Comments: 757 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

meltinghero248 karma

How much do you earn per year? I am really curious.

Desseux522 karma

If i had to guess... Somewhere between 90 to 100 thousand dollars anually.

dpatt71133 karma

are all your travelling fees payed for?

Desseux133 karma

Yes. Though NG can be really cheap with the hotels and flight sometimes. :/

DiBlanj152 karma

Where was your favorite place to take pictures?

Desseux372 karma

Got to be New Zealand. Not only because of the beautiful nature but there are some amazing animals there to be found no where else on the planet!

whosinthetrunk75 karma

What are the women like?

Desseux941 karma

Mostly female.

politicaldan150 karma

Any photos you regret taking?

Desseux441 karma

No! There's no regret in doing what you love. Especially if you're doing something that doesn't harm anything or anyone. Though I can't say i haven't had my share of moments or actions i regret doing. We once stumbled upon a mother panda with 2 babies following her lead. As soon as she noticed us following her I thought we were done for. Instead she just started running. And not slow either! Her puppies just sat there confused. We decided to wait nearby to ensure the mother would come back for her children. She didn't.... We had a crew search for the mother and the babies were later taken to a shelter where they now live by the names of Boa and Chi. It turned out well. Baby pandas can't survive without their mother. Although I'm sure they would have had a better life with their mother. Hopefully they're released soon and....

immorteb85 karma

How many times did you run for your life?

Desseux175 karma

I've never had to run FROM anything. You'd be surprised by how many animals that are more scared of us then we are scared of them. The times I've had to run have always been in connection trying to chase down a certain animal to get that perfect shot.

immorteb100 karma

Now you can tell your kids "i chased a Lion before" lol thanks for answering.

Desseux159 karma

Haha yea. Although i never had the chance to chase a Lion. We've had to chase down a 6 metre (19.7 feet) long Pythone though... I was terrified it would change its mind about us being a threat anytime :P

-IZ-80 karma

How did you get your job?

Desseux196 karma

Studied engineering taking some classes in animation and photography. Got really interested in photography once i realised what amazing things there were to take pictures of. Didn't need any special qualifications only some years studying photography and being able to use their gear. There's also a huge amount of luck inolved.

PounderMcNasty73 karma

Have you ever photographed 2 rhinoceroses having sex?

Desseux178 karma

Too often....

politicaldan71 karma

Best experience that you have had?

Desseux204 karma

We were on a tour through New Zealand looking for animals to photograph. Then we suddenly spot this huge green bird (almost like a giant Kiwi bird). The species is called Kakapo (haha) and is one of the rarest bird species in the world. Being the team of 4 the bird entusiats we were we start chasing it as it was obviously frightened by us. I wasn't fortunate enough to get any pictures of it but just being able to tell people I have encountered one of the rarest birds in the world is truely enough.

Thebanhammerer19 karma

I live in New Zealand Would you like to see my photos?

Desseux30 karma

Yeah sure :)

Cats-go-moo66 karma

Were you ever threatened by a tribe while in a jungle?

Desseux152 karma

The opposite actually! We were greated by a tribe in South America and offered food and a place to sleep. They were very kind. Almost looked like those you see in the movies with cloth covering their gentalia and piercings all over their body.

drixenol8849 karma

What's the most dangerous thing you had to do to take a good picture?

Desseux163 karma

Me and a crew of about 7 other people were in Congo trying to get pictures of whatever interesting animal or insect we could find. We had been informed what places to avoid earlier. One of these places was the habit of a Gorilla herd. When we were later informed that the Gorillas had moved from their later area it was too late. It didn't take long till we realised we were in the middle of a Gorilla habitant. Working for NG you are equipped with cameras and usually a guide and an interpreter. No guns, no guards. Nothing that would prove useful an event like this. Remember, we're there to take pictures. Not interfere! As soon as the Gorillas spotted us they appeared aggressive. We tried to get away but it didn't take long until one of them lunged at us. Luckily the rest of the tribe didn't do the same. I would guess the one taht attacked us was the leader as it also was a male. That day two guys were injured. One had broken both his arms and had to amputate one of them. And the other guy had 4 of his 5 fingers on one hand bitten off. Although it was worth it as i got some awesome pictures of the Gorillas. :)

wolfrandom39 karma

best way to get a job as a photographer at Nat Geo?

Desseux98 karma

If you don't have any experience with working as a photographer they won't even bother with you.


Have you ever had trouble with the local authorities?

Desseux64 karma

No. Never! We travel as tourists and are well informed on where we are allowed to be and what we're allowed to take pictures of.

exahadron31 karma

How much are you paid as a photographer?

