PetaPixel

What it Takes to Be a National Geographic Photographer

The Photo Society has published an interesting article in which Kent Kobersteen, the Director of Photography at National Geographic magazine from 1987 to 2005, shares thoughts on what he looks for in photographers:

[The required] attributes are intellect, passion, maturity and drive.

Reading this, you may say “What about the photography?” Of course any person under consideration must be a great photographer. The National Geographic needs photography that is strong aesthetically and has a sophisticated use of color, photography that is poetic, journalistic, memorable, and comes from unique and intuitive seeing. But, that’s obvious, that’s a given.

All four of these attributes – intellect, passion, maturity, drive — ARE about the photography.

Kobersteen also states that he would choose “a photographer whose eye was not the best, but who worked very hard, rather than the person with the best eye in the world, and who was lazy.”

What it Takes to be a National Geographic Photographer (via APhotoEditor)


Image credit: National Geographic by Jcl


 
  • Iam12whatsthat

    I think a sporty photo vest is a requirement too.  :)

  • Wil Fry

    ‘Kobersteen also states that he would choose “a photographer whose eye
    was not the best, but who worked very hard, rather than the person with
    the best eye in the world, and who was lazy.” ‘

    As a person who’s hired for various types of jobs, I’d always go this route. A hard worker and quick learner is usually much better in the long run than a talented prima donna.

  • Ksuwildkat

    The saying I have used is “ill take willing over able.  I can teach the willing to be able.”

  • Anonymous

    Also being white helps.

  • Killermotion

    Not any more buddy. Not any more.

  • http://twitter.com/Transhawn Tran-Shawn Yu

     I believe that falls under the “obvious and given” section… Lol

  • bluephoto(;

    I wish i was old enough to be a photographer. Almost any free moment of my day is taken up with taking pictures…. ^_^ my family gets annoyed at me!

  • Dave

     You ARE a photographer.

  • Vermontair

    Learning how to take a NG picture -that’s what it’s all about, making the ugly hide and the flys on the natives faces -not too hard for us to take a look at!

  • Photoshark

    according to the photo, we need to know how to use the pop-up flash too haha

  • Drzox

    Tell that to Anup Shah

  • Kent Kobersteen

    I don’t know who that is in the photo, but if you look (not too) closely, you’ll see that the National Geographic logo on the shirt was just added to the picture.

  • Drzox

    i think thats Mike Fay