What Does it Take to be a National Geographic Photographer?

Many photographers dream of photographing for National Geographic. So much in fact, the magazine has become iconic in the eyes of amateur and professional photojournalists alike. It’s always fun to hear the insights of a photographer who has had a long standing working relationship with the publication and in the video below, we are treated to just that. Joel Sartore has a been a photographer since he was 18 years old and to this day still can’t imagine doing anything else. Listen to him as he talks about how National Geographic played a major role in that decision:

Sartore’s favorite type of photography to shoot is environmental and nature photography, which he dedicates a good portion of his time to. Working for National Geographic has afforded Sartore the opportunity to start work on an environmental photo project he calls The Photo Ark which he says is a twenty year undertaking. The photos below are just a small sampling of the project.

environmental photographybird photographynational geographic photographer

Sartore’s inspiration behind the project is to bring awareness to conservation efforts, citing that most species are in danger because we are not giving enough attention to them. He hopes to photograph as many species as possible using quality studio lighting. At the time the video was made he has photographed 2500 different species with a goal of photographing 5000-6000 throughout the duration of the project.

“The goal is for people to be able to look these species in the eye and get them to care while there’s still time to save them.”

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