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About me

My name is Sean Gallagher, a British photographer and filmmaker who has been based in Asia for over a decade.

From the Tibetan Plateau to the Indonesian archipelago, I often spend months in the field travelling across the continent documenting its most important environmental, social and cultural issues for some of the world’s leading news outlets.

I am a 7-time recipient of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting travel grant, am represented by National Geographic Creative and am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

I graduated in Zoology from university in the United Kingdom and it is my background in science that has led to much of my work being focused on communicating environmental issues through visual storytelling.

I do this by creating photographic, video and multimedia projects that highlight individual’s stories from communities that are affected by issues such as desertification, deforestation, pollution, species extinction and climate change.

My distinctive approach to visual storytelling and extensive experience in Asia, allows me to create unique photography and video projects for my editorial and commercial clients.

My work has appeared with editorial outlets including The New York Times, National Geographic News, CNN, The Atlantic and BBC News.

I have received a number of awards and grants for my work, including:

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Science Journalism Fellow, 2017
  • Made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for continuing work documenting environmental issues in Asia (2014).
  • Environmental Film of the Year – Winner – ‘The Toxic Price of Leather’. Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition 2014.
  • Seven-time recipient of travel grant from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (2009-2017).
  • Published ‘Meltdown’, a multimedia eBook documenting China’s environmental crises in the early 21st Century (2013)
  • Photocrati Fund Honourable Mention (2013 & 2012).
  • First Place for Multimedia in the Press Photographer’s Year Awards (2011).
  • Shortlisted at the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalists in Multimedia Category (2010).
  • Honourable mention at the Earth Journalism Awards at COP15 (2009).
  • First recipient of the David Alan Harvey Fund for Emerging Photographers (2008).
  • Selected to undertake a 1-year paid internship at the photojournalism agency Magnum Photos (2004-2005). Mentored by the late, Philip Jones Griffiths.

I collaborate extensively with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting who have helped sponsor many of my projects in China. These projects have included a 4000km journey across the country documenting the threats from increasing desertification, a 7-province trip investigating the impacts of disappearing wetlands and a 1-month journey across the Tibetan plateau photographing the effects of climate change on the ‘roof of the world’.

I am a senior lecturer on Bolton University’s International Multimedia Journalism Programme in Beijing and am involved in education-outreach programmes both in Asia and the United States, using visual storytelling to communicate the issues that I cover to a wide variety of audiences. To date, I have presented my work and spoken to over 50 institutions including:

  • The Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars
  • The Shanghai World Expo
  • The Climate Institute
  • American University
  • Georgetown University
  • State Department of the US Government
  • BBC World Service