Desseux72 karma

We are usually paid in the same way that paparazzis are paid. NG buys our pictures and base the price on the quality of the picture and the demand for the type of animal, bug or plant we photographed.

Nycwill23 karma

Great to see an amazing photographer here. I always admire the great work NatGeo and its photographer do and hoping that one day I can be part of it. I have a few questions.

How did you get the job? Were you scouted and recruited?

Does NatGeo provide you with the gear?

What kind of obstacles did you encounter if there were any to get the shots you want?

Being a NatGeo photographer do you get an access pass when you're doing a job?

What was your most memorable assignment?

Is there anything you hate about the job?

I might have more questions..=)

Desseux51 karma

1: I knew some people in the business. They helped me with aplications and stuff. NG didn't require any particular education though. Being able to use a camera and have a certain amount of knowledge about photographing was enoguh. Although the chance of they even bothering with you is 0 to minimal if you hadn't had any earlier ocupations as a photographer. There's also some luck included as they get thousands of applications.

2: Yes. All fieldphotographers are provided with their own cameras, equipment, travel pass and more.

3: Being able to handle obstacles is a big part of the business. Sometimes you're shipped to the deepest forests of India climbing mountains and swimming lakes in the hopes of MAYBE being able to get the shot you want.

4: Yes.

5: We spent about 2 months in New Zealand. The nature, people and animals are truely something else. Such a difference compared to any other place I've ever been in.

6: The amount of pressure that is put on the fieldworkers. But being as obsessed with animals as any of the people I've ever worked with (including myself) it's nothing but worth it!

Goosebaby18 karma

What photographic gear do you use (a) in the field, and (b) when you're out on a casual afternoon in your own free time?

Desseux41 karma

a) At the time I'm using a Canon EOS 1D X. NG always make sure we're equipped with the latest gear for the best quality.

b) Usually my iPhone but i also use a Canon EOS 7D. It's much like the one above but cheaper. :)

DiverGuy198210 karma

ever do any underwater stuff?

Desseux27 karma

We rarely use divers when taking pictures underwater. We usually use a rig equipped with a camera that you lower from the side of a boat.

scrunchie9 karma


Desseux26 karma

The Kakapo bird. Someone posted a Link in the comments above.

Ricktron30306 karma

You said in an above comment that you didn't get the shot?

Desseux7 karma

I must have misunderstood the question then, sorry. I didn't actually get a shot of it because the camera i was using at the time was to big to chase down birds with. Although i did see it :)

blipsterrr9 karma

How long do you normally stay on assignment to get your photos? Also what camera and lenses do they provide for you guys?

Desseux11 karma

Most shots are taken during a trip to certain areas. Others that are highly requested we have to wait for. I use a Canon EOS 1D X at the moment.

basarax8 karma

How do you begin the application process of being a NatGeo photographer?

Desseux15 karma

I'm pretty sure you're able to find it on their website?

KennyLog-in8 karma

Let the moderators know when you have posted better proof and the post will be re-instated.

Desseux3 karma

Done. Hope it's enough. I don't usually bring a reddit sign to the field or stuff like that, haha.

Bennorvell6 karma

As a high school student who wants to have the job that you do, what would you recommend me do in order for me to become a natgeo photographer?

Desseux15 karma

You just have to be able to prove yourself as an experienced photographer. Maybe a job where you'f get to use some of the more advanced equipment. Try something lik a model photographer or you could always volounteer for NG.

needs28hoursaday6 karma

Whats the longest you have had to stay in a location to get a shot? Also on the same idea, whats the most miserable thing you have done to get a shot?

Desseux37 karma

I once killed an infant for a Snuff film.... not my proudest moment :/

TheGreatJeremy5 karma

I see amazing shots of animals running, eating, etc. Obviously you don't just walk up, snap a picture and head home. What is the process like? How long have you waited for the perfect shot? Thanks in advance!

Desseux16 karma

After the pictures is taken they are delivered to NG and we get paid. We take the pictures. The rest is up to the distributers and eridtors. The longest I've waited for a shot was 24 days trying to catch a Lynx in its natural habit.

riptor19873 karma

Did you grow up kind of following photographers who worked for NG before you?

Desseux18 karma

I did have an uncle that was a photographer for National Geographic. He didn't prove useful until i was searching for labour :P I don't know why i got into Photograpy. However i would never ever regret it! It's probably just a coincidence my uncle also worked for NG. I can't say he's not proud of me though. Since he retired it's all me and him talk about.