Chris Vail is a documentary and news photographer. He covered Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain as a news photographer throughout the 1980s and early 90's. He returned to Latin America from 2002 – 2005. He also works as an editor, producer, and strategist on a wide variety of digital projects.


In 2017 he produced a series of short documentary profiles of AIDS activists for amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure campaign. The series is called Epic Voices.

Some of the work displayed on this site is part for a project on regional Mexican music. It started as a photo essay for the LA Times on music in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The research for that assignment opened up a rich world of traditional music where the different genres of Mexican son vary by geographic location and historical influences.

Chris has worked on multimedia and digital projects, using news and documentary material to create interactive experiences. He oversaw the editorial development of the website for the PBS documentary series, This Emotional Life, which aired in 2010.

He co-edited Nicaragua: A Decade of Revolution (Norton, 1991), a photographic history of the Sandinista years featuring the work of 47 photographers. He taught photography at San Francisco State University and received an Artist in Residence grant from the California Arts Council. His earlier documentary work on Oakland, California was supported by the NEA.

He lives on Roosevelt Island in New York City.