Nat Geo Photo Editor On Listening to Your Inner Voice and Putting the Photo First

If you’ve ever dreamed of being published in National Geographic — and let’s be honest, a good number of us have fantasized about that career path — then you’re going to want to pay special attention to the short video above.

At the request of Nat Geo photographer and burn magazine editor David Alan Harvey, Nat Geo photo editor Susan Welchman gives you some concise advice on what she’s looking for from her photographers.

This is just a short preview of a longer talk (which, by the way, we can’t wait to see) but there’s still some gems in there at the very end. The good stuff starts around 2:15 and goes for the last minute of the video.


We won’t spoil it, but the overall gist is to just be yourself. Who knew, the Genie from Aladdin had it right. Don’t copy successful photographers, don’t try to BE them, because you’re not them. And it’s your own inner voice and vision that, once developed, the magazine will want to publish.

For the full spiel, check out the video at the top.

(via burn magazine)

  • 100Dollar

    these old geezers can see without a lupe?

  • battlepriest

    Weird clip. It cuts her off in mid-sentence. Why would someone post this in this condition? These are professionals whose opinion we should listen to?

  • csmif

    I’m not familiar with her work, but David Alan Harvey is DEFINITELY a photographer we could all learn from.

  • lebosi

    why does it end as she gets started?

  • Harvey Creswell

    Really annoying video – poor volume so you can’t hear what she’s saying, and then what she says is banal and difficult to understand.

  • Andy Umbo

    …used to live in DC and getting into NatGeo even to see someone, or figuring out how to approach them is the stuff of legends, no one knows how to do it, and the ones that get in really have no “one method” to getting there. It’s a strange little club that a ton of people want to join but no one can figure out how. I know plenty of really exceptional photographers doing work all over the world that never were able to get through the door. It’s inexplicable. A person is better off just going about their business and maybe someday, someone will contact you!

  • Justin Sheely

    I find it amusing that many here are annoyed with the quality of the clip. This vid has more wisdom for photographers than the most polished videos from many popular photography blogs out there. I can’t wait to see more. Thanks for sharing!

  • Shaon

    The clip is messed up for me. The audio is playing slow motion & the video speeds up & slows to normal. Its not audible. Tried refreshing a couple times. Im viewint the sit on a Samsung Pad 8.0. Never had this issue with viewing videos before.

  • rpriest500

    My favorite band won’t allow cameras. As much as I love their music, I’ll attend other band’s performances that will allow me to do what I love.

  • photos

    “photography should come before everything else” and THEN you post a crap video with inaudible sound like this ? Magnum is an retirement home for has beens, and these 2 just prove it right here!