• "Photography is a powerful tool that can be used in a very powerful way, but only if you're committed to your ideals, if you're committed to your passion, you know. Not if you're just doing something because you think that's what everyone is going to underwrite or pay or hire you for."

    Karen Kasmauski is a photographer, director and filmmaker who produced 25 major stories for National Geographic Magazine over two decades, on topics including Human Migration, Viruses, Aging and Genetics. Most were based on ideas that she originated and proposed.

    Karen's book “NURSE: A World of Care” explores global issues facing the nursing profession and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her previous book “IMPACT: From the Front Lines of Global Health” examines the causes of infectious diseases throughout the world. Former President Jimmy Carter wrote introductions for both books. Karen was a director on the 2015 documentary film “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight—The Japanese War Brides” aired globally on BBC.

    Karen’s travels have taken her from the rainforests of Malaysia to the megacities of India to the North Slope of Alaska. She has covered earthquakes in Japan, been arrested in Africa and exposed to radiation in Russia.

    After receiving a Getty Images grant to produce a video on the struggles of an environmental nonprofit group, Karen was awarded a Knight Fellowship to study at Ohio University, where she received an MA in Visual Communication.

    As an educator, Karen leads photography tours for National Geographic and other clients in locations ranging from Antarctica to New Guinea to the Galapagos. She teaches classes on video storytelling, photojournalism and news writing at George Washington University, The Corcoran School of Art and George Mason University. She frequently speaks to corporate and non-profit organizations on global health issues. Karen’s photographs have been exhibited at the United States Congress, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Academy of Sciences, Emory University and the National Geographic Society.

  • “Only when I was able to relinquish control, to give up, to embrace hopelessness, was I able to start to see some semblance of order.”

    Cory Richards’ camera has taken him from the runway to the wild and remote corners of world, from Antarctica’s unclimbed peaks to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan, in an attempt to capture not only the soul of exploration, but also the beauty of modern society.

    Cory is a passionate mountain climber on the North Face athletic team, and has carved a niche as one of the world’s leading adventure and expedition photographers, being named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012.

    Cory delivers stunning commercial and editorial images, and his client list includes National Geographic magazine, Outside, The New York Times, Red Bull, and Fossil.

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  • "I've never had anybody [at National Geographic] tell me what to do. There's never an agenda, I mean, never. They just let me go out and be a journalist. As long as I'm a responsible person and respect that, I'm okay, and that's the way they expect us to be good, truth-telling journalists, and just to show what we see."

    Joel Sartore is a photographer, filmmaker, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic Fellow, and a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a Midwestern work ethic.

    Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes in a way that draws attention to a world worth saving. He is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multiyear documentary project to bring awareness to endangered species, habitats, and the biodiversity necessary for healthy ecosystems. Joel has contributed to numerous magazines, books, and national broadcasts including National Geographic Explorer, NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning.

    He is always happy to return home to Lincoln, Nebraska to his wife and their three children.

  • "I gave up on the idea of objectivity. I don't mean I gave up on the idea of truth. I gave up on this idea that you can be intimately involved with a place and not rely on your emotions and all the complex of things you know to help you understand the place."

    Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine. Richardson has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic.

    Richardson's work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. In addition to his color photography, Richardson has built a distinguished body of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life. His 1979 study of adolescence, “High School USA,” is now considered a photo essay classic and is used in college classrooms. He was named Kansan of the Year in 2007 by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.

    Richardson speaks nationally and internationally. He lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where his work is featured at his gallery, Small World, on Lindsborg’s Main Street.

  • “To be able to be amazed on a regular basis – it’s not easy, but you can work on this, you can work on that garden in your mind.”

    Matthieu Paley is a National Geographic photographer living between the remote and a small village on the Aegean coast in Turkey.

    For the past 15 years Matthieu has embarked on assignments for various magazines all over the world, from the base camp of the highest unclimbed mountain in the world in Bhutan to Nauru, the world’s smallest republic in the middle of the Pacific ocean. He has published numerous books including a book on Siberia, a monograph on Mongolia and a commissioned book about Nomadic America. His last and longest book project, “Pamir, Forgotten on the roof of the World”, began unexpectedly in 1999, on a high mountain pass on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    After a 3-year stint in New York, where he studied photography, Matthieu moved to Northern Pakistan in 1999. He remained in the area for over four years, trekking extensively throughout the mountainous regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan while working with his wife Mareile for various NGO’s and actively participating in the development of this little known region.

    Matthieu’s images have been exhibited in private galleries in Hong Kong, Paris and Istanbul. Matthieu is a member of The Photo Society, a group of contributing photographers for National Geographic magazine, and is represented by National Geographic Creative.

  • Asher Jay is an artist whose compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife conservation.

    Asher's travels to the frontline have made her witness and story-teller, combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, promoting habitat sanctuaries and illuminating humanitarian emergencies. Her core message, again and again: biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene – the Age of Man.

