Photojournalist. Day in the Life Creator. Freedom Fighter.
Photographer Rick Smolan is CEO of Against All Odds Productions, described by Fortune magazine as “One of the 25 Coolest Companies in America.” In addition to his award-winning photograhy, Rick is a New York Times best-selling author with more than five million copies of his books in print. A former TIME, Life, and National Geographic photographer, Smolan is best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" book series. His global photography projects, which feature the work of hundreds of the world's leading photographers and combine creative storytelling and swarm-like coverage with state-of-the-art technology, are regularly featured on the covers of prestigious publications around the globe including Fortune, TIME, and GEO. Oprah Winfrey featured his AMERICA 24/7 book on her “Favorite Things” TV program and five of his books have been selected as official TED bookclub selections.
His project are sticky and tend to cause serious buzz—“The Human Face of Big Data” captures how our planet is developing a nervous system. The “Human Face” iPad app won the WEBBY for best educational app and the companion TV documentary was broadcast nationwide on PBS, and in 35 countries around the world, and it won the award for “Best Cinematography" at the Boston Film Festival.
The Oscar Winning producers of The Kings Speech produced the movie TRACKS, based on Smolan’s National Geographic cover story about 27-year-old Robyn Davidson's 1,700 mile, nine-month, solo camel trek across the treacherous Australian Outback. In the movie Robyn Davidson was portrayed by Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland"), and Smolan was portrayed by Adam Driver.
His latest book, "THE GOOD FIGHT: AMERICA'S ONGOING STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE", is something in short supply of late: good news! THE GOOD FIGHT is a powerful reminder of how much progress America has made over the past 100 years against hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny, homophobia and injustice and what's at risk right now. The book has won numerous awards including The Independent Book Publishers “Freedom Fighter” Award and Ben Franklin Association awards for “History" and “Politics and Current Events”. People Magazine chose it as one of the "10 Best Books of the Year."
Part artist, part journalist, and chief cat herder, Smolan is celebrated for documenting our world, trending topics and seismic shifts in culture in a way few have. He brings this vision and energy to the stage and has spoken at TED and TEDx events worldwide, All Things Digital, The World Economic Forum, The Ford Foundation, Wired Health Conference, TEDMED, Techonomy, DLD in Munich, IdeaCity in Canada, INK in India, to name a few. His TED talk
"Natasha's Story: An American Homecoming" has been watched by more than a million people.
Tracks: Alone Across the Outback
Rick documented the story of 27-year-old Robyn Davidson’s 1700 mile 9 month solo camel trek across the Australian outback for National Geographic. It was made into a feature film, Tracks, by the Oscar winning producers of "The King's Speech" and went on to sell out at film festivals worldwide. It's an inspiring love story, dog story, adventure story and mystery that has become a legend around the globe. In his show, Rick shares Robyn's journey, showing how ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things.
Photos: courtesy Rick Smolan
Seen & Heard