Get the Picture! Photography Tips and Tools

Chances are, if you’re a fan of National Geographic, you’re a fan of photography. Since the first picture appeared on the magazine’s cover in 1959 (it was an American flag), great photos have been our hallmark. Who can forget the Afghan girl or the touching moment between Jane Goodall and a wild chimpanzee?

Here are some products and experiences to inspire the photographer in you. Who knows—maybe you’ll be the next great National Geographic photographer.

National Geographic Photography Expeditions

Sharpen your skills with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn alongside National Geographic pros in some of the most stunning locations on Earth. The hardest part? Choosing where to go—Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Galápagos Islands, Cuba, or another fantastic destination.


Photo Workshops

With the guidance of our expert photographers, learn how to make compelling and memorable magazine-quality photos in beautiful locations like Santa Fe and New Orleans. Workshops range from two to seven days and include talks, critiques, and daily photo assignments.


Online Photo Courses

You don’t have to have a passport to learn how to take great photos. We’ve teamed up with the Great Courses to offer online and DVD classes in the fundamentals of photography, wildlife photography, travel photography, and much more.


Getting Your Shot

In Getting Your Shot, see images from our online photo community, Your Shot, and learn the stories behind the images. Plus get tips and tricks from our experts for creating your own masterpieces, no matter your experience level.


National Geographic: The Covers

This beautiful volume includes the iconic images that have graced the cover of National Geographic, and the unforgettable stories behind them. It includes 500 photos and covers 125 years.


Camera Lens Travel Mug

Increase your (mental) focus, clarity, and zoom with this travel coffee mug. It looks just like a DSLR camera lens, complete with details like a focus ring and grip. Just don’t get confused and pour coffee into your real camera.


DVD Course: The Art of Travel Photography

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore brings his expertise to you in The Art of Travel Photography, six lessons filled with practical tips, proven techniques, and field demonstrations. By understanding basic photographic principles, you can produce pictures that reach their full potential.



Based on the widely popular blog that started as a side project in a basement, Retronaut reveals strange and enlightening photos from the past—Martha Stewart as a fashion model, Kim Jong II in a bumper car, and other oddball scenes.


The Photo Ark

Joel Sartore is on a lifelong mission to take portraits of the world’s animals and spur action to save them before it’s too late. The Photo Ark is a lush volume that contains images of the species he has photographed so far (more than 6,000!).


More Great Photography From National Geographic

As Robert Draper wrote in “The Power of Photography” (National Geographic, October 2013): “By wresting a precious particle of the world from time and space and holding it absolutely still, a great photograph can explode the totality of our world, such that we never see it quite the same again.” Here are a few of our best collections of photos, techniques, stories, and more.


Did You Know?

  • In 1826, French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the world’s first photograph—a view of a courtyard and outbuildings seen from a window at his family’s country home.
  • The term “paparazzi” came into use after the success of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, a film set in Rome that featured a tabloid news photographer named Paparazzo.
  • New York City is the world’s most photographed city. Rome comes in second.
  • The most Instagrammed places in the world are Disney theme parks.
  • The instant camera was conceived in 1943 when Polaroid founder Edwin Land’s three-year-old daughter asked him why she couldn’t see the photo he had just taken of her.
  • Iconic wilderness photographer Ansel Adams almost became a pianist—until he realized his hands weren’t large enough to play professionally.
  • Margaret Bourke-White was the first female war photojournalist.