24 Best

24 Best Travel Photographers 2017

by Team Popupla
Charlie

Here's to the photographers who take the plunge. Photo by Charlie Hamilton James.

At Popupla, we appreciate great storytelling in all forms, whether brilliant writing or evocative photography. The latest installment of our 24 Best series spotlights professional travel photographers from around the world, encompassing a broad range of styles, subject matter, perspectives, and backgrounds.

This year, we decided to open the judging pool and asked past 24 Best Travel Photographers winners to nominate their favorites. The result is a wonderful — and, as ever, inspiring and illuminating — mix of old favorites and new discoveries.

This list not only highlights some of the best talent in travel photography, but also showcases the world through a different lens, both literally and figuratively.


khadija farah

Photo by Khadija M Farah.

What's to Love: "Farah is always exploring my favorite continent, Africa, with such passion for stories. She shares the secrets that people tell her, with a thirst for educating others. Her knowledge about culture and her eye for detail are among the many reasons I am in love with her work." – Selected by (Popupla 24 Best Travel Photographers, 2016)

Last Seen: Keeping up with the , Kenya.

Check Out Her Work: ,


Charlie Hamilton James

Photo by Charlie Hamilton James.

What's to Love: "I saw him speak at a National Geographic live event in Kansas City, and besides being wildly funny and one of the more engaging speakers I've ever heard, his work is just captivating. His intuition to dive in and understand the environment, the people in it, and the relationship between the two is highly apparent in his work. James' photography is the kind that stands out in your mind's eye long after you see it: hordes of tourists taking photos at the Grand Canyon, a young girl swimming in the Amazon with a little monkey clinging to her head, a perfectly symmetrical pair of cheetahs sitting on a rock overlooking their kingdom." – (2015)

Last Seen: Fending off .

Check Out His Work: ,


Roberto Salomone

Photo by Roberto Salomone.

What's to Love: When we met Roberto at Le Sirenuse on the Amalfi Coast, we thought he was a local photographer with a special eye for the beauty of his homeland. When we got to know him, we realized his documentary work runs much deeper — most movingly to refugee camps, where he chronicles victims of the global immigration crisis with pathos and grace. Religion, politics, beaches: It's the rare talent who can capture them all so effectively. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: In the .

Check Out His Work: ,


Frederic Lagrange

Photo by Frédéric Lagrange.

What's to Love: "Lagrange brings a fine art/film component to editorial and commercial travel photography, rooted on the basics — lines, shapes, and colors. I always love seeing how another photographer captures a particular place that I've been to. Lagrange has traveled to more than 80 countries, so we've definitely traveled to some of the same places, especially in South Asia and Africa. He has a way of capturing people in their element that makes me stop in my tracks and look at a particular image for a long time." – (2015)

Last Seen: Taking a .

Check Out His Work: ,


andrew quilty

Photo by Andrew Quilty / Oculi.

What's to Love: "An Australian photojournalist based in Afghanistan. More often than not, he seems to focus on life in and around Kabul, but every photo he puts out stop in my tracks. The daily life he is getting at is incredible: It's raw, honest, and beautiful. Quilty's approach — daily life and work under the physical banner of war or being a social pariah to the West — is more important now than ever. He makes those places and people approachable and relatable. He doesn't know me but we've shared editors and have all raised a glass to him and his coverage overall, but especially on the MSF hospital bombing in 2015. Furthermore, it's clear that he is still out shooting when the rest of us are done and ready for a pint." – (2015)

Last Seen: Stuck in traffic after a Taliban ambush on .

Check Out His Work: ,


melissa findley

Photo by Melissa Findley.

What's to Love: "An Australian photographer with an extraordinary sense of capturing light and feeling in her photographs. In each of her images, I feel the heart that went into taking it, and it's the emotion of the image which penetrates through to be incredibly powerful. She travels all over the world and often around Australia. Like me, she has a deep love for Nepal and the pictures she took in the country really took my breath away." – (2016)

Last Seen: Getting away from it all at .

