Ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at how photographers and their editors work together and bring an idea to life? In this exclusive panel, Sarah Leen, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic magazine, sits down with award-winning photographers Erika Larsen and David Guttenfelder.
Moderators: Sarah Leen
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Water Street
Ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at how photographers and their editors work together and bring an idea to life? In this exclusive panel, Sarah Leen, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic magazine, sits down with award-winning photographers Erika Larsen and David Guttenfelder. They’ll discuss how Sarah’s relationship with Erika and David began, the way their collaborative processes evolved, and the challenges they faced in telling their stories. You’ll walk away with an understanding of what to do (and what not to do) to get noticed by photo editors, along with strategies to build ongoing relationships.
David Guttenfelder is a National Geographic Photographer focusing on geopolitical conflict, conservation, and culture. He has spent more than 20 years as a photojournalist and documentary photographer covering world events in nearly 100 countries, including more than 40 trips to North Korea.
Guttenfelder is an eight-time World Press Photo Award winner, a seven-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and the 2013 International Center of Photography Infinity Prize winner for photojournalism. In 2016, a photograph he made in North Korea was named among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Photographs Ever Taken.
Guttenfelder is an influencer and industry leader in smartphone photography and social media. He is the founder of the Instagram collectives Everyday USA • Instagram photos and videos and Everyday DPRK • Instagram photos and videos . Through his personal Instagram and Twitter accounts he engages with over 1 million followers.
Erika Larsen’s work uses photography, video and writing to learn intimately about cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working as a magazine photographer since 2000, specializing in human interest stories and sensitive cultural issues.
Her work has been included in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the National Geographic Society, The Swedish Museum of Ethnography, and Ajtte Sámi Museum.
Larsen is a recipient of a World Press Photo award as well as several grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship, New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship, Women in Photography Individual Project Grant, and a Lois Roth Endowment.
Sarah Leen became the first female director of photography for National Geographic Partners Photography and Visual Media in 2013, leaving in 2019, to launch the Visual Thinking Collective for independent women visual editors, curators, and teachers. For nearly twenty years she worked as a freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine until 2004, when she joined the staff as a senior photo editor.
Leen teaches photography and photo editing workshops at the Eddie Adams Workshop, Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Workshops, and the PhotoLux Festival in Lucca, Italy.
Leen was most recently the photo editor on the 2020 FotoEvidence World Press Book Award recipient Habibi by Antonio Facciolongo, and the National Geographic book Women: The National Geographic Image Collection. She is the primary photo editor for the VII Photo Agency’s visual series America, Again published on Medium. Leen mentors individual photographers on long term projects, and with contest and grant proposals.