87 – Learning to Breath with Documentary Photography with Alison Wright

Alison Wright has been traveling and working in 150 countries and doing documentary photography for 35+ years. She is one of the single most impressive human beings that you may ever meet. She has lived more in her life than most of us will if we lived to 100. Though if not for the kindness of strangers, she would have lost her life in the middle of nowhere Laos, when she was involved in a horrific bus accident.


Of course, she lived to tell the tell her story. And she lived to tell it to many people, since the publication of her memoir, Learning to Breath: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival. And she lived to create some of the more impactful photographs of some of the most desolate, destitute, staggeringly beautiful, hauntingly breathtaking places and peoples of the world.


And she’s now given us the pleasure of her presence on the podcast. And what an episode it was. We are not worthy, Alison…


Topics Discussed

  • importance of finding hope when one is working in the devastated areas of the world
  • discussion on whether one’s work is enough for change or if the artist needs to be doing something more tangible with their work to affect that change
  • how to stay connected with both your subject and the audience for your work
  • how to decompress & process when coming back from long stretches of working away from home
  • how a meditation practice got Alison through challenging situations & environments, including her near-death experience in Laos


Related Sources


I encourage all listeners to check out the amazing work that Alison is doing through her non-profit, Faces of Hope.





I also highly recommend reading her stunning memoir, Learning to Breath: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival.




Sponsors & Thank Yous

Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!



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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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