Changing Planet

Your Questions for an NG Photographer

Award-winning photojournalist Brian Skerry specializes in bringing the most fantastic scenes from underwater up to the surface for the rest of us to enjoy. His closeups and animal portraits are both abstractly beautiful and scientifically fascinating.

His images of damaged reefs, thriving ecosystems, and close-encounters with wildlife have inspired people, and helped lead to the creation of Marine Protected Areas around the world. They are also gathered in his new National Geographic book, Ocean Soul in stores and online now.

Photo courtesy Brian Skerry

Brian will also be presenting photos from Ocean Soul in a National Geographic Live! event this Monday in Washington, D.C.


While he’s here at NG Headquarters, he’ll be joining us for a live conversation with you on the National Geographic Facebook page Monday, November 14 at 2:30pm ET (7:30pm UTC). Post your questions there or in the comments section of this blog post. Then tune in for the live interview and post more questions as the conversation develops.

To start your brain thinking of what you’d like to ask this renowned photographer, take a look at some of his recent work from National Geographic magazine, and watch the video below to hear him talk about catching the spectacular image above.


Learn More About BrianSkerry
Check NG Live Venues Near You for Brian’s Next Talk
See His Photos on Exhibit in Washington, D.C.
National Geographic Photographer Profile
Brian’s Own Photography Site

Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.
  • olga c. Romero

    Very cool…!!!! great capture fantastic…..

  • Steve


  • Beth Green

    This is one of my all time favorite photos… what an awesome creature to capture on film so close!!

  • juancarlos granados osorio

    MARAVILLOSO,extraordinaria foto,goliat y el gigante… ballena y el hombre….

  • وردة عراق

    Thanks ,This is a great video Mr,Brian



  • Dan Primmer

    What an amazing photo!

  • Mariyana Nikolova


    I tried several times to diving and usually the fear down is so huge that from this panic the breathing become more frequent that even could expect. I could explain it like to put somebody after 100m sprint to breath with aqualung underwater … and from so much bubbles people usually haven’t good view, that mean that to make such a photo, such amazing photo you should be significantly calm or just to pretend that you are and to lie your brain. So my question is what kind methods he use, singing something favorite, counting something, speaking something to himself …and something more how get focused and concentration?
    And in fact with this frequently breathing the first think going through my mind is … with so much bubbles around probably the animals pay more attention on me.. I become on their field of vision, what happened after that?

  • Akshat

    What tips will you give to a 13year old guy who loves photography and wants to click awesome pics! 😀

  • Vicky Daswani

    the best pic i have ever seen ……

  • […] Award-winning photojournalist Brian Skerry specializes in bringing the most fantastic scenes from underwater up to the surface for the rest of us to enjoy. His closeups and animal portraits are both abstractly beautiful and scientifically fascinating.… […]

  • Tom Thomasson


  • Cycris Pedrosa


  • moustafa


  • Rizal


    God job Brian..

  • Rizal


    Good job Brian..

  • Robert Wahl

    Good Day Mr. Skerry

    I am a Freshmen Photography Major enrolled in Ringling College of Art & Design. I would like to first Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

    It is my goal to one day be a photographer for National Geographic, and was wondering what advice you could give to young aspiring photographers?

    Thank you very much for your time. Robert Wahl

  • muhamad syahmi aiman


  • silvia

    Excelente ! Quiero ser un fotógrafo national geographic !

  • james

    wow hes allowing some time and effort to communicate with you some beings are inteligent! just to think all the whale had to do is pretend people are smart and caring!LOL

  • Maria de los Angeles

    Me encantaron las fotos, son maravillosas. Lo felicito Brian. y gracias a NG por publicarlas.

  • mekenna

    i love that pic it is sooooooooo cool. how can i get a photographer job for natgeo. i really want to travel the world taking pics and stuff.

  • Laura Moscatello

    Many of us have the romantic idea that being a National Geographic photographer is a dream job. What has been one of the more difficult experiences that you have had to give us a sense of perspective that while it may be a dream job, it’s not a cake walk?

