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.

RollingStone: The Photographers Trying to Save Our Planet

Ami Vitale was a war and conflict reporter for almost a decade before she made the switch to capturing images of our planet in peril: “I had this profound realization that all these conflicts, horrors of the world were deeply connected to nature,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Montana. “You could look at almost every single one of them and realize it was all connected to resources — everything we need comes from nature.” She began photographing endangered species, like the Northern White Rhino, hoping to get others tapped into the urgency of the problem. “I started to find stories about not just what we’re doing to the planet, but answers, too,” she says. “You can continue to talk about the horrors of the world, shock people, but what were we going to do about it?”

One thing she could do, she decided, was to get this kind of work into everyone’s home — because if people could look at a stunning image of an important subject every day, it might inspire them. So, for the past four years, Vitale has been running print sales that benefit conservation nonprofits — raising, she says, nearly $3 million over four years through fundraising and selling artwork donated by herself and her peers. “The first time I did this was because the U.S. was going to reverse the ban on the elephant tusk trade,” she says. “I was so enraged and felt so hopeless that I launched a print sale to benefit an elephant sanctuary I’d been working with.” That raised $50,000 in a couple weeks, she says.

Now, officially registered as the nonprofit Vital Impacts, Vitale and her cofounder, journalist Eileen Mignoni, have assembled an impressive group of 100 photographers — including National Geographic cover photographers, celebrated fine artists, up-and-coming talents, and one Dr. Jane Goodall — to donate images in a sale that lasts through Dec. 31. Sixty percent of profits go to conservationist groups, while 40 percent goes directly to the photographer. “Even if people don’t buy images, I hope they get inspired by the artists,” Vitale says.

HereRolling Stone has gathered selection of images and their stories to perhaps inspire others to begin to care about these species that, as Vitale says, lived here for millions of years — but couldn’t outlive us.

“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.

Shaba: A New Film by Ami Vitale

I am so excited to share my new short film, Shaba, about the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary’s first matriarch elephant and the extraordinary bonds she formed with a herd of baby orphaned elephants and the people who rescued her.

Shaba arrived traumatized after poachers shot her mother dead. This is a story about learning to trust those that we fear. She teaches us about love and our connections to all of life around us.

Ticket to view Shaba online are $10 and are available at amivitale.com/product/shaba. All ticket sales will go directly to Vital Impacts, a new non-profit supporting grassroots organizations who are protecting people, wildlife and habitats.

Shaba 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.

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.

The fundraiser benefitting Reteti Elephant Sanctuary has ended. Together we were able to raise an astonishing $250,000 which will be used to buy milk, blankets and medicines to support the baby elephants and the people who have committed their lives to protecting them. Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is the first indigenous owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa.

Thank you for caring and being a part of this journey!

Warmest regards,
Ami Vitale

Travel Tales by AFAR: Inside a Daring Giraffe Rescue in Kenya

A decade ago, a group of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes was relocated to a remote lakeside peninsula in Kenya. But in recent years, due to rising water levels, the peninsula became an island, trapping the giraffes. In 2020, a team of conservationists set up a daring rescue—one that wildlife photographer Ami Vitale traveled to document. This is her tale.

Listen here at AFAR , in Season 2, Episode 2