Kaila Drayton is a National Geographic Explorer, conservation photographer, and storyteller. She first realized the power of photography as a storytelling tool when she traveled to the country of Niger. Niger opened Kaila's eyes to the challenges and dangers faced by people, specifically women, in developing nations. After Niger, Kaila traveled to El Salvador, using photography to tell the story of children in both private and government-run orphanages. The photographic series focused on the economic and political challenges faced by the Salvadoran people. She then traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to document how tourism and nature intersect and what the Ecuadorian people are doing to protect their country’s natural resources. In 2009, Kaila joined the Peace Corps in Panama, serving as an agriculture volunteer and capturing her time in the field as well as in the community. Her photographic work from all four aforementioned countries has been featured on BBC News Online.
Her nature and wildlife photography has been featured by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Federation, and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
Kaila was awarded a grant in 2017 by National Geographic to teach environmental conservation through photography to youth in Ghana.