Sumit Dayal was born in Kashmir, India, grew up in a small neighborhood in Kathmandu, Nepal, and went to boarding school and later university in New Delhi. His exposure to a confluence of cultures from an early age gave him the ability to speak five languages and provided Sumit with a unique perspective on the struggles and opportunities in South Asia. In 2006 Sumit graduated in Documentary & Photo Journalism from the International Center of Photography in New York. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer, covering Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

His work documents the plight of societies, disappearing cultural traditions and changing landscapes of South Asia. In 2006 he received the Alexia Foundation Award, and in 2010 was chosen by Photo District News magazine as one of the 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch.The same year, he won the Emerging Photographer Award at the National Geographic All Roads Photography Program with his long term project in Kashmir “On Going Home”. In 2010 he was among the photographers selected by Giorgia Fiorio for the Reflexions Masterclass. He has published on Time, Glamour, Vrij Nederland, Shell UK, Soros Foundation Nepali Times, Dan Church Aid, Vanity Fair and Himal. He is based in New Delhi.