I am quite humbled to have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from my colleagues at the National Geographic magazine. The Photo Society, comprised of two hundred of the magazine’s photographers spanning 3 generations, surprised me with this announcement. To belong to the group the photographer must have done serious photographic feature assignment work for the magazine.
I have been so very fortunate over the years to have received some precious and treasured awards around the world, but this one is unique for me because it is from my peers - some of the finest photographic talent in the world. Only five colleagues have been awarded this Lifetime Achievement Award previously. My first response was disbelief because as of late I have been mostly absent from that exceptional ‘family’ that I grew up with for fifty years. I smile when I think about the Lifetime Achievement Award I received 20 years ago from the North American Nature Photography Association when I was a youthful 57.
I have evolved from the magazine assignment work and have returned to moving pictures, where I started when I was in my mid 20’s. My first assignment for National Geographic was with the TV division 50 years ago; “Strange Creatures of the Night”, a CBS pre-cable primetime television special. My last and largest NG magazine story was in 2016 - 93 Days of Spring.
I was not able to attend the award ceremony in Washington D.C. in late January as I was deeply emersed in 2 movie projects in Europe. They are the largest and most complex of my career; a feature film about my life in nature produced by a prominent Cannes award winning production company in Paris, and another large screen film that I created, wrote and am producing in Italy with a Bristol, UK film crew. I will share more about these rewarding yet daunting productions at a later date.
I am now back in a snowy Minnesota feeling extremely honored and a bit breathless contemplating it all. I am especially appreciative and beyond grateful for all the family and friends that helped pave the way. This is not possible without that kind of support!