The Hazards of a
Photo Society Photographer...

This page is dedicated to Wes Skiles who died doing the work he loved. Sadie Quarrier, senior photo editor, National Geographic Magazine says:   “I was lucky enough to work with Wes as his photo editor on (his) “Bahamas Blue Holes” story for NGM. He was deeply passionate about diving, exploring, photographing and protecting the waterways… Wes was big-hearted and humble yet extremely driven. He was doggedly determined to produce the best possible article on these caves he called home. He dared to dream big, and no budget or contract would stop him from going after a shot he felt we needed, even if it was on his own dime…”

There have been other deaths over the years and many serious injuries. The posts below are recent survey responses from 45 photographers about some of the hazards encountered while on assignment for the National Geographic Society. The numbers represent individual incidents.

Reality Check

  • Diagnosed PTSD

    1
  • Lost on Arctic Ice

    1
  • Burns

    4
  • Fall Into Crevasse

    2
  • Out of Air Diving Under Oil Rig

    1
  • Hypothermia

    9
  • Imprisoned

    3
  • Chased by Crocodile

    1
  • Out of Air Diving Under Sea Ice

    1
  • Paraglider Crash Landing in Tree

    1
  • Chased by Wild Elephant

    3
  • Amoebic Dysentery

    20
  • Hotel Surrounded by Rebels

    1
  • Temporary Blindness

    2
  • Land on Rock Ledge After 90 Foot Fall

    1
  • Giardia

    8
  • Assorted Animal Attacks

    8
  • Malaria

    5
  • Car or Bus Crash

    7
  • Plane or Helicopter Crash

    5
  • Severe Diarrhea

    90
  • Blinded by Wasps

    1
  • Held at Gunpoint

    2
  • Broken Nose

    2
  • Falls

    12
  • Groped

    2
  • Penis Fish

    1
  • Paraglider Crash Landing on Sea Ice

    1
  • Lost at Sea

    1
  • Stoned by Religious Group

    2
  • Frostbite (23 for one photographer)

    29
  • Random Assault

    6
  • Broken Bones

    4
  • Dislocations

    7
  • Hunted with Bows and Arrows

    1
  • Tear Gassed

    4
  • Streaming Blood While Hanging from Harness at 1500 feet

    1
  • Paraglider Crash Landing in Ocean

    1
  • Various Parasites

    16
  • Teargassed

    2
  • Beaten

    3
  • Broken Tail Bone

    1
  • Buried in Avalanche

    2
  • Groped

    9
  • Viper in Camera Bag

    1
  • Wound Infection

    30
  • Dengue Fever

    1
  • Strongyloide Invasion

    1
  • Run Checkpoint

    13
  • Threatened / Detained / Abducted

    21
  • Arrest or House Arrest

    33
  • Trips into Chernobyl Reactor

    3
  • Spitting Cobra Attacks

    1
  • Held at Knifepoint

    1
  • Acid Dripping Caves

    1
  • Stabbed

    1
  • Paraglider Crash

    21
  • Loa-Loa Worm in Eye

    1
  • Meningitis

    1
  • Broken Ribs

    6
  • Extreme Toxins

    3
  • Punched in Face

    1
  • Bit by Ticks (in my penis)

    1
  • Seat Belt Releases with Helicopter Tipped Over Volcano

    2
  • Venomous Bites

    9
  • Severe Insect Problems

    12
  • Attack by 9,000 pound Elephant Seal

    1
  • Severe Dehydration

    19
  • Robbed

    13
  • Rope Burn

    10
  • Lost in Andes

    2
  • Flesh Eating Parasites

    1
  • Scaffolding Collapse

    1
  • Robbed

    5
  • Assault by Florida panther. 2 photographers, 2 assignments, same panther.

    2