Rank #1: Annie Griffiths
Annie Griffiths is a photographer with a mission - some might say many missions.
She is a true trail blazer, refusing to be bound by convention and unafraid to push for what she believes is possible and right. Annie was one of the first female staff photographers with National Geographic, and managed to balance the demands of assignments that would span two or three months with motherhood, bravely taking her two children, Lilly and Charlie, with her to the remote corners of the earth. Their presence opened doors for Annie in cultures in which other mothers welcomed her, and demonstrated that women did not need to relinquish their chance at a successful career to become mothers.
Annie has photographed in over 150 countries and has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the human condition. But where others may see only problems and challenges Annie sees opportunity. Angry at the role the media was playing in portraying disenfranchised women and girls around the world as vulnerable and weak, Annie decided to tell a different story, and founded Ripple Effect Images to cover under-reported issues that impact women and girls. She assembled a team of some of the best photographers to help her, and Ripple Effect is going from strength to strength in helping to scale solutions for women and girls globally.
Annie's exuberant personality and positive outlook shine through in her vibrant images and stories that paint women and girls around the world as strong, resilient and bursting with hope.
Sep 20 2016
Rank #2: Amy Toensing
Amy Toensing, an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people.
Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her fifteenth feature story for them. She has covered cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. For 4 years she documented Aboriginal Australia which was published in the June, 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine.
Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, including an exhibit at the 2012 Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos. Toensing began her professional career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her hometown paper, The Valley News, in New Hampshire. She then worked for The New York Times, Washington D.C. bureau covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. In 1998, Toensing left D.C. to receive her Master’s Degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University.
In addition to her photojournalism work, Toensing is committed to teaching photography to kids and young adults in underserved communities. This includes working with the non-profit organization VisionWorkshops on numerous projects including teaching photography to Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine, Burmese refugees in Baltimore, young Pakistanis in Islamabad and children and adults in South Sudan and Jordan.
Toensing lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband Matt Moyer, who is also a photojournalist.
Nov 02 2016
Rank #3: Bertie Gregory
"Your knowledge of wildlife, your ability to get close to it, is so much more important than any technical ability, so if you don't have access to an amazing camera, that's not a problem. Focus on getting really good at sneaking up on animals because that's what's going to help you."
Bertie Gregory is a 23-year-old wildlife filmmaker, photographer and presenter. In July 2014, he graduated in Zoology with First Class Honours from the University of Bristol and the next day boarded a plane to begin assisting Steve Winter in South Africa on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. Following this baptism of fire, the project evolved into a television program documenting Steve as he attempted to photograph the urban leopards of Mumbai and the jungle leopards of Sri Lanka. The one-hour special premiered in the US on Nat Geo WILD in January 2016.
Bertie was named the Scientific Exploration Society Zenith Explorer 2015. His quest to track down and film the illusive coastal wolf on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, evolved into his first solo assignment for National Geographic- a 16-part series that launched August 3rd... Click here to watch new episodes weekly.
Prior to landing the job with Steve Winter, Bertie was named ‘Youth Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2012’ and his first film, 'West Coast Adventure', was nominated for the Youth Award at the Wildscreen Panda Awards 2014.
Bertie has a fascination with urban wildlife. This came about whilst photographing peregrine falcons in London and Bristol as one of the2020VISION Young Champions, the multimedia initiative that aims to communicate the link between human wellbeing and habitat restoration.
Oct 11 2016
Rank #4: Lynn Johnson
Oct 05 2016
Rank #5: Asher Jay
Asher Jay is an artist whose compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife conservation.
Asher's travels to the frontline have made her witness and story-teller, combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, promoting habitat sanctuaries and illuminating humanitarian emergencies. Her core message, again and again: biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene – the Age of Man.Much of her best-known work spotlights the illegal ivory trade. In 2013, grassroots group March for Elephants asked her to visualize the blood ivory story on a huge, animated digital billboard in New York’s Times Square. Viewed by 1.5 million people, the internationally crowd-funded initiative aimed to provoke public pressure for revising laws that permit ivory to be imported, traded and sold. Asher also participated in the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in New York, where her oval ornament helped raise money for anti-poaching efforts in Amboseli.
A nomadic globe trotter who fell in love with New York while studying at Parson’s New School of Design, Asher Jay is determined to motivate you to understand you have real power in determining nature’s fate, and our wild future.
Nov 16 2016