National Geographic Expeditions Publishes my Images.

This  past weekend I received a catalogue from National Geographic Expeditions. You can image my surprise to find one of my Omo images on the forth page as a 1/2 page ad. There are actually three images in the beautiful 140 page catalogue.  I had several emotional reactions at once. One was to do a happy dance, one was to cry, one was anger and the last was to laugh at the irony.  Why? I was trilled to see my images in a National Geographic Publican, but since they were licensed through Getty images, there was no credit given for the photographs.  Then the reality, irony, really set in……. my images were being used to sell the National Geographic Expeditions to the Omo Valley, so in essence my images are being used to compete with the trips that I lead to the Omo Valley.  Now one must keep their sense of humor about these things or throw ones hands up and cry.

In the end, it is just another day in the life of a photographer; a roller coast full of thrills, disappointments,  excitement,  fear and laughter.

The first image below is also being used on their website. It is a photograph of Nadiri from the Suri tribe. I have been photographing her for the past three years and I love working with her.  She is beautiful, could be a professional model, and always makes me laugh. The group that went with me to the Suri last year also  photographed her. For those of you who joined me, she was the model I used to photograph the Free People shirt and catalogue. The second image is the one used for  the half page ad on page 4 and the last one was used on the page that list the itinerary. It is interesting to see what images others choose for publication.  I think I have much stronger images that were available  and these would not have been my first choice.






8 Responses to “National Geographic Expeditions Publishes my Images.”

  1. Thorsten Klint

    I do appreciate your sense of humor …. BUT I can’t understand how you can be so calm about NGM way of handling your images, when they themselves are so picky about Copyrights and originality of photographers contribution to the magazine … but all honor to YOU !

    Kind regards Thorsten

    • Piper Mackay

      The National Geographic Expeditions sells travel. Many of the trips are lead by photographers, so no credit is given to the photographer who really took the image. I send a certain mount of images to Getty to license,but the odds that National Geographic Expeditions would be the ones to license them and use them to promote their own trips is probably 1,000,000 to 1….LOL.. it is what it is. I am learning to have all the bad emotions quickly, then laugh and move on; if not, it is just too painful.

  2. Dale Davis, M.D.

    Dear Piper- Of course, the images are spectacular! They make any photographer immediately want to go there! The obvious first thought, though, is, isn’t that illegal for someone to use your copyrighted images without your permission, especially for commercial purposes? Did you give them rights? usually, even in a photo contest, you must sign a waiver to allow publication or even ownership of your submitted images. I am not a copyright lawyer but I certainly would think about talking to one! They should compensate you for this.

    Don’t be humbled. Be angry.

    • Piper Mackay

      Hi Dale,

      THanks for the laugh this morning. I send some of my images to Getty for licensing, so they legally licensed them through Getty Images. One of the reason they chose my images is they had model releases so they could use them commercially. Its just that the odds that it would be National Geographic Expedition licensing them, and they would be used to essentially compete with my own trips is what is unbelievable. I have to keep my sense of humor or I would have a lot of bad days…..LOL… I only have two spots open on one of my trips this year, and not sure how much longer I will be running trips there in the future, so it is, what it is.

  3. Harold Green

    Congratulations Piper!!! I have loved your work for a long time. I follow your blog. I’ve thought about taking one of your workshops to Africa. Been there twice. These images are stunning. And, that they were selected by National Geographic is a huge feather in your cap. Best, Harold

  4. kohlene

    Your images are just so gorgeous! I can relate to your frustration….end of the day the experience was yours, forever in your soul.

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