Ami Vitale
The Guardian Warriors of Northern Kenya
Please see my latest story about an elephant sanctuary in Northern Kenya in National Geographic Magazine. What makes it so special is that it is the first community-owned elephant and rhino sanctuary in East Africa operated by the indigenous Samburu community. The sanctuary provides a safe place for injured elephants and rhinos to heal and a home for orphaned elephants and rhinos affected by poaching and the ivory trade. The communities living side by side to the wildlife hold the keys to saving what is left. Please considering visiting Northern Kenya and any of the community owned conservancies or contributing to the sanctuary through Conservation International.
In the beginning, photography was my passport to meeting people, learning, and experiencing new cultures. Now it is more than just a passport. It’s a tool for creating awareness and understanding across cultures, communities, and countries; a tool to make sense of our commonalities in the world we share.
Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 90 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.
Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. Recently, she joined Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.
Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. She can be reached at ami@amivitale.com.