Randy Olson is a photographer in the documentary tradition. Published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, he is best known as a National Geographic photographer.
His photographs have been republished more then 8,000 times since 2001 and his work has appeared in over seventy books published by the National Geographic Society and others.
He has traveled to over fifty countries for the dozens of feature projects he’s completed for National Geographic, from the Ozarks and Iowa’s Amish communities, to Samoa, the Black Sea, Sudan, Suriname, Iraq, and Kamchatka. He normally works individually, but has co-produced National Geographic magazine stories with his wife, Melissa Farlow, 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. Randy’s 30+ National Geographic projects have taken him to almost every continent. National Geographic Society published a book of his work in 2011 in their Masters of Photography series. His works has been exhibited and shown multiple times in Perpignan, France at the Visa pour l’Image Festival.
Olson was the Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, and was also awarded POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year, one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II.
Having won the “Picture of the Year” award more than thirty times before 2005, he had stopped entering contests until his partecipation to the Siena International Photo Awards 2017.
A graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, Olson lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.