Ami Vitale is an American photojournalist, documentary filmmaker, educator and speaker.[1][2] In 2018, she published a photo book titled Panda Love which captures pandas within captivity and being released into the wild.[3]

Ami Vitale
Ami Vitale - World Press Photo Festival 2018 portrait.jpg
Ami Vitale at World Press Photo Festival 2018.
documentary filmmaker

Early life and educationEdit

Vitale was born in Florida. She realized the potential of photography at a young age.[4]

She has a degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina.

Photography and filmmakingEdit

In 1994, Vitale joined the Associated Press (AP) as a picture editor in New York and Washington, D.C.[5][6] She self funded her travel through her work with AP and left for the Czech Republic in 1997.[7]

She moved to Prague, Czech Republic, and spent a year covering the war in Kosovo, traveling back and forth to Prague, and spending a month at a time in the war zone. She later traveled to Angola, and then to the second Intifada in Gaza and Israel. In 2000, she received an Alexia Foundation grant to document a small village in the West African nation of Guinea Bissau.[8]

Vitale currently photographs wildlife and environmental stories in order to educate about global conservation issues. She is a visual journalist working as a photographer for National Geographic, a documentary filmmaker, and a cinematographer.[9] Her recent still photography focuses on wildlife conservation in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. As an ambassador for Nikon and a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine, she has documented wildlife and poaching in Africa, covered human-wildlife conflict, and concentrated on efforts to save the northern white rhino and reintroduce pandas to the wild.[10]

Vitale is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, as well as a member of the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.[11]


Vitale is an author, contributor and frequently writes corresponding articles with her photojournalistic works.


Books by VitaleEdit

  • Panda Love: the Secret Lives of Pandas (2018) – author, photographer[12]

Books with contributions of photography by VitaleEdit

  • Associated Press: Guide to Photojournalism (2000) by Brian Horton[13]
  • National Geographic: The Most Popular Instagram Photos (2016)[14]


  • Independent Lens (2010) – camera development
  • PBS Frontline World (2007) – reporter
  • Khordad (2013) – director of cinematography
  • Mrs Murrey and the Diary (2013) – director, co-producer, co-writer, production manager
  • Bangladesh: A Climate Trap (2019) – director, co-writer
  • Shaba (2021) – director


  • 2003: General News, third prize stories, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[15]
  • 2005: People in the News, second prize stories, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[16]
  • 2015: Nature, second prize singles, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[17]
  • 2017: Nature, second prize stories, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[18]
  • 2017: Science & Natural History Picture Story, third place, Pictures of the Year International[19]
  • 2018: Nature, first prize stories, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[20]
  • 2020: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, nomination[21]
  • 2020: National Geographic Photo of the Decade[22]


  1. ^ "Ami Vitale". Archived from the original on 2017-04-05.
  2. ^ "BBC World Service - The Conversation, Women Behind the Lens". BBC. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  3. ^ Liu (2018-08-06). "Finding Love: Ami Vitale on Documenting Pandas". HS Insider. Retrieved 2021-05-17. {{cite web}}: |first= missing |last= (help)
  4. ^ "Ami Vitale Advocates for Mother Earth". B&H Explora. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  5. ^ "Ami Vitale: Getting Beyond the Headlines - The Digital Journalist". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  6. ^ Schonauer, David (April 7, 2015). "AI-AP Profiles". Archived from the original on 2015-04-11.
  7. ^ Markisz, Susan (January 2003). "Ami Vitale: Getting Beyond the Headlines". Archived from the original on 2003-01-17.
  8. ^ "Ami Vitale Advocates for Mother Earth". B&H Explora. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  9. ^ "Ami Vitale". National Geographic Expeditions. 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  10. ^ "Ami Vitale". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  11. ^ "Ami Vitale". Archived from the original on 2020-08-10.
  12. ^ "Panda Love by Ami Vitale". HardieGrant. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  13. ^ Horton, Brian (2001). Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism. McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 978-0-07-136387-7.
  14. ^ "@NATGEO: THE MOST POPULAR INSTAGRAM PHOTOS From the No. 1 Media Brand on Instagram". National Geographic Partners. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  15. ^ "2003 Ami Vitale GNS3-AL". World Press Photo. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  16. ^ "2005 Ami Vitale PNS2-AL". World Press Photo. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  17. ^ "Orphaned Rhino". World Press Photo. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  18. ^ "Pandas Gone Wild". World Press Photo. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  19. ^ "Third Place | Science & Natural History Picture Story". Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  20. ^ "Warriors Who Once Feared Elephants Now Protect Them". World Press Photo. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  21. ^ "25 People's Choice Finalists from the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest". December 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  22. ^ "Ami Vitale Photo Voted Best of Decade by National Geographic Readers". PDNPulse. 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2021-05-21.

External linksEdit