Photograph by Mark Thiessen
Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His life's mission is to put on film both the remaining natural wilderness and indigenous cultures around the globe and to use images to create social change.
Rainier co-directs the National Geographic Society's Cultural Ethnosphere Program as well as the All Roads Photography Program. He is a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine, specializing in culture; a contributing photographer for National Geographic Adventure magazine; and a correspondent on photography for NPR's Day to Day radio show. Rainier also heads National Geographic's Enduring Voices Project, which is documenting the world's most endangered languages.
Rainier has traveled to all seven continents, making extensive expeditions throughout Africa, Antarctica, and New Guinea. His photography has been seen in Time, Life, Smithsonian, the New York Times, Outside and publications of the National Geographic Society. In addition, Rainier has photographed global culture and conflict, famine, and war in such places as Somalia, Sarajevo/Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Iraq.
He has won awards for his photography, including the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award given by the Explorers Club for adventure stories. Rainier's photography has been shown and collected by museums around the world, including the Australian Museum in Sydney, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the International Center of Photography in New York, the George Eastman House International Museum in Rochester, New York, and the United Nations.
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