Mikolaj Nowacki was born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1972. He is a graduate of the University of Wroclaw, where he obtained a law degree in 1997. Nowacki then began Ph.D. studies in International Space Law. However, he renounced his doctorate in law to focus on his other passion, photography.
From 2004 - 2011 he worked as a photojournalist with Poland's most influential daily newspapers, Gazeta Wyborcza, and then Polska the Times. Nowacki published his photos and photo essays e.g. at The Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde, Stern, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Polish editions of National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler and respectable photography blogs like National Geographic Proof, The New York Times Lens, CNN Photos, Burn Magazine.
Since 2014, Nowacki has been a photographer of National Geographic Poland.
Nowacki has won numerous awards and was a finalist in Polish and international photography contests e.g. in Grand Press Photo and BZWBK Press Photo, Sony World Photography Awards, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, Paris Photography Prize (Px3), Outdoor Photographer of the Year.
From 2011-2013, Nowacki was mentored by Antonin Kratochvil at the VII Mentor Program at VII Photo Agency.
In 2011, he took part in a group exhibition, iSee with VII photographers at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston, USA and in 2013 in Queretaro, Mexico.
In 2013, Nowacki had his solo exhibition "Odra" at the VII Gallery in New York.
In 2014, "Odra" was exhibited in China, during the Xishuangbanna Photo Festival, where he received a Nomination for the Best Photographers, as one of the ten best photographers of the festival.
In 2014- 2015, “Odra” was projected during the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia, Auckland Festival of Photography in New Zealand, and Suwon International Photo Festival in Suwon City, South Korea.
In 2015, Nowacki became a European Panasonic Lumix Ambassador.
In 2016, “Odra” was exhibited in China during the Colorful Guizhou- China Original Ecology International Photography Exhibition.
In 2018, Nowacki was the overall winner of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017 competition.
2018- Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017- first prize.
2018- Grand Press Photo, Poland- finalist.
2017- BZWBK Press Photo, Poland- first prize, Nature category, singles.
2015- Panasonic Lumix European Ambassador.
2014- long-term photographic project "Odra" published as a book.
2014- Grand Press Photo, Poland- finalist, stories.
2014- BZWBK Press Photo, Poland- first place, stories.
2014- BZWBK Press Photo, Poland- third place, singles.
2014- NPPA Best of Photojournalism- Honorable Mention, singles.
2014- Sony World Photography Awards- shortlist, story.
2014- exhibition of the Odra photo-essay, during the Xishuangbanna Photo Festival in China. Nomination for the Best Photographers of the festival.
2013- National Geographic Photo Contest, Polish edition- Special Mention, singles.
2013- National Geographic Photo Contest, Polish edition- Special Mention, story.
2013- solo exhibition of the photo-essay "Odra" at the VII Gallery in New York, USA.
2013- i.conography- joint exhibition of photographers of VII Photo agency, PhotoFest Queretaro 2013, Museum of Art Queretaro, Mexico.
2012- Winephoto, International Photo Contest, Italy- Special Mention, story.
2012- Prix Pictet- nominee.
2012- Grand Press Photo, Poland- finalist.
2011- iSee- joint exhibition of photographers of VII Photo agency at the Griffin Museum of Photograhy in Boston, USA.
2011- 2013- Mentor Program at the VII Photo agency.
2010- BZWBK Press Photo, Poland- first prize, story.
2010- Grand Press Photo, Poland- third prize, singles.
2009- BZWBK Press Photo, Poland- second prize, singles.
2009- Grand Press Photo, Poland- finalist, singles.
2008- Newsreportaz, photo competition of Newsweek, Poland- Special Mention, story.
2008- Best Edit- internal National Geographic Magazine's award, given monthly for the best story published in all non-English editions worldwide.
2007- National Geographic Photo Contest, Polish edition- finalist.