Expert Photographic Guide

Taylor Rees

About Taylor Rees, Director and Environmentalist

A filmmaker and photojournalist, Taylor is driven by an insatiable curiosity to explore and tell the stories beneath the surface. Embracing what she calls her “natural rebellious spirit”, Taylor spent two summers with a professor in Greenland, observing how climate change was impacting the country’s flora, but found that she was more interested in the stories the local Inuit people had to tell. She wanted to understand the impact of the changing climate on their lives, and during her second summer in Greenland, Taylor brought a video camera to document their stories. This sparked a passion for storytelling and launched her career from biology to filmmaking and photography.

Taylor served as the Program Director of the Yale Environmental Film Festival and holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry in Environmental Anthropology and Film. When not exploring the world with a camera in hand, Taylor spends time in Alaska studying how the local communities experience natural resource conflicts, incorporating photojournalism and film as she does so.

She infuses her passion for adventure into her work on environmental and humanitarian issues, bringing new perspectives and deeper public understanding to challenging topics such as climate change, energy, land use and water. Her filmmaking in these fields has centred around natural resource conflicts and adventures in Alaska, Greenland, Haiti, Nepal, Congo, Russia, Mexico, Iceland, the Rocky Mountains, and the deserts of the American Southwest.

Having spent weeks slogging through the remote jungles of Myanmar before attempting a hike up to the peak of Hkakabo Razi, Taylor and Renan Ozturk created the documentary Down to Nothing with footage from the expedition. While the expedition itself was painful until the very end (they were forced to turn back just 800 feet short of the summit), the resulting documentary earned them the 2015 Cinematography Award from the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival.

Taylor will be leading our Svalbard Photo Safari in August 2019 with fellow filmmaker and photographer, Renan Ozturk.  

Together with Renan, Taylor continues to travel the world in search of stories to tell and mountains to climb. You can follow her adventures on her Instagram account @taylorfreesolo.

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