We're excited to launch our inaugural list of the 24 Best Travel Photographers, filled with professionals out in the world shooting images that inspire us to think (and travel) globally. Micah Albert, one of our favorite travel photographers and a Fathom contributor, was kind enough to share a little more behind-the-lens information about himself and his work. Tune into our Instagram feed this weekend for a more extensive portfolio of Micah's photographs.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a freelance documentary photographer based in Northern California, where I live with my wife Lindsey, daughter Norah, and son Ethan. I specialize in and am most passionate about difficult-to-access regions in Africa, the Middle East, and North America.
Most recently my work has taken me to Southern Algeria to capture the intensity of the deserted area, the insecurity in the region, and the role of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic's rebels in one of the most dangerous areas in the world.
I was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting to work in Africa's largest dump site, Dandora. I also won first prize from World Press Photo, Contemporary Issues for my work in Dandora.
How would you describe your photography style?
I mostly use prime lenses, usually a basic 35mm and live by the "zoom with your legs" rule. I work incredibly hard, often times not even taking my camera out, to earn the trust of those that I'm working with and to achieve the most intimate images possible. My cardinal rule is, the more uncomfortable I am, the better my images are; so when I'm on assignment, I do what I can to push myself to get closer, dirtier, sweatier, or take certain risks. At the end of the day, I want the images to have the perspective of a fly on the wall and raise greater awareness of under reported global issues.
What do you love most about photographing on the road?
Most places where I spend time are far off the tourist route, so I feel like I get to experience authentic culture. Some of my most memorable trips have been around the dinner table of folks that have welcomed me in.
Where are you headed next?
I'm headed to Oman to document the least talked about nation in the Middle East and the Sultan, and then to Honduras to work in yet another trash dump community.
A QUICK PORTFOLIO