A WILD LIFE: Michael Nichols is a retrospective created for Visa pour l’Image 2017, and sponsored by CANON. The exhibition is grounded in Melissa Harris’s five-year collaboration with Nichols — conversations about his life and images, and the stories behind the images — culminating in the book A WILD LIFE: A Visual Biography of Photographer Michael Nichols, published by Aperture in June 2017.


Photographer Michael Nichols (b. 1952) has committed much of his life to revealing and giving voice to some of nature’s wildest creatures and landscapes. As an award-winning photographer for National Geographic, he has spent months at a time intimately documenting individual animals, (primarily big cats, great apes, and elephants), and their families, behavior, and habitats, doing so in extraordinary locations, from the Congo Basin, to the Serengeti, and the American West. Nichols was a member of Magnum Photos for thirteen years before becoming a staff photographer for National Geographic magazine in 1996. Since then, he has completed twenty-five stories for the magazine, and in 2008 was named Editor-at-Large. In 2007, he founded the annual “LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph” in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nichols’s final work for National Geographic was on Yellowstone National Park, and was published in the spring of 2016, as part of a single-topic issue devoted to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Before that, in the summer of 2013, the magazine published his photo-essay on the Serengeti lion, focusing on two prides, and a dark-maned male named C-Boy. Nichols currently resides in Sugar Hollow, Virginia, with his partner and wife of forty years, Reba Peck.

Michael Nichols

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