Michael Snyder is a photographer, filmmaker, and environmental scientist who uses his combined knowledge of visual storytelling and conservation to create narratives that drive social change.  He is a Climate Journalism Fellow at the Bertha Foundation, a Portrait of Humanity Award winner, a Blue Earth Alliance Photographer, a Society of Environmental Journalists Member, a National Geographic Contributor, and a Resident Artist at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and a BSc from Dickinson College. 

Through his production company, Interdependent Pictures, he has directed films in the Arctic, the Amazon, the Himalaya, and East Africa.  His journalism work has been featured by outlets such as National Geographic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, VOX, BBC, PBS News Hour, Roads & Kingdoms, High Country News, Condé Nast, Orion, and NPR. His films have been selected to over 50 festivals and have taken home numerous awards.

Snyder grew up on 12 acres of woods in Appalachia and spent much of his early adulthood exploring the remote corners of this planet. These experiences set in motion an ongoing love affair with the wildness of this world and desire to re-connect people to it. Snyder’s projects are often built through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and harness the power of positive storytelling in order to shift the narrative about what it means to live well on this planet without destroying it.


An adventurer at heart, Mike has hiked the Appalachian and John Muir Trails, cycled across Europe, and ridden trains through Siberia. Originally from a small town in Appalachia, Snyder has lived around the world including long-term stints in Scotland, Japan, Hawaii, and New Zealand.  He currently resides in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his wife and two children.

insta:  @michaelosnyder
phone:  +1-301-804-7710
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MSc, Environmental Sustainability, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

BSc, Geology, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania

Selected Photography Awards:

Portrait of Humanity Award (2020), British Journal of Photography &                Magnum Photos (largest annual award)

PX3, Prix De La Photographie, Honorable Mention

Moscow International Foto Awards, Honorable Mention

Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Honorable Mention

Imagely Award, Honorable Mention (2017 & 2019)

Photographic Museum of Humanity, Featured Submission (2021)

LensCulture Street Photography Awards, Editor's Pick 

LensCulture Portraiture Awards, Editor's Pick (2019, 2021)

International Color Awards, Nominee

Fearless Photography Award, Finalist

Black and White Zebra Awards, Tzipac Foundation, 4-Time Finalist

The Wall Gallery (Venice) Photography Awards, Photographer of the Day

Fellowships & Grants,

Climate Challenge Fellow, The Bertha Foundation

Blue Earth Alliance Photographer

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, The University of Edinburgh

National Geographic Young Explorer Grant - Collaborator

National Science Foundation Research Grant Collaborator 

Pulitzer Reporting Grant (Into the Dark)

Community Trust Fund, Major Grant Recipient

Scottish Climate Challenge Fund, Grant Recipient

Washington, D.C., Our City Festival, Artist Grant Recipient

Maryland Humanities Council, Major Grant Recipient

Allegany Arts Council, Placemaking Grant Recipient

Virginia Humanities Council, Grant Recipient

Scottish Green Awards, Best Green PR Campaign, Runner- Up

Banff Centre for the Arts, Mountain Photo Residency

Memberships, Associations & Sponsorships

Society of Environmental Journalists, Member

Resident Artist and Renting Member, McGuffey Art Center

Fearless Photographers Member

Citizen Shale, Board of Directors

Piedmont Virginia Com. College, Digital Media Program Advisory Board

Transition Edinburgh South, Co-Founder and Vice Chair

Outex Ambassador

GoPro & Sony Sponsorship (Into the Dark)

Publications & Editorial Clients:

National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, VOX, BBC, CNN, Scientific American, Orion Magazine, PBS News Hour, Oceanographic Magazine, NPR, Rolling Stone, ZEKE Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, Ain't-Bad Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Virginia Quarterly Review, Float Magazine, Phases Magazine, The Glasgow Herald, The Skinny UK, Social Documentary Network, The Narwal, Inside Appalachia, High Country News Magazine, Yale SAGE Magazine, Terrain Magazine, The Daily Mail, Street Photography Magazine, The Conversation, Dodho Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, LensScratch, Beautiful Decay Magazine, Snap Magazine, Don't Take Pictures Magazine, Nature - Communications Biology, The Wild Magazine, Political Science & Politics Magazine, Huffington Post, Backbone Mountain Review, Allegany Magazine

Teaching Positions:

Social Documentary Network, Faculty (Photography and Filmmaking)

PhotoWorks DC, Documentary Photography Instructor

Allegany College of Maryland, Filmmaking and Social Issue Courses

Parkmont School DC, Filmmaking Instructor

Non-Profit Clients & Partners:

National Geographic

Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Defenders of Wildlife

The Pachamama Alliance


Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

The Post Carbon Institute

The National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Blue Earth Alliance

Yale University


The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

The Water School

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts


The International Storytelling Center

The Arctic Institute

The Holistic Life Foundation

Frostburg State University

The Arctic University of Norway

Selected Film Awards:

