b. 1986, USA. Nichole Sobecki is a photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented internationally by the photo agency VII.
Nichole was born in the state of New York and graduated from Tufts University with a degree in political science. She began her career in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, focusing on regional issues related to identity, conflict, and human rights. From 2012-2015 Nichole led Agence France-Presse’s East Africa video bureau before immersing herself in documentary photography. She is also a contributor to Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, and an attempt to showcase the moments missing from dramatic news images — everyday life that is neither idealized nor debased.
Nichole aims to create photographs and films that demand consideration for the lives of those represented – their joys, challenges, and ultimately their humanity. Amidst our fractured present existence, she believes that a well-told story can cut through the noise, deepen empathy, and inspire a more conscious world.
The primary focus of Nichole’s work is on humanity’s fraught, intimate, and ultimately unbreakable connection to the natural world. In 2016 Nichole began her body of work entitled Where Our Land Was, supported by The GroundTruth Project, which investigates the human consequences of significant environmental change in Somalia. She is currently exploring the vital role the Congo Basin plays in the ecological balance of our planet as a National Geographic Explorer. As climate change advances, sustained photography must illuminate the complex and multifaceted problems underway, evoke the power and beauty of the world we share, and remind us all of our collective responsibility to fix what we have broken.
In 2022 Nichole was honored with an ASME Award for Cheetahs for Sale which goes inside the trafficking network helping to drain Africa of its cheetah cubs--and the efforts by Somalilanders to stop the illegal trade. In 2021 she was shortlisted for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) for Where Our Land Was. In 2018 she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights prize in new media for her images documenting Europe's response to the African migration crisis. In 2015 Nichole was a Rory Peck Awards News Finalist for her coverage of the Westgate mall attacks in Kenya. Her work has also been recognized by Pictures of the Year, the One World Media Awards, the Alexandra Boulat Award for Photojournalism, The Magenta Foundation, and The Jacob Burns Film Center, among others.
Nichole’s photography has been exhibited at The United Nations Headquarters and Photoville in New York City, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, The Nikola Rukaj Gallery in Toronto, and beyond. She is a passionate teacher, workshop leader, and speaker.