Facebook Pixel 1,000 shots a day {the National Geographic photographer}

1,000 shots a day {the National Geographic photographer}

1,000 shots a day {the National Geographic photographer}I can’t remember the last time I read something about photography that wasn’t online. I picked up National Geographic’s recent 50 Greatest Pictures issue recently and was totally enthralled by reading about the behind-the-scenes on some of their most iconic images. One line jumped out at me massively:

“A photographer shoots 20,000 to 60,000 images on assignment. Of those, perhaps a dozen will see the published light of day”

Well, if that doesn’t fly in the face of the calculated-shots-theory, I don’t know what does! With the {relatively} recent proliferation of digital cameras under every Christmas tree, the new brand of photographer tends to go crazy with their trigger finger. As we move forward in our photographic education, we learn the importance of tapping into our ‘inner yes’. Those decisive moments that tell us when to hit the trigger and, of equal importance, when not to.

And so with this exercise, I’ve found myself playing the game where I pretend that my memory card is just a 24 frame roll of film. I tell myself that I don’t, indeed, have room to hold my finger down and hope for the best. And with this, I’ve learned so much about framing a shot, waiting for the decisive moment, taking a deep breath and just…well…hunting.

But when I read that, I was amazed. We can take this one of two ways:

We can allow ourselves to believe that even National Geographic photographers go on shooting sprees once in a while.


We can take this to mean that during the average 8 week assignment, the photographer feels their inner yes an average of 350 to 1,000 times a day.

What do you think?

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Elizabeth Halford
Elizabeth Halford

is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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