Photo Seminar

From Jan. 9 – 12, the National Geographic Society welcomed renowned photographers for its annual Photography Seminar. The theme of this year’s seminar, “Photography for Change,” reflects the vital contributions photographers have made to National Geographic for almost 130 years as well as the increasingly critical role photography is playing in driving awareness, engagement and progress. Today, there are so many challenges facing our planet, from overpopulation and abuse of our natural resources, to rising geopolitical tensions and poverty. In an age of noise, distraction and speed, photography has an unparalleled ability to command our focus and attention and deliver clarity and truth that cannot be questioned, spun or ignored. Photography cuts through geographic, cultural and political barriers and unites people by creating a universal language of beauty, wonder, sorrow, and joy.

Photography shows us the infinite scale of our planet and universe. At the same time, it is profoundly personal, capturing human emotion in all its rawness and intimacy.

Photography provokes thought, changes perceptions, and evokes compassion.

And, perhaps most importantly, photography makes people take action.

Throughout the week, acclaimed National Geographic photographers including Michael “Nick” Nichols, David Doubilet, Maggie Steber, Ed Kashi, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier filled the halls of National Geographic, sharing the power of photography to inspire meaningful action, empower new conservation movements, and make a measurable impact on our planet. These are a few of our favorite images from this powerful week.