Sarah Leen is a pioneer, mentor, editor, consultant, board member, advisory council member and someone who went from the art department to the journalism department. She was the first female winner of College Photographer of the Year which in turn led to her first assignment for National Geographic Magazine.(Return to Uganda, 1980) She went on to work for newspapers in Topeka, Columbia and Philadelphia before embarking on a freelance career. She completed sixteen assignments for National Geographic Magazine, managing to land five covers, before transitioning to the editing side of the desk. Shortly after she became the first female Director of Photography for National Geographic. It goes without saying, her resume points are made of granite. But wait, there’s more. Teaching and mentoring is a huge part of her life which led her to cofound Visual Thinking Collective. But what you should know about Sarah is that she is kind, warm, generous and exudes a radiance in regard to image making. There are people who work in photography and then there are people who are photography. For those of you who have asked about editing and sequencing of visual stories, well, you are in luck. Sarah and her husband Bill, who just so happens to be the former Creative Director of National Geographic, are co-teaching an upcoming, online class titled “Editing the Visual Story.” And you still have time to sign up. Thank you to Sarah for taking the time to chat with me.
Not my flavor of photography, but your enthusiasm for their work and process is fun to listen to, same for the last one.
Anyone who can pull off sixteen assignments is a rock. I only assisted on a few short NG pieces and even that was crushing in terms of how hard it was. A full-blown assignment would be even more work.
What a career, thank you for the introduction to Sarah and her story.
Thank you Dan for your generosity and wonderful questions. It was an honor and a pleasure!
You are a gem. I so appreciate you taking time with me. The feedback on the episode has been stellar.