National Geographic Photographer
Acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specializes in highlighting endangered cultures and traditional languages around the globe. In 2002, he received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club for his efforts in cultural preservation, and was elected in 2014 as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Rainier has been a National Geographic Fellow as well as co-founder and co-director of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program, both designed to support indigenous groups desiring to document their traditional cultures and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st century. Chris also served as a cultural editor and photographer for National Geographic Traveler magazine for over 18 years.
Today he directs The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, whose mission is to create legally protected cultural zones around the globe that protect both traditional knowledge as well as the local biodiversity. In the early 1980s, Chris served as the last assistant for famed photographer Ansel Adams. The two worked together to amplify the use of art photography as a social tool, ultimately helping to preserve threatened wilderness areas and national parks. Rainier recently had a book published on his thirty year study of traditional mask rituals - called MASK. Rainier has a deep passion for teaching photography, and for the past 20 years has been leading photographic expeditions for National Geographic around the world.
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