GRAIN is an American photography collective composed of Lexey Swall, Greg Kahn, Tristan Spinski.

Mission Statement

GRAIN is a collective of photographers joined in a shared commitment to documentary projects of social, environmental and cultural consequence. The members of GRAIN embrace common goals of collaboration, critical and creative dialogue, and the improvement of artistry and concept. By working with existing editorial outlets, museums, galleries and other institutions, as well as creating their own platforms, the members of GRAIN strive to inform and challenge their audience, clients and each other with their work.

Clients and partnerships include

AARP, American Express, Audubon, The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education,, Education Week, ESPN, The Financial Times, Fortune, FRONTLINE/World, The Guardian, Inc. Magazine, Libération, Monocle, Mother Jones, MSNBC, National Geographic, Newsweek, The New York Times, Nike, NPR, Oxford American, PBS Newshour, POLITICO Magazine, Rolling Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, Science, Smithsonian, stern, The Atlantic, TIME Magazine, USAID, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, The Weather Channel, Wired


What is GRAIN?
GRAIN is a photography collective with members producing long-term editorial projects. Please see our mission statement for more on our philosophy.

What does the collective do?
The members of GRAIN support each other through the creative process, from conceptualization, to execution, to publishing and distribution of long form projects. The culmination of those efforts result in an annual publication of work, starting in 2018.

Where are members of GRAIN based?
Greg Kahn and Lexey Swall are based in Washington, D.C., and Tristan Spinski is based in Portland, Maine.

How do I acquire images for publication from GRAIN?
Images made by GRAIN photographers are licensed to publications, using our archive at on HERE.

What is the process for submitting work to be considered for membership in GRAIN?
At this time we are not adding any new members to GRAIN. When we do, we will have a section on the website with instructions on how to submit your work.

Are GRAIN members available to speak or coach at workshops and conferences?
The photographers in GRAIN have all guest-lectured for a variety of audiences and institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, the International Center of Photography, the Atlanta Photojournalism Conference, The Mountain Workshops and the Naples International Film Festival, to name a few, and have coached and mentored students and beginning photographers over the years. For more information, please contact a member of the collective directly, or send an email to