The global award in photography and sustainability

Reza Deghati

There is no other photographer in the world that has graced as many covers of the National Geographic Magazine and major international publications over the last 30 years as Reza Deghati.

Philanthropist, idealist, humanist architect and photographer extraordinaire, Reza (as he is known) lives to shoot another day, sometimes under fire, often under pressure in dangerous climates. Reza has shot back with every winning image, bringing to life scenes never seen before.

World famous for his intrepid explorer’s style of photographing the world’s most exotic places, Reza has covered most of the globe for the National Geographic magazine. National Geographic Television has produced several films on Reza’s work, one of them receiving an Emmy award in 2002, and another production that traced the history of his life was nominated. Reza was also the creative director for National Geographic’s best-viewed documentary, ‘Inside Mecca‘. In May 2008, National Geographic as part of their Exceptional Journeys series released a DVD which follows Reza’s extensive photographic career and travels, with special features highlighting his work in the humanitarian field.

His award-winning images are iconic. But there’s far more to the man than his camera. Photographer, Reza is the founder of AINA ‘the mirror’, a non-profit international organisation dedicated to the education and empowerment of children and women through the use of media, communication and education. He believes these skills could serve as a foundation for a free and open society by supporting sustainable development, promoting human rights, and strengthening national unity. It is precisely this dedication to the humanitarian and his work with AINA in Afghanistan, which led the National Geographic to award him with the prestigious title of National Geographic Explorers Fellow in 2006. The Explorers Program embodies the National Geographic Society’s continued quest for knowledge through exploration and the people that make it possible.

Reza’s work has been displayed all over the world. Crossing Destinies, his landmark exhibition in Paris, drew a million people over four months in the summer of 2003, an unheard of accomplishment by any living photojournalist.

Awarded France’s highest civilian honour in November 2005, the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite’ for his philanthropic work for which he continues to speak out on causes and social issues. In 2006 he received the ‘Honor Medal’ from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism “in recognition of his lifelong contributions, through brilliant photojournalism, to justice, and dignity for the world’s citizens.”

The author of 12 Books, Reza is about to release a retrospective tome of his photographic career to date called War and Peace which was published by National Geographic and released in 2008.

Reza Deghati