    Much of her best-known work spotlights the illegal ivory trade. In 2013, grassroots group March for Elephants asked her to visualize the blood ivory story on a huge, animated digital billboard in New York’s Times Square. Viewed by 1.5 million people, the internationally crowd-funded initiative aimed to provoke public pressure for revising laws that permit ivory to be imported, traded and sold. Asher also participated in the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in New York, where her oval ornament helped raise money for anti-poaching efforts in Amboseli.

    A nomadic globe trotter who fell in love with New York while studying at Parson’s New School of Design, Asher Jay is determined to motivate you to understand you have real power in determining nature’s fate, and our wild future.

  • "Hanging on a rope and shooting a rock climber, there's a lot going on. You're usually in pretty spectacular places,. But to go meet and greet someone for the first time and bring home a good portrait, to me that's more nerve-racking."

    John Burcham is most at home climbing new routes up the often fragile and absurd sandstone spires of Sedona, but has been adventuring and photographing since college. From his experiences working at a fish cannery to a decade spent living in Alaska, John has developed qualities that differentiate him from others in the field. His blue-collar work ethic and love for wild places allow him to capture still and moving images in exploration and adventure from otherwise inaccessible perspectives under grueling conditions. All the while, John smiles.

    Whether he’s shooting high in the Himalayas, in a hospital operating room, or at a studio in town, John constantly engages with his collaborators, subjects, and environment. He has worked for healthcare and outdoor clients including National Geographic, The New York Times, the History Channel, Kahtoola Snowshoes, and Sherpa Adventure Gear.

  • Amy Toensing, an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people.

    Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her fifteenth feature story for them. She has covered cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. For 4 years she documented Aboriginal Australia which was published in the June, 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine.

    Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, including an exhibit at the 2012 Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos. Toensing began her professional career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her hometown paper, The Valley News, in New Hampshire. She then worked for The New York Times, Washington D.C. bureau covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. In 1998, Toensing left D.C. to receive her Master’s Degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University.

    In addition to her photojournalism work, Toensing is committed to teaching photography to kids and young adults in underserved communities. This includes working with the non-profit organization VisionWorkshops on numerous projects including teaching photography to Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine, Burmese refugees in Baltimore, young Pakistanis in Islamabad and children and adults in South Sudan and Jordan.

    Toensing lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband Matt Moyer, who is also a photojournalist.

  • "With the democratization of voices you can start to build an audience and talk to that audience and say what you want to say. You can become your own publishing platform. It can make a difference. It is one of the most exciting times to be a photographer."

    Tyrone Turner is an independent photographer based in Arlington, VA, who has traveled extensively shooting stories focusing on social and environmental issues. As a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine, he has produced stories on the disappearing wetlands of Louisiana; increasing hurricane threats; the coasts of the United States; a special issue on hurricane Katrina; the rebuilding of New Orleans, and a cover story on energy efficiency and conservation. Tyrone was part of the Nat Geo team covering the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010. From August, 2014 to August 2015, Tyrone collaborated with the Nat Geo Proof blog, producing still and multimedia stories about New Orleans as the ten year anniversary of Katrina approached.

    Tyrone has won awards from the Pictures of the Year competition (POY) as well as The Best of Photojournalism (BOP). He was recently was named as a Fellow with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art for 2016-2017.

  • Rena Effendi was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and grew up in the USSR, witnessing her country’s path to independence—one marred by war, political instability, and economic collapse. From the outset, Effendi focused her photography on issues of conflict, social justice, and the oil industry’s effect on people and the environment.

    From 2002 to 2008, Effendi followed a 1,700-kilometer pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey documenting the impact this multibillion-dollar project had on impoverished farmers, fishermen, and other citizens. This six-year journey became her first book Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives Along the Pipeline, published in 2009. The project received numerous awards, including a Getty Images Editorial grant, a Fifty Crows International Fund Award, a Magnum Foundation Caucasus Photographer Award, and a Mario Giacomelli Memorial Fund Award. In 2012, Effendi published her second monograph “Liquid Land”, where her images of Baku are paired with photographs of perished butterflies hunted by her father, a Soviet entomologist, who collected more than 30,000 butterflies in Soviet Union. "Liquid Land" punctuates the theme of fragility and environmental decay of her native city.

    Over the past 10 years, Effendi has covered stories in the post-Soviet region, as well as in Turkey and Iran, including the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, women victims of heroin and sex trafficking in Kyrgyzstan, and the hidden lives of youth in Tehran. In 2011, she received the Prince Claus Fund Award for Cultural Development and moved to Cairo. In 2012, Effendi was short-listed for the Prix-Pictet Global Award for Photography and Sustainability, for her series documenting life of the survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Effendi’s involvement with World Press Photo goes back to 2005, when she was a participant in the Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2012, she was a selector for, and later contributor to the organization’s Reporting Change project.

