A few weeks ago, National Geographic announced the launch of their blog, Proof. Proof is a blog featuring one of their photographers, every day. The photographer will make a short video, or perhaps write a short article about a certain aspect of their photography work.
I shoot 30,000 or more pictures per year and out of those, maybe 3 or 4 of those are keepers … but those 3 or 4, they’re pretty good! … You’re by yourself all the time; it’s very lonely … you come up with fancy excuses as to why you missed your kid’s birthday, excuses that mean nothing at all to them. Why do we do it? Because we’re saving the earth, and all that is in it.
I started admiring the work of National Geographic photographers, I think, long before I picked up a camera. I remember that they had copies of them in my elementary school. By flipping through the pages, I could visit far away lands, meet different people, learn of their stories – my window on the world, so grand, from the comfort and safety of my school library.
Further, I remember thinking how cool, much later on after I had picked up a camera, that it would be to be an NG photographer. It was a dream, perhaps just a wish, for certainly, a dream without work is simply a wish, and I didn’t really work to find out the ins and outs of how to be that guy. Now, with so much information freely available, it’s much easier to find out how, but the work certainly needs to be done.
Later, and also in a couple of these videos, I saw that it is not a glamorous life. Sure, the pictures are stunning, but the truth of it, as some NG photographers put it, it’s a lonely life, full of missed birthdays, anniversaries, and important dates. You have to really be committed to being an NG photographer, willing to brave certain nearly inhospitable conditions for months on end, perhaps, years.
At any rate, it is fantastic to look at their photos, hear their opinions, and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Certainly, the photos that grace the magazine and the blog are ‘best of show’, the highlights, but it still fascinates me to immerse myself into their stories and photos. Perhaps that is why I still have that wanderlust, going from place to place.