Photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez produces global stories about exploration, adventure, and culture. Alvarez has been a National Geographic photographer since 1995. He has published over a dozen stories with the magazine, including the discovery of an ancient Incan mummy in Peru, the deepest cave in the world near the Black Sea, a jungle expedition through Central America’s longest cave, the whitewater world of New Britain’s caves, the stone forest of Madagascar, a sailing expedition with the Polynesian Voyaging Society aboard the Hokule’a, and the world below Paris from the Opera to the sewers. Alvarez has photographed the moai of Easter Island under the Milky Way, and the panoramic capitals of Europe.
In 2016 Alvarez founded the nonprofit Ancient Art Archive to preserve and share humanity's oldest stories -rock art, cave art and geoglyphs found around the world.
His images have won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communications Arts. His story on the Maya and their religious rituals was exhibited at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. Alvarez has produced stories with National Public Radio, including a story on underground Paris that won a White House News Photographers Association award.
Appearances and lectures include NPR, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning, as well as the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Shakerag Workshops, National Geographic Live, the Atlanta Photojournalism Festival, the Banff Mountain Centre.
Stephen lives with his family in Sewanee, Tennessee.