, behind the scenes film on my work in Kenya with Reteti Elephant Sanctuary for World Elephant Day. I hope it gives a glimpse into the powerful story of a community coming together to protect and save these magnificent creatures. I am grateful to Katy at Sprout Films for her sensitivity and commitment and Nikon for their endless support. Hurry, there is just one day left to buy a print or enter and win a Nikon D5600 camera and 2 lenses, Think Tank Photo camera bag and a print of one of the adorable elephants at at Reteti at amivitale.com/elephants

Film by Ami Vitale & Sprout Films with Dane Henry, Brett Lowell and Novus Select

Watch the companion film, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary: Community United for Elephants, here.


TEDxBergamo: Falling in Love With a Unicorn

On Mar. 16, 2019 Ami delivered the talk “Falling in Love With a Unicorn” to a sold out crowd at TEDxBergamo. In it, she discusses the foundations of her work and how falling in love with a rhino named Sudan changed the course of her life and the lives of many others. Watch the whole inspiring talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00bunXTIKJw