Michael Yamashita is a 30-year award-winning veteran of the National Geographic, and has photographed a vast range of topics and locations, most notably in Asia. He has traipsed with camels across the Taklimakan desert, scaled peaks in Tibet and journeyed the length of the Great Wall. His career has spanned many continents, as well as many media, with over 30 National Geographic magazine features, as well as ten books and two documentary films, Marco Polo andThe Ghost Fleet, the story of the mythic Ming Dynasty admiral and explorer, Zheng He. His most recent book, Shangri-la — Along the Tea Horse Road, took him to the far reaches of western China and the Himalayas to capture the fast-disappearing ancient culture of Tibet.
Yamashita also combines his photographic expertise with a unique and personable style as a teacher and lecturer. He has taught at major photo workshops, including the Maine Media Workshop, Santa Fe Workshops, Tuscany Photo Workshop and the Palm Beach Photographic Center and has also conducted hands-on workshops in such far-flung locales as Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
Yamashita is known for tempering his critiques with a sense of humor and understanding, always reflecting his philosophy — that photography is more than a job, it is a lifestyle. He encourages students not only to set goals for their professional and personal development, but also teaches how to achieve them. “There’s no better learning experience one-on-one feedback sessions that give me a chance to get to know a photographer’s mindset, how he or she sees and help find new and creative ways to take work to another level.” His goal is not only to help people take better pictures, but to teach how to think and see like a better photographer.