Winner - Best Environmental Film, Canada International Film Festival (2016)

Winner - Best Environmental Film, World's Independent Film Festival (2017)

Winner - Best Environmental Film, Colorado International Film Festival (2017)

Winner - Best Editing, Columbia Film Festival (2020)

Winner - Best Cinematography, Columbia Film Festival (2020)

Winner - Audience Choice Award, ARFF Paris (2019)

Winner - Best Documentary, Honorable Mention, ARFF International (2020)

Winner - Best Environmental Film, Mountain Film Festival (2016)

Winner - Best Documentary Feature, Blackbird Film Festival (2016)

Winner - Best Documentary, Love Your Shorts Film Festival (2018)

Winner - Best Appalachian Short, Queen City Film Festival (2021)

Winner - Audience Choice Award, G2 Green Earth Film Festival (2015)

Winner - Audience Impact Award, Docs Without Borders Film Festival (2017)

Winner - Audience Choice Award, Wild and Green Shorts (2016)

Winner - Best Short Documentary, Our City Film Festival (2015)

Winner - Best Soundtrack - The Africa Film Festival (2018)

Winner - Third Place Overall, Adventure Shorts Film Festival (2016)

Nominated - Best Short Film, Innsbruck Film Festival (2020)

Nominated - Best Short Documentary, Arctic Film Festival (2021)

Nominated - Best Short Documentary, Oslo Short Film Festival (2020)

Nominated - Best Director, Blackbird Film Festival (2016)

Nominated - Best Short Doc, Cayman International Film Festival (2015)

Nominated - Music Video of the Year, The Wammies (2015)

Official Selection - MountainFilm (2017)

Official Selection - Tromsø International Film Festival (2020)

Official Selection - Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital (2020)

Official Selection - Global Peace Film Festival (2015) (2020)

Official Selection - Justice Film Festival NYC (2017)

Official Selection - The Earth Day Film Festival (2018)

Official Selection - Frozen River Film Festival (2018)

Official Selection - Show Me Justice Film Festival (2018)

Official Selection - Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (2015), (2020)

Official Selection - Los Angeles Cinefest (2015)

Official Selection - Marda Loop Justice Film Festival (2015)

Official Selection - Tassie Eco Film Festival (2015)


Portrait of Humanity Vol. 2, HoxtonMini Press

The Backbone Mountain Review (cover and interior art), 2015

Podcasts & Audio Journalism

Inside Appalachia, WV Public Radio and NPR (contributing producer)

The Mountain Traditions Podcast (coming spring 2021)

Exhibitions & Speaking Events:

National Geographic MountainFilm Young Explorer Joint Exhibition (2017)

Capa Center, Budhapest, Portrait of Humanity, Joint Exhibition (2020)

Photoville, New York City, Portrait of Humanity, Joint Exhibition (2020)

Photoville, New York City, Eroding Edges, Joint Exhibition (2018)

The 6th Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography, The Photo Gala        Awards, Barcelona, joint show (2021)

The Center for Fine Art Photography, This Changing Planet, Juried                       international joint exhibition (2020)

Sent Into Space (2020), The first photo exhibition in space, joint exhibition

Indian Photo Festival, Portrait of Humanity, Joint Exhibition (2020)

Griffin Museum of Photography, Climate Change, Portraits of a Changing              Planet, online joint exhibition (2019)

Glasgow Science Center, Curious About Science, Featured Speaker (2021)

Praxis Gallery, Abandoned Spaces, Juried international joint exhibition (2020)

United Nations International Maritime Organization, London, The Arctic, On        Our Watch, joint exhibition (2019)

Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit, Solo Exhibition (2017) 

National Science Foundation, Migration in Harmony Conference, Featured             Lecturer, Scientific Storytelling (2020)

In the Current, joint exhibition, McGuffey Arts Center, Charlottesville (2020)

The Wall Gallery, Venice, The Roof Runner (2020)

National Environmental Research Council, Changing Arctic Ocean Annual            Science Conference (2020)

Documentary Matters (Lecture Series), Social Documentary Network, Boston: Stories from the Eroding Edge (2018)

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Deploying Culture in         Conflict Resolution (2014)

Patagonia Vancouver, Against the Current, Solo Exhibition, (2017)

University of Virginia, We The People, joint exhibition (2017)

Global Peace Film Festival, Featured Speaker, Making Films that Matter; the       Power of Positive Storytelling (2015)

Art Takes Miami International Exhibition (2014)

Allegany National Photography Exhibition, Finalist (2017)

Rotary National Assembly, UK, Featured Speaker (2008)

University of Edinburgh, Institute for Education, Guest Lecturer (2010)

University of Edinburgh, School of Biological Sciences, Guest Lecturer (2010)

University of Edinburgh, Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and Sustainability, Guest Lecturer (2010)

University of Edinburgh, School of Business, Guest Lecturer (2010)




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