Matthieu Paley


Born in France, Matthieu Paley has traveled all over the world for National Geographic magazine. Focusing his efforts on regions that are misrepresented or misunderstood, he is especially committed to issues relating to diminishing cultures and the environment. Following a decade of relentlessly documenting the harsh, unforgiving existence of Kyrgyz nomads in the high-altitude landscape of remote Afghanistan, Matthieu's first National Geographic story appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine (“Stranded on the Roof of the World”). Matthieu has reported multiple stories on India for National Geographic, including a weeklong journey aboard India’s longest domestic train route that stretches 2,600 miles from the southernmost tip of the subcontinent to the northeastern corner of the country. He also gained a new perspective of people and culture during a road trip where he and his family spent three months driving 6,000-plus miles across India. Over the course of his career, he has learned six languages (including Hindi), feeding his passion to connect with the people he meets and helping him to instill a sense of intimacy into his images. Matthieu is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2017 World Press and a Photographer of the Year International Award. He has published several monographs of his work, and his fine art images have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Matthieu's images have also been published in numerous other magazines including Geo, Newsweek, Time, Outside, and Le Monde. He enjoys joining National Geographic Expeditions and Student Expeditions, and is a speaker for our Nat Geo LIVE lecture series.