Human Journey

10 Photography Experts and their Lessons

During my career in the world of photography, I have had the great fortune to meet,and interview many of the best photographers and editors in this business. In these interviews, and various times throughout my projects, I have always wondered, what have been the most valued lessons they have learned during the course of their careers. Here is a collection of 10 responses I still remember to this date,  and hope they will be useful to you all:

Indigenous boy holding his father´s pirarucu wood carving. Colombian Amazon. The real animal, its also known as arapaima or paiche (Arapaima gigas). It is a South American tropical freshwater fish, and one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world. Photograph © KIKE CALVO


1. “Working in an ethical matter more than anything” – James Estrin

2. “Every story has a teaching experience” – Kathy Moran

3. “Humility” – Jose Benito Ruiz

4. “Hard work is more important than talent, the ability to generate ideas is more important than the eye” – Bob Krist

5. “The most important tools are the mind and soul” – Gerd Ludwig

6. “Never stop looking, no matter where you are, everywhere there are good photographs” – Art Wolfe

 7. “To learn that happiness is what brings success, and not the other” – Ami Vitale

8. “Everyone has something to contribute” – Elizabeth Krist

9. “We should not bring anything in life that presets ideas or stereotypes” – Tino Soriano

10. And last, but not least, I’d say: ¨Never stop dreaming!¨  – Kike Calvo

Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can travel to Colombia with Kike:
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  • Luis Alarcón

    Me quedo con la frase de Bob Krist. Yo personalmente,cada día creo más en imaginar situaciones y crearlas, y sobre todo de trabajar duro… “si tiene que llegar la inspiración, que te pille trabajando”.

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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