Check Out Her Work: ,


cedric angeles

Photo by Cedric Angeles.

What's to Love: "He was one of the first travel photographers I came across when I first started my career. He's been out there for a while now. Unlike the hordes of staged shots for the sake of Instagram likes, Angeles' pictures are very authentic and honest." – (2015)

Last Seen: Preparing for an Easter party.

Check Out His Work: ,


Photo by Ashima Narain.

What's to Love: Action and excitement are the dominant forces appearing in the work of the Mumbai-based photo journalist. There's an explicit realism and storytelling quality to the images that she makes, from portraiture to urbanscapes. Fun facts: Narian has made two wildlife documentaries and is the photo editor of National Geographic Traveller India. – (2015)

Last Seen: At the annual in India.

Check Out Her Work:


jonathon collins

Photo by Jonathon Collins.

What's to Love: "With his precious eye for story, great composition, and settled colors, Jono has been my favorite travel photographer for some time now. He seeks real stories and takes pictures of everyday life. He travels to places I dream of and captures the moments in a way that makes you feel like you are there, standing right next to him." – (2016)

Last Seen: Tracking the impact of climate change on .

Check Out His Work: ,


alex strohl

Photo by Alex Strohl.

What's to Love: "I want to be wherever his images are. He has a way of perfectly capturing outdoor scenes in an ethereal way, without sacrificing the image's integrity. Often, some of the most popular adventure Instagram photographers over-exaggerate image elements in the editing process, until the scene barely looks real. His photos are the opposite: They make you feel nostalgic for a place you've never been. He also lets the scenery lead the message. I like that there's not always a person in the image. It's refreshing. When I see adventure scenes with a girl in a flowing dress, it frustrates me because it's not real. Strohl's images capture the scene at hand in a beautiful way." – (2016)

Last Seen: , Montana.

Check Out His Work: ,


Nicole Franzen

Photo by Nicole Franzen.

What's to Love: "Franzen is a super established commercial shooter as well as an Instagram star which makes her a double favorite for us at . We've also work with her on a trip, and her photos always make me want to travel to wherever she's posting from." – (2016)

Last Seen: Catching .

Check Out Her Work: ,


Dan Tom

Photo by Dan Tom.

What's to Love: "At our photo director Deb has a mandate on final selects: Do we want to go there? Even though Dan is still considered an emerging photographer (Popupla included him first as a 24 Best Travel Instagrammer), I ALWAYS want to go where he is on his , so much so that we're bringing him to Tahiti as one of our photographers." – (2016)

Last Seen: .

Check Out His Work: ,


Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi

Photo by Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi.

What's to Love: Diana doesn't shy away from the tough stuff — she chases it. She's traveled to danger zones and hard-to-reach places around the world to shed light on human rights issues, like the Minova Rape Trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and cultural practices, like the Bear Dance in Romania. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: Touching down in .

Check Out Her Work: ,


Benjamin Hardman

Photo by Benjamin Hardman.

What's to Love: The Australian photographer based in Iceland captures the country with stunning and moody landscape shots. The color is minimalist, but he works with texture in a way that's unexpected for a photographer, lending his shots an ethereal quality. If you didn't already want to go to Iceland, you do now. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: All over Iceland.

Check Out His Work: ,


Micah Albert

Photo by Micah Albert.

What's to Love: "Besides Albert, I don't know anyone else who travels so far off the beaten path like I do. His work with color and texture lends richness and depth to shots of hard-to-get-to places in Africa and the Middle East." – Selected by (24 Best Travel Photographers, 2015)

Last Seen: Cooling off in a rare .

Check Out His Work: ,


Nadja Wohlleben

Photo by Nadja Wohlleben.

What's to Love: Wohlleben is a documentary photography and cultural anthropologist based in Germany whose work is a balance between fun street scenes (the start of summer in Berlin) and somber, meditative pieces (women and children in Lebanon during the Syrian crisis). – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: Making new friends in .

