ABOUT Sean Gallagher - Photographer & Filmmaker - Beijing, China

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About me


My name is Sean Gallagher, an independent photographer and filmmaker. My work focuses on creating photography and documentary film projects that highlight stories from the front line of the climate crisis and other important and under-reported global environmental issues. Originally from the UK, I have lived and worked across Asia for over 15 years and am currently based out of Beijing.

From chasing timber poachers with armed policemen through the jungles of Cambodia, to photographing undercover in secretive North Korea, I produce diverse stories that are featured with some of the world’s leading news outlets, such as National Geographic, CNN and The Guardian.

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.

In 2014, at the age of 35, I was made a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society for my work documenting environmental issues in Asia.

Learn more about my work in this World Press Photo article.

My images are available as prints for either HOME display, or OFFICE settings and exhibitions. Please click the links to learn more.

My work is available to license for online and/or print editorial or commercial projects. Browse my IMAGES and VIDEO collections and contact me if you have any questions.

I am available for in-person or online presentations about my work on global climate issues and stories from China. See below for more details.


Cambodia Burning (2020) – Forest Patrol


  • British Journal of Photography – Decade of Change – Short Film Winner – 2021
  • Earth Photo Awards – Winner, Best Short Film – Cambodia Burning – 2020
  • Pictures of the Year – Award of Excellence in Documentary Daily Life – Uncaged Film, 2020
  • Environmental Photographer of the Year – Changing Environments Prize, 2019
  • Resilience Science Journalism Fellow – Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York, 2019
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Science Journalism Fellow, 2017
  • Made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) 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.
  • Eight-time recipient of travel grant from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, 2009-2020

View Extended CV HERE

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


View work for these clients HERE

I collaborate extensively with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting who have helped sponsor many of my projects in Asia. These projects have included a 4000km journey across China documenting the threats from increasing desertification, a cross-country journey through India photographing the effects of pollution and a 1-month journey across the Tibetan plateau recording the effects of climate change on the ‘roof of the world’.


View work for these clients HERE

I have worked on photo and video projects for some of the world’s leading international brands. I use my background in editorial photography and video to create character-driven stories, utilising creative photography and cinematographic techniques to communicate campaigns.


CNN & Suntory Video profile – Japan, 2020 – Click image to view


In light of my work’s focus on global environmental issues and China’s influence on the world, many private and public institutions ask me to present my work to them to help their audience understand both of these issues better. I offer both in-person and online (pre-recorded and/or live) presentations which showcase my work and offer people the chance to engage with me and discuss my work. If you are interested in either of these, please send me a message via the contact from above.

I have been 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:

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • The Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars
  • The Shanghai World Expo
  • The Climate Institute
  • Georgetown University
  • State Department of the US Government
  • BBC World Service