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

Since 2017, Emily has walked over 650km through Iraq photographing its land and people in order to share untold stories of contemporary Iraq. She has worked in and walked across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to document how airstrikes and landmines contribute to the destruction of tangible and intangible cultural heritage for Article 36, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning specialist non-profit organisation focused on reducing harm from weapons. Emily also co-directed The 40th Day, a documentary covering Arba'een, the world's largest annual pilgrimage that takes place in southern Iraq. Emily has twice walked and photographed the pilgrimage.

In 2020, Emily walked 200km across the Zagros mountains in south-west Iran to document the customs of the Bakhtiari tribe during their bi-annual migration known as Kooch. In 2021, Emily will be implementing grant funding from The Amersi Foundation, ALIPH Foundation and The Abraham Path Initiative to explore heritage and environmental stories across Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Emily is HEFAT trained [2020] and available for assignments worldwide.

She has exhibited her work internationally, including at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as the Leica Mayfair Gallery, South Bank Centre, Somerset House and The Natural History Museum in London. Her work has been published by The Guardian, WeTransfer, Smithsonian Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine, BBC News, EuroNews, Forbes, SUITCASE Magazine, Leica Camera and i-D Magazine. 

Selected Exhibitions & Awards


Southbank Centre, UK [2019]

Leica Gallery Mayfair, UK [June 2019]

Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon [2019]

Pakhuis de Zwijger, Netherlands [2019]

World Economic Forum, Switzerland [2019]

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 [2018]

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, UK [2015]

Grants & Awards:

ALIPH Foundation
Heritage Grant

The Altajir Trust
Heritage Grant

The Amersi Foundation [2020-2021]
Cultural Grant

Abraham Path Initiative [2020]

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award [2020]
Honorable mention

Forbes 30 Under 30 [2019]
Media and Marketing

Wildlife Photographer of the Year [2018]
Finalist, Photojournalism Single Image

Wildlife Photographer of the Year [2015]
Finalist, Photojournalism Single Image


To commission a project, arrange a workshop, inquire about purchasing a print or image licensing, please use the contact form below.

For commercial enquiries please contact: matt@instituteartist.com

Using Format