Melissa is a photojournalist whose images of the American West feature wild horses, public lands and environmental issues. She often works with her husband, Randy Olson and their work has taken them to 50 countries over the past 20 years. Even though they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily worked on projects for the National Geographic Society.
Wild at Heart is Farlow’s book that focuses on America’s wild horse legacy. She photographed thoroughbred horses in Kentucky for years before focusing on mustangs. Her love of equine traces back to an early age when she recalls writing a letter to Roy Rogers to ask if he could send her Trigger. Her parents gave into her passion and found her an old one-eyed cow pony named Silver that ate watermelon rinds and chewed tobacco.
Farlow’s National Geographic books include Wild Lands of the West and Long Road South about the Pan American highway. Her images are printed in over 70 books including Women in the Material World, Day in the Life series and a number of Geographic’s books including The Photographs, Best 100 Wildlife Photographs and in Women Photographers at National Geographic.
Awarded a Pulitzer Prize while on the staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Farlow received a National Headliner Award as well as Pictures of the Year portfolio honors. She was named Distinguished Alumni by the IU School of Journalism and also inducted into Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.