Martin Hartley is one of the world’s most respected polar photographers. 

He is one of only a handful of professional photographers to have ever crossed the Arctic Ocean on foot and with dogs, documenting the state of the disintegrating Arctic Ocean sea ice on three major environmental expeditions: Adventure Ecology Top of the World Trans-Arctic Expedition (2006), and Catlin Arctic Survey (2009 and 2010).

With twenty photographic assignments in the Arctic and three in the Antarctic to his name over the past twelve years, he has built an extraordinary archive of rare polar imagery.

His in-depth technical knowledge, creative vision and ability to produce results in the most difficult of conditions makes him a highly sought after photographer.

He has won numerous awards for his adventure travel and expedition photography and was nominated by Time Magazine as one of the ‘Heroes of the Environment 2009’ for his work with Catlin Arctic Survey.

His first book, Face to Face: Polar Portraits in collaboration with Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) was published in 2008 to accompany a touring exhibition of historic and contemporary polar portraits. The second edition is now on sale.

His polar images have featured in The North West Passage exhibition at the National Maritime Museium, Christie’s Polar Sale, and several exhibitions at The Royal Geographical Society with IBG.

He has been published in all the major broadsheets, travel and photography journals including: 
The Times, The New York Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, The Telegraph National Geographic publications, Outside magazine, Geographical, British Journal of Photography, Hotshoe, Food & Travel, Harper’s Bazaar, Outdoor Photography, Digital Photography, Practical Photography. 

Martin has been featured on the BBC, ITV, CNN, Al Jezeera, Sky, NBC, ABC, CBC and numerous other TV channels.

He lives in London and balances his polar work with other expedition/adventure travel assignments, editorial, advertising and corporate work.                                               

Martin has crossed the Arctic Ocean on foot and with dogs on three major environmental expeditions: Adventure Ecology Top of the World Trans-Arctic Expedition 2006 (spending 100 consecutive days on the frozen sea ice), Catlin Arctic Survey 2009 (73 consecutive days on the sea ice), and Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 (61 consecutive days on the sea ice).

He has taken part in three further expeditions to the Canadian High Arctic (American Express Franklin Memorial 2003, Mitchemp Trust Baffin Island Traverse 2002 and 2007) and two expeditions to Antarctica (Shackleton Memorial, South Georgia 2001 and Invesco Perpetual Trans-Antarctic 2004), building up an extraordinary archive of rare polar imagery.

He has been commissioned to photograph numerous polar adventurers both before and during their expeditions (Omega Foundation North Pole Solo 2003, Tetley South Pole Mission 2003, Serco Trans-Arctic 2004, Barclays Capital Ultimate North 2005, Mars North Pole Solo 2007 and Ernst & Young North Pole Speed Record 2008).

He has also taken part in expeditions to other parts of the world (DHL 40th Anniversary Everest Nepal, Motorola Pamirs, Kyrgyz Republic, Sheer 7 Low’s Gully Ascent, Borneo, Zanskar Ice Odyssey, India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India). Martin’s images from these other expeditions can be found on

2010 Catlin Arctic Survey

2009 Catlin Arctic Survey

2008 Ernst & Young North Pole Speed Record

2007 Rosie Stancer Mars North Pole Solo

2007 Mitchemp Trust, Baffin Island traverse, Canadian High Arctic

2006 Adventure Ecology Top of the World, Trans-Arctic

2005 Barclays Capital Ultimate North, Canadian High Arctic

2004 Serco Trans-Arctic

2004 Invesco Perpetual Trans-Antarctic

2003 Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India

2003 Omega Foundation Pen Hadow North Pole Solo

2003 American Express Franklin Memorial, Canadian High Arctic

2003 Tetley South Pole Mission, Antarctica

2002 Mitchemp Trust, Baffin Island traverse, Canadian High Arctic

2001 Zanskar Ice Odyssey, India

2001 Shackleton Memorial, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic

2000 Sheer 7 Low's Gully Ascent, Borneo

1999 Motorola Pamirs, Kyrgyz Republic

1993 DHL 40th Anniversary Everest, Nepal

Martin has a unique understanding of the logistics and practicalities of polar travel and expeditions, having taken part in several major expeditions across the Arctic and Antarctic and having worked intensively with such a variety of explorers and adventurers over the past twelve years. He is often the last person that an explorer spends time with before setting off onto the sea ice as he photographs them undertaking their final kit tests, preparations, packing and departure. 

Martin offers consulting on cold weather equipment – both photographic and technical (clothing, tents, survival equipment, food) and on expedition logistics.

He has advised Pen Hadow, Catlin Arctic Survey, Ben Saunders, Rosie Stancer, National Geographic's Dan Westergren and many others.

He is a regular speaker at the Royal Geographical Society’s Explore weekend, advising young people on expedition photography and cold weather management.


For further information please email or phone + 44 (0)7711 017202

Martin is often invited to speak about his photography of some of the most inaccessible parts of the planet.

Martin's photographs are astonishing.  They are beautiful despite the harsh environment they reveal.  The challenging reality of life in the Arctic is brought home wonderfully through Martin's clear and knowledgeable narration.  Martin's talk was the outstanding event of the day.
Shelley Debate, Head of Schools, Royal Academy of Arts

For further information and to book a talk, please email or phone +44 (0)7711 017202

Recent and forthcoming talks include:


Wilderness Photography (National Wiilderness Medicine Conference) 30 Oct 2010

Last Frontiers - panel discussion as part of Travellers' Tales Festival (Royal Geographical Society, London) 20 Feb 2010

Photographing the Arctic Ocean (Royal Academy of Arts, GSK Earth Art of a Changing World exhibition ) 17 Jan 2010

 & Media / Planning Polar Expeditions (Explore, Royal Geographical Society, London) 14 Nov 2009

Discovering the Canadian Arctic
 (Royal Geographical Society, London) 11 Nov 2009

Expedition Photography (Digital Public, London) 16 Sep 2009

Expedition Photography on the Catlin Arctic Survey (Panasonic Trade Expo, Berlin) 3 Sep 2009

Life on an Arctic Expedition
 (Noss Mayo Junior School, Devon) 10 Jul 2009

Photography Workshops

Martin is currently developing several photography workshops for 2011.

For further details please email