Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today, and was named one of the 100 most influential people working in photography today by American Photo Magazine. His enigmatic images of sacred places and indigenous peoples of the planet have been featured in preeminent publications including Time, Life, National Geographic publications, Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Mens Journal, Islands, The New Yorker, German and French Geo, and the publications of the International Red Cross, The United Nations, and Amnesty International.
Rainier specializes in documenting indigenous cultures. His life’s mission is to aid the empowerment of Indigenous peoples, enhancing their cultures and lives, through facilitating their appropriation of photography and technology. He teaches seminars internationally as a tool for worldwide social change, and is a requested lecturer by distinguished organizations and institutions.
Rainier was recently elected a Fellow at the Royal Geographic Society in London. He is also a National Geographic Fellow, documenting indigenous cultures for the Societies Cultures Initiative, and is Co-Director of the National Geographic Society Cultures Ethnosphere Program. He serves as a contributing Editor for National Geographic Traveler, a Contributing Photographer for National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and is a Photographic Correspondent-At-Large for National Public Radio (NPR). Other professional positions Rainier holds include, Royal Geographic Society of London Fellow, Director of the National Geographic Society’s All Roads Photography Program, and active board member for Cultural Survival (Cambridge, MA) and the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. He is also a member of the Explorers Club in New York City; winning their prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for Adventure story telling.
Rainier has received a multitude of awards for his photography including: five "Picture of the Year Awards" for his continued documentation of vanishing tribes, A Communication Arts award for his last book, Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea, and an International Golden Light Award for his first book, Keepers of the Spirit. His other books include Ancient Marks, which was made into a DVD that received broad viewership in film festivals. His current project Masks, is under development.
Rainier's photographs have been widely displayed and collected internationally, including; The George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; The International Center for Photography, NY; The Royal Geographic Society, London; The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The Australian Museum, Sydney, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,TX and many more.