Jason Houston’s work is defined by a personal and transcendent dedication to community, culture, and how we live on the planet and with each other. He works closely—often embedded—with his subjects to learn from and accurately document their lives, understand the issues that affect them, and share the actions that might help make change. His engaged, long-term approach captures informed, authentic narratives that help engage the public to guide social and environmental change.
Jason works on personal projects, for magazines, and in collaboration with NGOs. He is a Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and a Senior Fellow at Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability at Wake Forest University. Recent projects include stories on fisheries across the U.S. and throughout the developing tropics; issues affecting isolated tribes in the Amazon; deforestation and orangutans in Borneo; wildland fire management in the western U.S.; watershed conservation in Peru and Colombia; cultural preservation and agricultural heritage on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona; profiles of chefs, artists, scientists, and other passionate creatives; and a short film on his daughter’s climbing wall in their garage. The recent book, "Reclaiming Our Food: How the grassroots movement is changing the way we eat", which featured 12 feature length photo essays by Jason Houston, was named one of the "Top Ten Books on the Environment" in 2012 by the American Library Association. In 2015, Jason was named one of the “World’s Top Wildlife, Nature, and Culture Photographers” by Origin magazine.Jason has been published, exhibited, and presented around the world. Outlets for his work range from The New York Times, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, SxSW, NationalGeographic.com, Smithsonian, Orvis, Science Magazine, Businessweek, and The Nature Conservancy to Mountainfilm, Harvard, Yale, the New Mexico Museum of Art, UNESCO, USAID, and Fovea Gallery.
As an advocate for non-fiction photography, Jason has presented, run workshops, and organized conference programming on working in cause-driven photography for dozens arts and other institutions including Anderson Ranch, Duke University, Wake Forest University, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Telluride Photo Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, University of Colorado at Boulder, LensCulture, San Francisco Art Institute, Mountainfilm, and Blue Earth’s annual Collaborations for Cause. Jason has produced short-form documentary films that have screened at film festivals across the U.S. and in Europe and Australia, and for more than 8 years worked as Photo Editor for Orion magazine, an award-winning bimonthly periodical focused on people and nature, where he led story development, assignments, art direction, and research for photo essays, portfolios, features, and departments.