Photographer, adventurer and storyteller Aaron Huey captures all of his subjects — from war victims to rock climbers to Sufi dervishes — with elegance and fearless sensitivity.

Why you should listen

Aaron Huey is a masthead photographer for National Geographic Adventure and National Geographic Traveler magazines. His stories from Afghanistan, Haiti, Mali, Siberia, Yemen and French Polynesia (to name just a few) on subjects as diverse as the Afghan drug war and the underwater photography of sharks, can be found in The New Yorker, National Geographic and The New York Times.

Huey serves on the board of directors for the nonprofit Blue Earth Alliance. In 2002, he walked 3,349 miles across America with his dog Cosmo (the journey lasted 154 days), and was recently awarded a National Geographic Expedition Council Grant to hitchhike across Siberia.

What others say

"My success is not measured in money. I have no financial security, I have no savings account. I measure my success by asking myself if I’m telling a story that the world needs to hear, if I am educating people." — Aaron Huey

Aaron Huey’s TED talks

Aaron Huey on the TED Blog

Since the Talk

Aaron Huey on a new way to honor the Native American treaties

September 4, 2013

When he set out to create a photo essay on “poverty in America” in 2005, photographer Aaron Huey had no idea what was in store for him. But what started as one story soon consumed his life as he became a committed activist devoted to raising awareness about Native American treaty rights. Just last month, […]

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Art

Three TEDTalks converge in Manhattan

May 20, 2012

The topics of three different TEDTalks are converging this weekend in New York City … Street artist JR, the winner of the 2011 TED Prize, is pasting a portrait of a young member of the Lakota tribe on a wall of Manhattan’s High Line Park — part of a massive tribute to the Native American […]

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Quotes from Aaron Huey

[The U.S. government] was tired of treaties. They were tired of sacred hills. They were tired of ghost dances. And they were tired of all the inconveniences of the Sioux. So they brought out their cannons. ‘You want to be an Indian now?’ they said, finger on the trigger.
Aaron Huey
TEDxDU 2010 • 902K views Nov 2010
Courageous, Jaw-dropping
‘Wasichu’ is a Lakota word that means ‘non-Indian,’ but another version of this word means ‘the one who takes the best meat for himself.’
Aaron Huey
TEDxDU 2010 • 902K views Nov 2010
Courageous, Jaw-dropping
More Medals of Honor were given for the indiscriminate slaughter of women and children than for any battle in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.
Aaron Huey
TEDxDU 2010 • 902K views Nov 2010
Courageous, Jaw-dropping