  • "Your knowledge of wildlife, your ability to get close to it, is so much more important than any technical ability, so if you don't have access to an amazing camera, that's not a problem. Focus on getting really good at sneaking up on animals because that's what's going to help you."

    Bertie Gregory is a 23-year-old wildlife filmmaker, photographer and presenter. In July 2014, he graduated in Zoology with First Class Honours from the University of Bristol and the next day boarded a plane to begin assisting Steve Winter in South Africa on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. Following this baptism of fire, the project evolved into a television program documenting Steve as he attempted to photograph the urban leopards of Mumbai and the jungle leopards of Sri Lanka. The one-hour special premiered in the US on Nat Geo WILD in January 2016.

    Bertie was named the Scientific Exploration Society Zenith Explorer 2015. His quest to track down and film the illusive coastal wolf on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, evolved into his first solo assignment for National Geographic- a 16-part series that launched August 3rd... Click here to watch new episodes weekly.

    Prior to landing the job with Steve Winter, Bertie was named ‘Youth Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2012’ and his first film, 'West Coast Adventure', was nominated for the Youth Award at the Wildscreen Panda Awards 2014.

    Bertie has a fascination with urban wildlife. This came about whilst photographing peregrine falcons in London and Bristol as one of the2020VISION Young Champions, the multimedia initiative that aims to communicate the link between human wellbeing and habitat restoration.

  • Lynn Johnson is a photographer who for 40 years has dedicated herself to exploring the far reaches of the human condition. She develops deep and genuine relationships with the people's whose stories she tells, and feels that it is her job to get out of the way in order that they can tell their own story through her. Lynn is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine and was recently awarded a National Geographic Fellowship. For this episode of the No Filter Podcast Robin Moore sat down with Lynn at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss her approach to photography, how she came back from being told that editing her was like being dropped into a pit with a cloud over it, and her advice for younger photographers.

  • Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine. In 2014 he was named a National Geographic Photography Fellow, and the following year a Nikon Ambassador.

    Brian is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance. His uniquely-creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and its inhabitants.

    Unique within the field of underwater photography is Brian’s ability to pursue subjects of great diversity. His year round assignment schedule frequently finds himself in environments of extreme contrast from tropical coral reefs to diving beneath polar ice. While on assignment he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the last thirty years.

    For National Geographic Magazine, Brian has covered a wide range of stories, from the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, both cover stories. Other NGM features have focused on subjects such as the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks of the Bahamas, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid.

    Brian frequently lectures on photography and conservation issues having presented at venues such as TED Talks, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is also a regular guest on television programs such as NBC’s TODAY Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC’s Good Morning America. Recognition for his work includes awards from organizations and competitions such as Pictures Of The Year International (POYi), BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature’s Best and Communication Arts. In 2010, National Geographic magazine named one of Brian’s images among their 50 Greatest Photographs Of All Time.

    He is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), the Explorer-In-Residence and a member of the Board of Trustees for The New England Aquarium, a Marine Conservation Fellow with Conservation International, on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and on the Board of Directors of the Sea To Shore Alliance. In 2012, Brian created the New England Ocean Odyssey, a multi-year project with the Conservation Law Foundation to photograph marine wildlife in New England waters.

  • Annie Griffiths is a photographer with a mission - some might say many missions.

    She is a true trail blazer, refusing to be bound by convention and unafraid to push for what she believes is possible and right. Annie was one of the first female staff photographers with National Geographic, and managed to balance the demands of assignments that would span two or three months with motherhood, bravely taking her two children, Lilly and Charlie, with her to the remote corners of the earth. Their presence opened doors for Annie in cultures in which other mothers welcomed her, and demonstrated that women did not need to relinquish their chance at a successful career to become mothers.

    Annie has photographed in over 150 countries and has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the human condition. But where others may see only problems and challenges Annie sees opportunity. Angry at the role the media was playing in portraying disenfranchised women and girls around the world as vulnerable and weak, Annie decided to tell a different story, and founded Ripple Effect Images to cover under-reported issues that impact women and girls. She assembled a team of some of the best photographers to help her, and Ripple Effect is going from strength to strength in helping to scale solutions for women and girls globally.

    Annie's exuberant personality and positive outlook shine through in her vibrant images and stories that paint women and girls around the world as strong, resilient and bursting with hope.

  • Pete Muller is a contributing photographer to The New York Times and The Washington Post, and is currently working on his third story for National Geographic Magazine. Since 2005 he has been working to document the individual consequences of war, poverty and social unrest.

    Through a combination of photography, text, audio and video recordings, he aims to illustrate broader issues through individual stories. He creates images and material that demand consideration for the lives of those depicted, driven by the belief that intimate, sensitive photographs leave indelible marks on the conscience and actively oppose the sterilization of human suffering. In 2011 Pete was named TIME Magazine's Wire photographer of the year for his contributions to the Associated Press from Sudan and Central Africa.

    In this podcast we talk about documenting ebola, conflict, and finding your voice as a photographer.