Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine covering a wide range of subjects and stories. In 2014 he was named a National Geographic Photography Fellow. In 2015 Brian was named a Nikon Ambassador.
An award-winning photographer, Brian is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance. His uniquely-creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and its inhabitants.
Unique within the field of underwater photography is Brian’s ability to pursue subjects of great diversity. His year round assignment schedule frequently finds himself in environments of extreme contrast from tropical coral reefs to diving beneath polar ice. While on assignment he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the last thirty years.
For National Geographic Magazine, Brian has covered a wide range of stories, from the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, both cover stories. Other NGM features have focused on subjects such as the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks of the Bahamas, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid. His latest cover story, about dolphin cognition, appeared in the May 2015 issue. He is currently at work on his twenty-sixth feature story for NGM.
Brian has also worked on assignment for or had images featured in magazines such as People, Sports Illustrated, US News and World Report, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, Playboy, Esquire, Audubon, Men’s Journal and in countless publications worldwide. He is also the author/photographer of five books. His latest monograph Ocean Soul, was released late in 2011 and continues to receive worldwide acclaim.
Brian frequently lectures on photography and conservation issues having presented at venues such as TED Talks, The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Harvard University, The National Press Club in Washington, DC, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is also a regular guest on television programs such as NBC’s TODAY Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC’s Good Morning America. Recognition for his work includes awards from organizations and competitions such as Pictures Of The Year International (POYi), BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature’s Best and Communication Arts. In 2010, National Geographic magazine named one of Brian’s images among their 50 Greatest Photographs Of All Time. His fine art prints have been sold at auction at Christie’s, the world’s leading art business and he has had single photographer exhibits in venues such as Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, The National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC and in cities worldwide including Lisbon, Geneva, Barcelona, and Shanghai. Other recent print exhibits of Brian’s work have been held in Paris, Barcelona, Shanghai and Geneva. His latest exhibit, Portraits of Planet Ocean at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC is currently on display.
He is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), the Explorer-In-Residence and a member of the Board of Trustees for The New England Aquarium, a Marine Conservation Fellow with Conservation International, on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and on the Board of Directors of the Sea To Shore Alliance. In 2012, Brian created the New England Ocean Odyssey, a multi-year project with the Conservation Law Foundation to photograph marine wildlife in New England waters.
After three decades of exploring the world’s oceans, Skerry continues to pursue stories that will increase awareness about the sea. “The oceans are in trouble. There are some serious problems out there that I believe are not clear to many people. My hope is to continually find new ways of creating images and stories that both celebrate the sea yet also highlight environmental problems. Photography can be a powerful instrument for change.”