Amy Toensing

Photographer Amy Toensing first learned her craft at her hometown newspaper in New Hampshire. From there, she graduated to the Washington D.C. bureau of The New York Times, covering the White House and Capitol Hill in the Clinton years. But life inside the Beltway was not where she wanted to be and in 1998 Amy left D.C. to get her master’s degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. A year later, she was awarded National Geographic magazine’s prestigious photographic internship.

Since then she has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine, with 15 feature stories under her belt. She has photographed stories close to home—in Maine, and on the Jersey shore—as well as in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the Australian Outback. She has also covered issues in the news, such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western society.

Amy is one of 11 photographers in the National Geographic book and traveling exhibition Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, which profiles the lives and work of important photojournalists and goes behind the lens of their individual assignments.

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I value being humbled by my stories. You come into some other community and it’s like the vulnerability you have when you are learning a new language. Photography constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone. And that’s what I love.

Amy's stories are primarily intimate essays reflecting the daily lives of ordinary people. She spent four years documenting Aboriginal Australia for a story that was published in the June 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. More recently, her global story on widowhood was featured in the February 2017 issue of the magazine and was supported by The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Her images have also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and National Geographic Traveler.

She has also led photo workshops in Santa Fe and New Orleans, as well as at National Geographic’s Photo Camps, which use photography to help youth and young adults in underserved communities develop their voices.

Amy lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband, Matt Moyer, also a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine.

Find out about upcoming programs and expeditions with National Geographic photographers, or view more work by Amy Toensing.