Sarah Leen

Editor . Teacher . Curator . Founder
The Visual Thinking Collective
Location: Washington DC
Nationality: American
Biography: In 2019, Sarah Leen founded The Visual Thinking Collective as a community for independent photo editors, teachers and visual managers to serve photographers, media, art and academic institutions, NGOs, and corporate clients in telling their... read on
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How National Geographic Selects Its Photographs: An Interview with Sarah Leen
sarah leen
Mar 28, 2017
11/22/2016 05:39 pm ET | Updated Dec 02, 2016
By Ben Arnon
Read the interview, here

If you’re like me, you’ve grown up with a deep fascination of and a keen appreciation for the photographs in National Geographic. A true standard bearer in the industry, National Geographic and its photographers are almost mythological.

Have you ever wondered how the entire process of getting the photographs from camera to page actually works? Many of the stories being covered are located thousands of miles from Washington, DC, which serves as the global headquarters for National Geographic. And many of the photographers are in very remote corners of the world with limited access to communications.

Few people know the ins and outs of what it takes to produce the magnificent photographs and photo-essays that National Geographic brings to the world like Sarah Leen, who currently serves as Director of Photography for National Geographic Magazine and Partners. Though she is a talented photographer herself, these days Sarah leads the charge on helping National Geographic bring stunning photographs to the world.

I recently interviewed Sarah to better understand the fine art and the craft of editing photos at one of the most prestigious publications in the world. The interview that follows is the second in a series of interviews I will publish that explore the art and craft of editing photographs on the world stage.


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