Ami Vitale Named Luminar Neo Ambassador

I am honored to announce that I am a Luminar Neo’s Global Ambassador. Skylum, the company behind Luminar Neo, is an extraordinary team, and they have created a tool that helps me streamline my workflow when I am on a deadline.

As a documentary photographer, I believe the power of a photograph lies in its authenticity and the genuine reflection of reality. I have very strict parameters in post-processing to only do the bare minimal adjustments that do not alter what I saw while creating images.

For all of us who work in this genre, we do not enhance or alter our images for the sake of aesthetics. To me, the power of photography is in the meaning of each image. It’s not only about making beautiful photos but rather telling a powerful story. 

The Lucies to Honor Ami Vitale

The Lucie Awards is the premiere annual event honoring the greatest achievements in photography. The photography community from around the globe pays tribute to the most outstanding people in the field. Each year, the Lucie Advisory Board nominates deserving individuals across a variety of categories. The goals of The Lucies are threefold: to honor master photographers, to discover and cultivate emerging photographic talent and to promote the appreciation of photography worldwide. Ami Vitale will be honored with the 2022 Humanitarian Award.

The Lucies will be held at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 25, 2022. Tickets are available at lucies.org.

Ami Vitale to Receive Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service

The Missouri School of Journalism has announced the 2022 recipients of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service, a prestigious award recognizing lifetime or superior achievement in journalism or strategic communication. Two individuals and a nonprofit media organization will accept their medals at an evening reception and banquet on Wednesday, Oct. 19, beginning at 6 p.m. at The Atrium on Tenth, 22 N. Tenth St., in Columbia, Mo.

This year, Ami Vitale will be honored alongside Jeff Goodby, Co-founder and co-chair of advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GSP) and The Marshall Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to criminal justice journalism.

Medalists are selected by the faculty of the School, which has awarded the Missouri Honor Medal annually since 1930 to outstanding journalists, advertising and public relations practitioners, business people, institutions, and media organizations from around the world. Past winners have included Christiane Amanpour, Sir Winston Churchill, Gloria Steinem, Deborah Howell, David Granger and Gordon Parks.

Earlier on the day of the reception, the medalists will present masterclasses on their areas of expertise to the School’s students and other guests.

Learn more and make plans to attend the ceremony here.

Hat’s Off to You All!

My heart is exploding with love and gratitude to all of you who made the Vital Impacts fundraiser for humanitarian aid a huge success. Thanks to the outpouring of support, the print initiative sold over $800,000 of iconic, fine art prints by some of the world’s most fascinating photographers. 

I am grateful for the generosity of my colleagues and friends who donated their work and to everyone who purchased and shared the campaign. 100% of profits from these sales will go to Direct Relief who are working to improve the health of the most vulnerable people around the world. 

Visit vitalimpacts.org and follow us on Instagram at @vital.impacts to learn more, including how to get involved.

Thank you to all the media who featured this campaign around the world, including CBS Evening NewsThe Washington PostThe GuardianThe Financial TimesGEOSternAfarForbesMy Modern MetVogueMongabayPop PhotoNBC MontanaTreehuggerUpworthyand more.

I also want to thank Canson Infinity for generously donating their paper and Paper & Ink Studio and The Print Space for their meticulous work printing the images.

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.