Check Out Her Work: ,


Joel Santos

Photo by Joel Santos.

What's to Love: The Portuguese photographer defies categorization. He shoots cultures and landscapes all over the world, and his photos are so astonishing they look like stills from a CGI'd movie. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: Contemplating mid-day on .

Check Out His Work: ,


Kerry Murray

Photo by Kerry Murray.

What's to Love: The Cape Town photographer captures life as it happens, primarily on the streets of Europe and South Africa. Her lovely, light, and airy aesthetic, coupled with her short travel diaries, make us want to travel just for the sake of being outdoors. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: Shooting .

Check Out Her Work: ,


Andrea Frazzetta

Photo by Andrea Frazzetta.

What's to Love: The documentary photographer has quite the eye, having worked on assignment in more than 50 countries for publications including National Geographic and The New York Times T Magazine. To peek into his portfolio is to obtain insight into the unexpected: the psychedelic landscapes of Danakil, the marginalized communities of Costa Rica's rainforests, and the world's third-largest movie industry, Nollywood. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: Back in Italy for .

Check Out His Work: ,


Gentl and Hyers

Photo by Gentl and Hyers.

What's to Love: "Food is a major component of editorial travel photography, and no one is doing it better than the amazing Gentl and Hyers duo. Their work is all about harsh shadows, bold colors, and beautiful textures. The images seem to jump off the page in a very natural and messy-but-beautiful way. I was following along on Instagram during their recent trip to India. India might be the most colorful place in the world (and one of my favorites!) — it was wonderful to see it through Gentl's signature filter." – (2015)

Last Seen: Taking a .

Check Out Their Work: ,


Juliette Charvet

Photo by Juliette Charvet.

What's to Love: Her fine-art photography is a case study in color. The way she portrays places — lush green plantations, hot white deserts, sky blue coastlines, monochrome frontiers — is both soothing and mesmerizing. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: at home in New York City.

Check Out Her Work: ,


Nicholas La

Photo by Nicholas La.

What's to Love: The Bay Area-based Leica shooter has a heavy Instagram following, and for good reason. His filmic landscape, street, and aerial images transport us to his vantage point, whether he's boarding a boat in the Arctic Circle, floating in the sky above Oakland, or roaming the streets of Varanasi. – Selected by Popupla Editors

Last Seen: On the .

Check Out His Work: ,


adrienne pitts

Photo by Adrienne Pitts.

What's to Love: "A travel and lifestyle photographer based in London whose work is vibrant and vivid and has a tremendous sense of place. One of the main aims of my photography is to get a strong sense of place: I want the viewer to be taken away to the country and to feel the moment of being and traveling there. Few photographers achieve that feeling as well as Pitts." – (2016)

Last Seen: Meandering down .

Check Out Her Work: ,


Photo by Keith Ladzinski.

What's to Love:There's a god-like quality to the photos made by the Ladzinski, clearly an adventurer and explorer who relishes natural landscapes and wildlife. His POV and saturated color choices make for a heightening of senses; there's no denying the awesomeness of planet Earth. – (2015)

Last Seen:

Check Out His Work:,


MORE ON FATHOM

Still Awesome: 24 Best Travel Photographers 2016
The Best in Travel: Popupla Favorites, from apps and Instagrammers to travel mags and travel guide books.

ABOUT FATHOM LISTS

Popupla has three missions: To help you indulge your love of travel, whether you're on the road or staying home. To narrow down endless options (hotels, sites, destinations) to those that are special. And to find the best travel stories.

The photographers on this list help us deliver on this promise through their daring spirit, far-flung adventures, and ability to hone in on intimate moments. We'll be showcasing images and dispatches from these amazing photographers regularly throughout the year. We're thrilled to get to know them better, and we hope you are, too.

WHY 24?

And not 10 or 25 or 100? You'll see 24 a lot around Popupla. (See all our 24 Bests on one page.) For a few reasons: We want to deliver a balanced but concise mix of options, and twenty sometimes isn't enough. Also, 24 is our lucky number.

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