The last of our Opera House talks is by a Swedish photographer Mattias Klum. Perhaps he is the most inspirational of all the speakers we have heard this year…although that is a hard call. Mattias’ vision is to inform, educate and inspire people to act towards a sustainable tomorrow.
As he begins to share his story his commitment to raising awareness about the fragility of our environment becomes obvious.
As I listen to these photographers talk I realise how incredibly talented and gifted a National Geographic photographer truly is. Not only do they have amazingly good skills in photography, they are fantastic communicators and incredibly adventurous people who are willing to go places most people would rather avoid, and do the hard yards to bring to life the stories of endangered species.
We hear how Mattias has scaled incredibly tall trees, walked through jungles in search of Asiatic Lions and had close encounters with some of the most poisonous snakes. He has learnt the skills of communicating and connecting with nature to raise awareness and to be an ambassador for our planet.
Mattias works on some of his projects with his wife who is also accomplished in her own right. They are raising two children as well and Mattias talks about the times he has taken his children on assignment with him. His oldest learnt to walk in Antarctica and his second child learnt to walk in Panama. We are amazed there are people out there who appear to have it all.
Once again, their are many kids who bravely walk up to the microphone to quiz Mattias on what it takes to be a National Geographic photographer. What I brought back with me was that to shine in a world drowning in digital images, one must learn to be authentic. Mattias talks about the importance of discovering what it is you love to do….then working on perfecting that. He explains that in the world he inhabits, there is no Photoshop…no retouching of images to make them appear to be something they are not. He encourages all the budding photographers in the audience to find their own voice…to create something original, however difficult that might be. I leave feeling pleased I am on my own journey of discovery….