Michael “Nick” Nichols, a wildlife photographer for National Geographic, says in his blog that the magazine’s staff photographers (he’s one of five) make about $100,000 a year including other projects. He points out, however, that all of the staff photographers are veterans of their trade and have good opportunities to publish, exhibit, etc. He also points out that the majority of the photography published by the magazine is done by freelancers.
Thank you, Liz! Also take a look at the links below… it appears to be rumored (can we please get the CEO of NG to verify that he wrote this) that the freelancers with National Geographic make from $7-9,000 a year; being foreign nationals this might be like making $100,000 annually… I’ll be sending an email to the CEO and will update with his response
Damn… Please disregard this answer. It appears that Phillip Gregory Oswell probably doesn’t even exist let alone he could not possibly be the CEO of National Geographic… the real CEO, John Fahey, has been since 1998. It’s unfortunate that someone felt it was necessary to make such a false comment. Let it stop here. The greenspun.com link above is bad info. http://press.nationalgeographic.com/pressroom/index.jsp?pageID=bios_detail&siteID=1&cid=1149604201665
I’ve always found the following website helpful when dealing with these questions…
The cited quote from “Phillip Gregory Oswell, president of National Geographic” is bogus. Most NG work is done on assignment to established photographers and they certainly don’t “use foreign people from poor countries to do our labor for cheap”. NG gets over 100,000 unsolicited submissions of photos per year. On the very rare occasions when they use one, not part of an assignment, they pay $4,000 and more for one-time use of a single photo.
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