Al Satterwhite started working as a photographer at a major daily newspaper in Florida while in high school, covering major news stories in the Southeast. After a year as the Governor of Florida's personal photographer, he started a career as a freelance magazine photographer. Over the next 10 years he worked on assignment for almost every major magazine, including Life, Look, Newsweek, People, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Time, Travel & Leisure, to name a few.
In 1980 he moved to New York City to form his own production company and concentrate on advertising. For the next 15 years he did a wide range of national and international advertising work, becoming known for his saturated color images and keen sense of design and composition. He lectures and holds workshops at various facilities around the U.S.
His photographic prints are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Houston Fine Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), George Eastman House, Polaroid Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture and numerous private collections.