Senior Photo Editor
National Geographic Society
In January 2005 Sarah Leen made the leap from being a freelance photographer for the National Geographic Society magazine to joining the National Geographic magazine staff as a Senior Photo Editor. Leen is now responsible for story concepts, budgets, photo editing and working with the design staff on layouts for the magazine.
As a photographer for the National Geographic magazine for nearly 20 years her assignments took her to the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia, the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s Far East, the Republic of Macedonia, the Mexican volcano Popocatepetl and the suburbs of America for a series stories on Urban Sprawl, Cheap Oil and Alternative Energy. Prior to her freelance career at National Geographic she was a staff photographer for the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers.
Leen has participated as a photographer on many of the Day in the Life series of books, The Power to Heal, A Passage to Vietnam and Women of the Material World. Her work is included in National Geographic: The Photographs, Women Photographers of the National Geographic, 100 Best Pictures by the National Geographic, and Swimsuits: 100 Years of Pictures. The National Geographic Society published a book of her work titled American Back Roads in 2000.
Leen attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism where she was named College Photographer of the Year in 1979. In 1986, she received a Robert F. Kennedy Awards honorable mention for a project on Alzheimer’s disease. In 2003 the lead photo for her fifteenth article for the National Geographic magazine, “Skin: The Body’s Edge”, won second place in the Science and Technology category of the World Press Photos competition. In the 2004 Pictures of the Year International competition she won the 1st Place Feature Picture Story award for her story on the Stikine River in British Columbia. In 2007, in the same contest, she won first place Magazine Picture Editing Portfolio and several other individual picture editing awards.
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