CEO Chooses Wildlife Photography and Philanthropy Over Retirement

Over the course of his 40+ year business career, Brian Hampton took the lead as CEO of 5 successful companies. Through it all, however, he had a passion for photography that never waned. And so, now that he’s retired from the business world and has time to spend pursuing that passion, he’s turned what was once a hobby into an incredibly successful wildlife photography career — as long as you don’t equate making money with success.

You see, Hampton is a specific kind of successful when it comes to photography. He’s well-known and respected, but almost half of the money he makes selling signed 12″ x 12″ and 18″ x 18″ hand-made books of his work (at $1,850 and $2,500, respectively) goes straight to charity, and the rest goes to covering publishing costs. In fact, Hampton doesn’t even break even … he loses money.

But to him, this doesn’t seem to mater. Over the years his work — some of which has been displayed in the Smithsonian — has helped to raise over $100K for charity. The fact that he loses money doing what he loves doesn’t matter as long as he and his wife can continue to travel, take pictures and raise money for qualified not-for-profit organizations. To that end he has been, and continues to be, wildly successful (no pun intended).

Here’s a sampling of some of Hampton’s stunning photography:

Hampton Black-Faced Vervet Monkey PetaPixel

Hampton Buffalo Sunset PetaPixel_2113R1

Hampton Crocodile Lion PetaPixel_2465

Hampton Danger Lurks PetaPixel_1252

Hampton Duba Boy PetaPixel_4281_1065

Hampton Lagadema PetaPixel_7953R2

Hampton Marking the Territory PetaPixel_7932

Hampton Namib Lions PetaPixel_6605

Hampton Protection PetaPixel_0624

Each of his books consists of 50 amazing photos taken either in Africa or the Everglades (Alaska is next), narrowed down from over 1,000 candidates. Those 50 are then sent to a local photography studio where each book is hand-crafted one at a time.

To see more of his work or, if you can afford to, purchase one of his photo books and help a charity at the same time, head over to his website by clicking here.

(via PictureCorrect)

Image credits: Photography by Brian Hampton and used with permission.

  • Redstart

    The world could use a few more people like Brian.

  • ce

    very inspiring story…i always think of how much money i can make when i go full photography… but i am wrong…

  • Sascha Rheker

    ” as long as you don’t equate making money with success. (…) In fact, Hampton doesn’t even break even … he loses money.”

    I bet any professional wildlife photographer will be absolutely happy to hear this!

  • Scott M.

    What a great retirement plan Brian has! He is an excellent photographer IMO.

  • Rob Elliott

    Well when you donate any profits to Charity you don’t make money.

  • Doug

    The fact that he is donating to charity is admirable but his photography isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

  • Sascha Rheker

    I don’t think so…

    “but almost half of the money he makes (…) goes straight to charity “

  • Ivana

    I swear, a huge chunk of people who come to this site are the worst negativists in the world. You’d think that one’s personal aesthetic preferences could be put aside to understand other’s aesthetic choices.

    Seriously, photographers hating other photographers. It’s a disease on the community.

  • Phacetious Plebbe

    These are beautiful photos…they show the glory of God, in creating all that natural beauty. Kudos to Mr. Hampton in capturing these images. He is an inspiration

  • Phacetious Plebbe

    Mr. Hampton,
    You are welcome to come to Belize any day and photograph the wildlife here. I believe you would be most occupied…and happy.

  • Rob Elliott

    yes… if the book cost $550 to produce on a make to order basis and he donates $400 and the book costs $900 then it costs Brian $50 a book and he is donating almost half the money he makes $900 dollars. to charity.

    You have to remember this is from CNN, so you have to take the information with a grain of salt.

  • Karl

    I would want to meet him someday, what an incredible man. Kenrockwell should learn how to take photos from this man xD

  • Redstart

    Ken Rockwell has never claimed to be a wildlife photographer.