I know I use that word a lot but there are cases where it is warranted. Having your song reach the top ten on the Billboard charts… yes sir, awesome. Writing a best selling novel… Awesome indeed! Walking on the Moon… Yup, awesome. Having a photograph you took land on the cover of National Geographic Magazine… Wohooo, (you guessed it) awesome!
Getting two National Geographic covers in three years… Not even sure that “awesome” covers it. Is superawesome even a word? If not, it should be!
Just wait until I tell mom! ;-)
“Get excited and enthusiastic about your own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire – you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away.”
Obviously I would have been happy with just that first cover but now that I have a second, I can only think that I must be doing something right with my work and that is a wonderful rewarding feeling. I’m both proud and extremely grateful for this dream come true that any photographer would cherish for a lifetime.
National Geographic… The gift that keeps on giving
Like so many people I have had a lifelong love affair with National Geographic Magazine. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood revolve around getting a new subscription each Christmas from my godmother. Every month it felt like Christmas all over again as the postman would slide the magazine through the mail slot of our front door. It truly was the gift that kept on giving.
I remember how the magazine was wrapped in a paper wrapper. On the wrapper was a label with my name and address and back in those days — before email and texting — I really wasn’t getting any mail or any other form of communication other than the odd phone call from a classmate or friend. I knew that only important people got mail, right? Heck, it even said “Master” Kenneth Kaminesky on the label. Master! How deliciously formal. The return address was The National Geographic Society. Me? Part of a Society? Oh my! I felt important, special, and as I reminisce about the whole thing while writing this post, I’m grinning, feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, and my eyes are welling with tears of joy.
Month after month I’d devour the text and especially the images and those beautifully designed maps that sometimes came with the magazine. My imagination would soar and I’d be transported to the wilds of Africa to roam the Serengeti with migrating wildebeest, discover lost civilizations in Central and South America, and explore the cosmos along with all the brave astronauts from the Apollo and and Space Shuttle programs.
“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”
Thank you National Geographic.
Thank you for making my childhood better by allowing me to dream and learn about the world I live in and the universe beyond. You made and continue to make leaning cool and fun. Bravo!
Thank you for rewarding me with a passion for art, history, architecture, nature, and so much more. Thank you for instilling that incurable wanderlust inside me. I’ve only just begun my travels as far as I’m concerned and have a lot more of the world to see before I’m done (as if I’ll ever be done).
Thank you for making my career as a photographer as enriching as it has been, especially since that first cover in 2011. No matter what else happens to me with my photography, I’ll always be so proud of the fact that my photos have graced the cover of your timeless magazine.
This cover photo on the current Hungarian version of the magazine is of the spectacular Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. It’s one of the most beautiful and ornate buildings I have ever seen. On a fun coincidental note, I now co-lead photography tours in Italy and the beautiful Florence Cathedral is a stop for us along the way as we explore Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Cinque Terre. I’d love to have you join us this May as we do it all over again on my next Italy Photo Tour. I’ll also be celebrating my birthday on this photo tour in May and I promise you that it’s going to be — you guessed it — Awesome!
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
I often get asked who I think the best photographer in the world is. My answer is always the same: “The one who is having the most fun.”
Today, as I’m having more fun with this than you can imagine, I’m gonna say that this is me. And on that note… Thank you National Geographic for making me the best photographer in the world, if only for a day.