Acclaimed Documentary Photographer, Author Alison Wright Has Passed

by | Mar 25, 2022 | ASMP Legends

Image: Pilgrims at the Blue Mosque ©Alison Wright

New York based documentary photographer, author and speaker Alison Wright has passed.

The following is an excerpt from her bio that speaks to the reach of her incredible talents.

Alison spent her career capturing the universal human spirit through her photographs and writing. For many of her editorial and commercial projects, Alison traveled to all regions of the globe photographing indigenous cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. 

Alison was a contributor to numerous outlets, including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Creative, Outside, Islands, CNN, The Travel Channel, Discovery, Smithsonian, The New York Times and UNICEF. She is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography for her work on child labor in Asia, a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, an Explorers Club Fellow and Premier Traveler magazine named her “The 2014 Most Compelling Woman in the Travel Industry.” Alison was named a 2013 National Geographic Traveler of the Year as someone who travels with a sense of passion and purpose.

Alison completed her bachelor degree in Photojournalism from Syracuse University and a Master’s in Visual Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, based on her years of living and working among the Himalayan cultures of Asia. She was a National Geographic Photo Expeditions South East Asia expert and taught travel photography seminars and workshops across the world.

She photographed/authored ten books including “The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk,” based on her two-decade friendship with the Dalai Lama, “The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile,” “Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World,” documenting the lives of children in developing countries, three books for National Geographic on “London,” “Great Britain” and “China,” and “Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit.” Her latest book “Human Tribe,” is a monograph of global portraits celebrating the visual tapestry of humanity in all its diversity and splendor.

On January 2, 2000 Alison’s life was nearly cut short during a devastating bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Wright’s memoir, “Learning to Breathe; One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival,” chronicles this inspirational story of survival and years of rehabilitation, and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid photojournalist. The book details her ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as her circumambulation of Mt. Kailash in Tibet.

Wright also photographed for a multitude of humanitarian aid organizations with much of her work focused on post-conflict, disaster relief and human rights issues especially in the realm of women and children. Wright was based in Nepal for four years documenting the Convention for the Rights of the Child for UNICEF and worked on a year long project photographing children in poverty in America for the Children’s Defense Fund. Other clients included BRAC, Women for Women, Nest, Peter C. Alderman Foundation, CARE, ILO, Save the Children, USAID, SEVA, Direct Relief International, The Children’s Defense Fund, the Global Fund for Children and the Global Fund for Women. This experience and her work in post disaster/conflict areas inspired Alison to give back to the communities that she photographs by connecting photography and philanthropy by starting her own non-profit, Faces of Hope, a fund that globally helps support women and children in crisis through education and healthcare.