Melissa Farlow

Before freelancing for National Geographic, Farlow worked as a staff photographer at The Pittsburgh Press, Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. She has a Pulitzer Prize for a project documenting desegregation of the public schools in Louisville, KY.

MELISSA FARLOW has worked extensively in the American West for National Geographic—driving 20,000 miles for a magazine story and book on public lands—and more recently, photographing mustang herds. Another driving trip took her through South America to chronicle life along the Pan American highway for a National Geographic book titled The Long Road South. Other National Geographic magazine stories feature varied subjects—culture and climate change in the Alps and West Virginia’s mountaintop removal mining. Themes of land and people are chronicled in Alaska’s Tongass forest, Okefenokee Swamp, Hudson Valley, Meadowlands, National Road, Kentucky horse country, Olympic National Park, invasive species, and a photo-biography of landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

Melissa is a photojournalist in the documentary tradition. She often works with her husband, Randy Olson and their work has taken them to 50 countries over the past 20 years.  Even though they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily worked on projects for the National Geographic Society. They normally work individually, but have co-produced National Geographic magazine stories on northern California, American national parks, and the Alps. They photographed the southern United States for a book by Collins Publishing and have collaborated on over 70 books by various publishers.