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Brian Skerry

Underwater Photographer

Growing up in a small, working-class town, Brian Skerry dreamed of exploring the oceans and becoming a National Geographic photographer. Today, Skerry is one of the leading underwater photographers in the world.


Since 1998, Skerry has covered a wide range of stories for National Geographic documenting the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters, the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, and threatened sharks in the Bahamas, to name a few. His images celebrate the mystery of the depths, and offer portraits of creatures so intimate they sometimes appear to have been shot in a studio. Skerry dives eight months of the year, often in extreme conditions beneath Arctic ice or in predator-infested waters, and has even lived at the bottom of the sea to get close to his subjects. He has emerged as a leading voice for marine conservation.


In 2011, National Geographic Books published Ocean Soul, a landmark retrospective of Skerry’s photographs.


Skerry’s powerful presentations showcase award-winning imagery and thrilling wildlife encounters, inspire reverence for the marine realm, and offer hope for protecting the vitality of the world’s oceans.

Highlights & Accomplishments
National Geographic Photography Fellow
Regular contributor at the World Economic Forum, TED, and the Royal Geographical Society in London
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Skerry Bio Portrait


TED Talk Video Poster


TED Talk
Photographer Brian Skerry shows how powerful images can help make change.
Mermaid Myth Video Poster


The Mermaid Myth | Nat Geo Live
Brian shares the intimate familial bonds of manatees, thought of by some early mariners as mermaids.
Brian Skerry's Iconic Photo Video Poster


Brian Skerry's Iconic Photo | Mission Critical
Brian Skerry discusses the famous photograph he took of his assistant standing on the ocean floor next to a 40 foot long Southern Right Whale.

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