Katie Orlinsky

Katie Orlinsky cut her teeth as a photographer for daily papers in her hometown, New York City, before going on to do a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. She then worked in Mexico for 10 years. Since then, she has taken her camera all over the world, from Africa to Central America, covering news stories and feature assignments. Her work focuses on the everyday lives of people caught in extreme situations, as well as on social issues, climate change, unique subcultures, wildlife and sports. Her photographs have been featured in National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Smithsonian.

Pull Quote
My photography focuses on stories about the everyday lives of people in extreme situations, to capture the intimate moments of daily life behind an issue.  

A chance assignment in the Alaskan wilderness in 2014 inspired her current focus: documenting the real, human stories of our warming climate today. “Chasing Winter” is a photographic project in progress that explores how climate change is affecting communities across Alaska and changing the relationship between people, wildlife, and the land.

She has received grants from The National Geographic Society, The Magnum Foundation, Getty Images, The International Women’s Media Foundation, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Katie frequently partners with educational institutions and non-profit organizations in order to create projects such as “Innocence Assassinated,” an award-winning look at the ignored innocents of the Mexican drug war, and “Children Do Not Migrate, They Flee,” a photographic investigation of the root causes of the Central American child migrant crisis, produced in collaboration with the non-profit organization Humanity United and exhibited in the lobby of the United States Senate.

Over the course of her career Katie has won numerous awards from institutions such as the Art Director’s Club, PDN30, and Pictures of the Year International. In 2016, she was named Paris Match Female Photojournalist of the Year.

When not taking pictures, traveling, or teaching, Katie’s interests include hiking and dog mushing in Alaska, or riding bikes and eating delicious food in New York City.

Find out about upcoming programs and expeditions with National Geographic photographers and view more work by Katie Orlinsky.