  • sonia brunelli

    Que espectacular imagen,mis felicitaciones a ambos fotografos…..increible!!

  • ramjiyani kalpesh

    hello sir……..i m your big fan…………..i like very much your work……………your every photo was amazing and outstanding……………i realy impresed to you………………….in my life i want to meet you oncetime………..plz sir….

  • Doug Eng

    Hey Brian,
    I remember having lunch with you twenty years ago in Westerly Rhode Island, after doing a dive on a submarine with Billy Palmer’s crew and the Thunderfish. What is Emory Kristoff doing these days, I saw him when I crossed paths with him at the entrance of NG headquarter about 1995. Cheers, Doug

  • Neil Bishop

    the photo you capture of a man and a whale to look at this image is like a select few its more than just a photograph, you can feel it. Their a photographs in this world that you can just feel and if you can capture this feeling its beautiful well done mate. I hope to work for National Geographic as a wildlife photographer its my dream in life..

  • SRK

    How did you first start working for NG as a photographer? What does it take to catch their eye?

  • Ima Ryma

    My trusty sidekick and I dove
    Deep down onto the ocean floor,
    Where there’s a photo treasure trove
    Of underwater life galore.
    Suddenly, a huge whale swam by,
    Had to be the size of a bus.
    It stopped and gave us both the eye,
    Seeming to be just curious.
    My sidekick clicked and I did too,
    Pics of the whale, which moved quite quick,
    Mouth opening right in my view,
    And swallowed up trusty sidekick.

    Just like the Bible Jonah tale,
    My sidekick’s kickin’ in a whale.

  • Ali Sanan

    Do you retouch your photos in photoshop ? it is hard to believe that these are raw camera pictures.

  • Dimuth Fernando

    Wow Brian you did a great job with you supporter,How did you find this animal? is this a snap you got suddenly or have planed this earlier.See how innocent this animal? But according to the statistics we will lost this giant from our earth. To protect them this kind of thing photos will help and this photos will tell how they innocent.Thank you very much brian.

  • Jessica Fischer

    What made you want to become a photographer as a career goal?

    I’m in a Natural Environment program at Sault College, and for my employment skills class we are supposed to ask someone who has the career we are interested in achieving ourselves why they choose the career they did, and how they achieved it.

    This is probably they only chance i will have to have a NG photographer answer this question. It would mean a lot to me if you could answer it. Thanks 🙂

  • Scarlett

    It’s been my dream since I was 10 to have your job. How did you get to where you are now in your career? How often do you travel as a NG photographer?

    Would you have any tips for an aspiring photographer?
    Thanks so much if you see this and decide to answer 🙂 You’re my idol!

  • soufia

    what does it take to become a national geographic photographer or a wildlife photographer?

  • Christopher Aadna

    What’s the mot important ability one need to become a photographer / contributor for National Geographic? Tell us at what age you realised this was “your thing”!

  • Divo

    Halo Brian,

    Can you give me some tips to become a great underwater photographer like you? 🙂

    Thank you very much for your time 🙂

  • Molly ORourke

    I think this is such a cool thing NG is doing. All my questions have been asked and I”m just waiting for your responses.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Nathanael Santiago

    How did you ever get started working with National Geographic? I’ve been an avid reader for years, going to school for photography and participate in the website for photos but I hear very very little on how one gets to work with them as a photographer or as a writer. This is a dream of mine to work with them or even just travel with them, I find the world an amazing place and the only way to share it with so many people, 7billion! Is through photography and writing! Two things I love!

  • Amit Das

    I want to become cameraman I hav completed graduation now continuing MSc what i hav to do so that i can join post of a cameraman…

  • Joseph A Persicketti ll

    Wow i had no idea so may people shared the same dream i do. They have all pretty much asked the same questions i had for u. It has been my dream to be an under water photographer ever since i can remember, and now i finally relize that i need to presue my dream before its to late. I only have one other question for u that i dont believe anyone else asked. What is ur favorite under water camera, and what do u think would be a good one for me to start off with? Thank u sincearly for ur time Brian, and keep bringing us these great pics!

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