About Annie Griffiths
One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Annie Griffiths has photographed in nearly 150 countries during her illustrious career. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for the Society, including stories on Lawrence of Arabia, Baja California, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand, and Jerusalem.
In addition to her magazine work, Annie is deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world. She is the Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document the programs that are empowering women and girls throughout the developing world, especially as they deal with the devastating effects of climate change.
Annie is known for her warmth, and for her ability to quickly create photographs that humanize various situations and cultures.
Annie’s work has also appeared in LIFE, Geo, Smithsonian, Fortune, Merian, Stern, and many other publications. With author Barbara Kingsolver, she produced Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands, a book celebrating the last pristine wilderness in North America. Proceeds from the book have raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for grassroots land conservation. In 2008. Annie published A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel, a photo memoir about balance, and the joy of creating a meaningful life. In 2010, she published Simply Beautiful Photographs, which was named the top photo/art book of the year by Amazon and by Barnes and Noble. Annie is currently at work on three new books.
Annie has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, the National Organization of Women, The University of Minnesota and the White House News Photographers Association.
For further information, feel free to email the Annie Griffiths Photography team.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
-When did you start taking photographs?
In college, my junior year. I fell in love. I took one photography class and changed my major.
-What was your first camera?
Canon FTB. I wish I still had it. I had to sell it when I got my first newspaper job and they only had Nikon lenses.
-Was it your goal to work for National Geographic?
No. I was trying to do a good job where I was. I did not have any big goals. Just trying to do the best job I could at each job I had. I started late [in photography] but I focused hard.
-If you could work alongside one photographer who would it be and why?
Edward Steichen. He was my first inspiration. Before I got my first camera the person I was dating at the time gave me a Steichen book. I was so struck by how versatile he was and how he had this ability to take any subject and do a good job with it.
-What photographers have influenced you?
Sebastio Salgado. He was a photographer who talked about using his photography for good, so I really admired him.
-Where is your favorite place you have traveled to on assignment?
Jordan. I just loved the bedouin people. I loved the culture. It's a stunning country and the bedouin culture is warm and wonderful. I have powerful memories traveling with my kids there.
-Digital vs. film: what is your opinion on the topic?
The transition was tough because the photographer had to become the lab. There was a lot to learn. But digital photography has gotten really good.
-What is your advice to aspiring photographers?
Surround yourself with poeple that are better than you. You do not want to be the biggest fish in the pond. You always want to be around people you can learn from.
-What does it take to get published in National Geographic?
Insatiable curiosity. Really hard work. For me it was a huge advantage being a woman because there were so few women at the time. The director of photography at National Geographic really wanted to add diversity to his team.