Gabrielle Motola is an award-winning documentary and portrait photographer. She combines solo motorcycle travel with photography and writing. Her work has been honoured by the AOP, The Observer, Olympus, TWPP, and FujiFilm. Her personal work focuses on people, identity in society, individually, and how society influences identity, with a focus on gender-related aspects. Her commercial work spans the genres of editorial, portraiture, advertising, and travel.

She is best known for her immersive journeys which take her around the globe. "Henge to Henge" chronicled her solo motorcycle trip from Stonehenge to Iceland's Arctic Henge. Her first book, "An Equal Difference", a sociological portrait of the Icelandic mindset, was published in 2016. You can read more about the book and purchase a limited edition copy here.

photo by  Sean Tucker

photo by Sean Tucker


In this video Sean Tucker sits down with Gabrielle Motola to hear how she goes about approaching strangers to take their portraits. This was all captured during her summer 2019 road trip around Scotland to create images with local people and collect their stories.



1993 – 1997 University of Miami B.Sc (Psychology, Motion Pictures, Photography)

1996 Spéos Paris Institute Cert. (Photography)

1996 Annie Leibovitz Studios Photography Assistant Internship



2019 AOP Award

2019 Henge to Henge, Stunphoto Gallery, Hampstead

2019 Emotional Landscapes, Galleri Fold, Reykjavik  

2018 Henge to Henge, After Nyne Gallery, London 

2017 Steypa, University of Agriculture, Hveragerði, Iceland   

2015 Fjallkonan, Icelandic Embassy, London 

2014 Freyja Haroldsdottir, The National Portrait Gallery, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

2014 Maria, International Center of Photography, Faculty Show, New York City

2013 Fjallkonan, Loading Bay Gallery, Truman Brewer, London 

2011 Carnival Sidelines, Association of Photographer’s Gallery, London 

2008 Les Gitans des Saint Marie de la Mer, Gallery 32, London

2007 Selected works in Hackney Urban Development, Four Corners Photoforum, London 

2006 Surfers, Association of Photographer's Gallery, London 

2006 E84PH, Seven Seven Gallery of Contemporary Art, London

2005 Carnival Sidelines, The Guardian Newsroom, London

2004 Underground, 20th Century Theatre, London


2019 AOP Award, Shortlisted

2018 Olympus Documentary Ambassador

2018 The National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, Shortlisted

2015 SIM Arts, Reykjavik, Iceland

2014 The National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, Finalist

2011 AOP OPEN, Finalist

2006 Fujifilm Distinction Awards, Finalist

2006 AOP Open, Judges Choice Award

2005 The Observer Hodge Award 

2005 The IOI International Travel Competition, Finalist

2004 RIPE Benefactor Scholarship, The Workshops Rockport, Maine

2002 Joop Swart Masterclass Nomination

Lecturing, Memberships and Speaking Engagements

AOP Association of Photographers, London - Full Member

NUJ National Union of Journalists, London - Member

Keynote Speaker, Sunday Assembly - London, UK

Keynote Speaker, Network Ireland, Women’s Day, Dublin, Ireland

Guest Speaker and Portfolio Reviewer, Falmouth College of Art - Cornwall, UK

Lead Tutor, The International Centre of Photography - NYC, USA

Lead Tutor MA Post Production, MET Film School - London, England

Guest Speaker, Speós Paris Photographic Institute - Paris, France

Lecturer, The Canon University Tour - UK

Guest Lecturer Post Production, Kvikmyndaskóli Íslands - Reykjavik, Iceland

Guest Lecturer Photography, Ljósmyndaskólinn, - Reykjavik, Iceland

Key Presenter Apple Cinema Applications, Apple World Tour - Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey

Guest Panelist and Speaker, Embassy of Iceland - London, UK

Guest Speaker, DazzleCon, (Zebras not Unicorns) - Portland, USA

aop-full-member-logo-low-res (2).jpg


AFP (Agence France Presse)

Air Iceland My North

Apple Inc.

APT Films

Gagarin Interactive

Icelandair Magazine


Overland Magazine

The Co-Op

The Evening Standard

The Financial Times

The Guardian

The Independent

The Pleasance Theatre Trust

The Reykavik Grapevine

The Saatchi Gallery

The Southbank Centre

The Times

Tomboy Films

Warner Brothers


examples of published work, including audio interviews.


A portion of the work I make is crowdfunded. Individuals find value in what I do. Their support helps me to make work independent of a commercial agenda. Please take a moment to click the link below to see what I’m making and sharing with my community.