Ami Vitale

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Ami Vitale
Ami Vitale at World Press Photo Festival 2018.
documentary filmmaker

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]

Early life and education[edit]

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 filmmaking[edit]

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 Vitale[edit]

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

Books with contributions of photography by Vitale[edit]

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



  • 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, Evangeline (2018-08-06). "Finding Love: Ami Vitale on Documenting Pandas". HS Insider. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  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. Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  16. ^ "2005 Ami Vitale PNS2-AL". World Press Photo. Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. 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 links[edit]