Emily Garthwaite (b. 1993) is an award-winning photojournalist, Forbes 30 Under 30, Leica Ambassador and storyteller focusing on environmental and humanitarian stories. Emily’s work weaves together themes of shared humanity, displacement and coexistence with the natural world. She has a Masters in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the University of Westminster and lives in Iraq. 

Emily has walked over 1,250km through Iraq including walking the Arba'een pilgrimage in Southern Iraq, the world's largest annual pilgrimage, three times and walking a 231km thru-hike across the Kurdistan region to document the region's first long distance hiking trail known as the Zagros Mountain Trail. Since 2019, Emily has been documenting the trail as part of a long-term multi-disciplinary project.

In 2020, she walked 200km across the Zagros mountains in Iran to document the nomadic customs of the Bakhtiari tribe. Most recently, Emily and a team of international and Iraqi environmentalists made a 1,900km source to sea expedition, known as Expedition Dijlah, down the Tigris river, through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, over three months. 

She has exhibited her work internationally, including at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and EXPO 2020 in Dubai and in the UK, at Leica Mayfair Gallery, South Bank Centre, Somerset House and The Natural History Museum. Her work has been published by Smithsonian Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Intercept, WeTransfer, The Sunday Times Magazine, SUITCASE, Vice Media, Adobe and more.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards


2021 | Iraq Pavilion, EXPO 2020, UAE

2021 | PhotoLondon, Somerset House, UK

2019 | Southbank Centre, UK

2019 | Leica Gallery Mayfair, UK

2019 | Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon

2019 | Pakhuis de Zwijger, Netherlands

2019 | World Economic Forum, Switzerland

2018 | Artspace PS109, New York, USA 

2018 | Siena International Photography Awards, Italy

2018 | Wildlife Photographer of the Year, London, UK

2018 | Galleria Centofiorini, Civitanova Alta, Italy

2018 | Month of Photography Los Angeles, USA

2018 | Leica Gallery Bellevue, USA

2015 | Wildlife Photographer of the Year, UK


2022 | American Photography 38

2022 | The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century by Jessica Vincent

2021 | Art in the First Cities of Iran and Central Asia by Agnes Benoit

2021 | Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Unforgettable Photojournalism by Rosamund Cox

2021 | Women Street Photographers by Gulnara Samoilova

2018 | Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 28 by Rosamund Cox

2018 | The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann

2015 | Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 25 by Rosamund Cox


ALIPH Foundation
Abraham Path Initiative
Amersi Foundation
Altajir Trust

Using Format