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Director of Photography, National Geographic

Job ID 10092456 Location Washington, DC, United States Business Disney Entertainment Television Date posted Jun. 26, 2024
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"I didn't think it was possible that something I did for fun - telling sports stories through stats - could become my job until I came here."

Ana, Sr. Researcher, ESPN

Job Summary:

The Director of Photography at National Geographic is a pivotal role leading the brands photographic storytelling, and its ongoing evolution, with vision and purpose. They guide a team of photo editors in idea development, project planning, and execution, both through commissioning and sourcing, providing clear direction and consistent feedback to drive efficient and effective work as well as creative excellence. Their work spans all our editorial products and platforms—including, National Geographic magazine, single-topic newsstand special editions, Kids and History magazines, and social media—as well as our diverse range of subject matter, from archaeology to wildlife to health and medicine to space exploration, and more.

They will bring a refined eye and a commitment to innovation to the role, helping to shape the future of our visual storytelling by creating work that not only lives up to the highest standards but also helps National Geographic reach new audiences in digital and social platforms. They have a well-developed network of photographer relationships and a track record of motivating and guiding teams and contributors to develop groundbreaking work. They will be an ambassador for National Geographic and our mission to the finest visual storytelling both internally and externally. At National Geographic we have long recognized the power of photography to engage, inspire, and inform people around the world in a deep and meaningful way, and the Director will use the power of the medium, and our platforms, to do just that.

What You Will Do:

  • Working with the Head of Visuals, translate brand and business objectives into creative work, influencing idea generation, contributor selection, and approach to the work to ensure visual assets are both creatively excellent and serve strategic goals
  • Provide clear, consistent, and ongoing direction and feedback to photo editors at all stages of the development process: generating story ideas and pitching; building plans for coverage, including contributor selection, fieldwork and/or sourcing, and budgets; executing projects, including contributor management and timeline, budget, and asset reviews; and publishing, including collaborating with designers on layouts, digital producers on builds, and social media and newsletter managers on usage across multiple platforms.
  • Define and implement processes and workflows to support efficient and effective work, on time and on budget, across the team and across departments, working in partnership with direct reports, the Head of Visuals, and the Director of Editorial Operations
  • Develop and produce several enterprise stories per year
  • Guide and encourage staff to develop innovative stories and approaches to stories that work across platforms, including digital, and provide feedback and mentorship that helps drive excellence across all types of work, including photo research
  • Implement prioritization of work across key areas of emphasis, including projects that span National Geographic editorial and TV/film, as well as the National Geographic Society
  • Serve as key point of contact for our community of photographer contributors, and continually work to bring new global contributors and their thinking and creative approaches to Nat Geo
  • Lead weekly ideas meeting with the Head of Visuals and the Nat Geo video team to assess and approve story pitches
  • Meet regularly with business partners about contracts, rights, payment, security, compliance, and other operational topics
  • Supervise visual content across all platforms, including our social channels, to ensure quality, brand alignment, and sensitivity
  • Use data and knowledge of our audience across platforms to inform decisions
  • Design and implement our approach to awards

Required Qualifications & Skills:

  • Minimum of ten years of experience in photography and visual storytelling across multiple platforms, with a focus on editorial and documentary work
  • Experience managing external photographers and in-house teams of photo editors, ideally in roles of dynamic responsibility
  • Nuanced understanding of how stories break through and drive engagement across platforms, including digital and social, and an ability to look at and interpret data to drive creative decisions
  • Highly refined visual taste, and a deep understanding of current industry trends in photography, photojournalism, and media
  • Strong communication skills, both verbally and in writing, and a proven ability to work in a matrixed environment across other creative disciplines in close collaboration
  • Ability to maintain resilience and positivity in a fast-paced environment that requires quick decision-making and problem-solving
  • Track record of establishing and reinforcing the behaviors that exemplify a healthy team culture that embraces collaboration, professionalism, and future-forward thinking
  • Proficiency with photography and editing tools (Adobe Photoshop and Bridge, PhotoMechanic, Photo Supreme, Premiere), as well as Keynote/PowerPoint, Microsoft Office suite, and Airtable, and knowledge of web tools and programs, including content management systems


  • Bachelors Degree or equivalent

National Geographic Content is devoted to illuminating the wonder of our world and inspiring people to protect it through our storytelling across platforms, including television and film in linear and streaming, print and digital experiences, and social media, where we have more followers than any other brand in the world. The National Geographic Editorial team is responsible for engaging both new and existing audiences through the creation and distribution of best-in-class content for our magazines (National Geographic, National Geographic Kids and Little Kids, National Geographic History, and single-topic newsstand specials), digital platforms ( and our app), and social accounts. We work across all media types, including photography, video, text, graphics and data visualization, cartography, and interactive digital experiences. Our primary aim is to use our storytelling to drive growth in followers, engaged newsletter audiences, subscribers, and loyal users who stay with us because they love how we inspire, entertain, and inform them. 

The hiring range for this position in Washington, D.C. is $163,500 to $219,200 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A bonus and/or long-term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.

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About Disney Entertainment Television:

Disney Entertainment Television is a collection of renowned content brands at The Walt Disney Company creating original entertainment and news programming for the company’s streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, and its broadcast and cable networks. Its extensive portfolio is comprised of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective, in addition to Disney Television Studios, which include 20th Television, 20th Television Animation, ABC Signature and Walt Disney Television Alternative. Responsible for over 4,500 hours of programming a year across more than 300 programs of all genres, Disney Entertainment Television’s creative brands are at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling, captivating audiences and generating critical acclaim. In 2023, Disney Entertainment Television’s programming excellence earned 163 Emmy® nominations across daytime, primetime, news & documentary, and children’s & family categories.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise that includes three core business segments: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Experiences. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with National Geographic Partners PAY SVC, which is part of a business we call Disney Entertainment Television.

National Geographic Partners PAY SVC is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney champions a business environment where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a constantly evolving world.


The Walt Disney Company and its Affiliated Companies are Equal Employment Opportunity employers and welcome all job seekers including individuals with disabilities and veterans with disabilities. If you have a disability and believe you need a reasonable accommodation in order to search for a job opening or apply for a position, email with your request. This email address is not for general employment inquiries or correspondence. We will only respond to those requests that are related to the accessibility of the online application system due to a disability.

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