Donna Todd

Donna is one of Australia’s leading photographers and business entrepreneurs, now based in Los Angeles, California, USA.  She has earned over 100 major International photographic awards for her work.  Her pictures, written word, and personal story have been published in scores of magazines, books, and exhibitions around the world.  She has vast experience in the photography industry, including Photojournalism, Portraiture, Illustrative photography, Press, Fashion, Corporate branding, and Commercial.

She explains her work,  “Its about creating empathy, connection, the greatest thing a photographer can do is extract the extraordinary from the ordinary.  What an amazing privilege it is to be able to see inside the world of those lives where I don’t necessarily belong and to show what I discovered, so that others can also learn, expand their horizons and understanding as well.  I’m just so passionate about humanity and documenting the diversity that exists within our world.  Finding seemingly simple moments that mean something larger than they are.  To examine people, and how they interact with one another, to document these moments into compelling reportage that details humanity. What always remains most important, to each individual picture, is that some ‘soul’ is peeking through”.

Donna has travelled to over 20 countries capturing stories in some of the most remote regions of the planet.

She was the first westerner to meet a tribe of people who have been domesticating reindeer for 4000 years in the mountains bordering Siberia and Mongolia, living with them, and documenting their lives.

She was based in Ullan Baatar, Mongolia for 12 months chronicling the  diverse and compelling culture of Shamanism and the lifestyles of some of  its most powerful Shamans. During this time of studying their practice she travelled throughout the most remote regions of Mongolia.

Donna has spent time recording the lives of disadvantaged communities in India, such as leper colonies, and working alongside doctors who provided free health care to the poorest of the poor in Kolkatta.

She has looked into the cultures of remote tribes throughout the Papua New Guinea highlands, Thailand, Nepal, Mexico, Cambodia.

And she has photographed people who volunteer with various non-government agencies teaching the poor English, Spanish, and various other skills in order to help them integrate into modern society. She is passionate about anthropological photography and, of special interest, the Animist belief systems.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, a dynamic and results-driven photojournalist, portrait photographer, and businesswoman having started from scratch one of Australia’s leading portrait studios. Her company turned over a million dollars per annum and employed 14 staff.  Her business success amounts to having an intuitive understanding of marketing.  Her approach is dynamic, and results driven. Her abilities with sales and the general running of a busy photographic studio are second to none, teaching all the staff on her team each and every aspect of the business –  the administrative processes, sales, artist photographic process, and teaching that systems are key to any successful business. 

Donna began her career on the fast paced metropolitan daily newspapers in Australia, working to deadline everyday alongside some of the best photographers in Australia’s press history and competing with the entire photographic department for the front page. She was one of the first female photographers in the press industry in Australia, and spent 15 years as a senior staff photographer covering all aspects of Sport, Hard News, Fashion, and Magazine articles.