2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

My how time flies! 2017 was another whirlwind of travel and exploration: I visited both poles, watched dolphins in Mexico, went whale watching in Hawaii, marched with three million of my fellow Americans in Washington, visited castles in England, had my first true Guinness in Ireland, hiked along the coast in Wales and explored Vancouver, BC by boat. I took over 20,000 photos while on assignment this year which although is not a record, it’s certainly a lot of images!  Below are a few of my favorites, marking my global journey for this past year.  My hope is that by showing the beauty and diversity of this marvelous world, that you will be inspired to travel.

The view of Mt. Hood and downtown Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion in Forest Park

I started the year off on assignment for Vox Media, shooting a story about my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Here is the view of Mt. Hood from Pittock Mansion.

Puerto los Gatos, Baja, Mexico, Gulf of California

First stop on the 2017 World Tour: Baja! Always one of my favorite places on Earth, the Gulf of California is wild and beautiful. We enjoyed a sunset beach bbq at Puerto los Gatos.

Women's March on Washington, Washington, DC, USA

Second stop: Washington D.C. for the Women’s March. We will persist!

Humpback Whale watching from a large, inflatable raft in the 'Au 'au channel off of the coast of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA

Third stop: The ‘Au ‘au channel off of the coast of Maui to witness the annual migration of Humpback Whales from Alaska. We’ll be heading back there this year!

Booth Island, Antarctica

Next up, Antarctica in February. This was the last trip of the Antarctic season, so we explored the southern ocean to see incredible landscapes and wildlife. Here is a Gentoo Penguin colony with gorgeous ice in the distance.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

One of my favorite places on Earth: Gold Harbour, South Georgia. Here we were treated to a rainbow and King penguins on the beach.

Susan Seubert talking about her show, "Not A Day Goes By," at the Froelick Gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon, USA

I opened my show, “Not A Day Goes By,” at the Froelick Gallery in April. The work was also shown at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Banner of John Yeon's Shire, photograph by Susan Seubert, hanging on the exterior of the Portland Art Museum for the exhibition, "Quest for Beauty"

I have been photographing John Yeon’s, “The Shire,” in the Columbia River Gorge for the last 7 years and the book was finally published. The Portland Art Museum used one of the images to announce the show about Yeon.


In May, my family and friends joined us in Venice for my opening at the Venice Biennale! Definitely a high point in my artistic career, the Biennale is the most prestigious venue for fine art on the planet. Picture here is me with my mom on the balcony of the Palazzo Bembo, home to the European Cultural Center that hosted the exhibition.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

After returning to the U.S. from Italy, it was back across the puddle for adventures starting in Arctic Svalbard where polar bears ruled the day!

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

A once in a lifetime sighting: we watched a polar bear take a bearded seal, then proceed to have a feast. Even our Norwegian guides had never seen such a site! This is why traveling with National Geographic makes all the difference.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

After spending time in Svalbard, we headed over to the famed fjords of Norway. We hiked and explored these beautiful waterways which was a joyous experience.


Back in Oregon, science rules! We were some of the first in the United States to witness a total eclipse of the sun. I photographed it through a spotting scope.


The diamond ring effect during the total eclipse of the sun. Taken in McMinnville, Oregon.

Maine Multimedia Workshop, Rockport, ME

The end of August took me back to school at the Maine Media Workshops where I learned about short form, multimedia storytelling from the master himself, Bob Sacha.

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

I had a brief moment at home before heading back to Europe, where Ireland awaited! I landed in Dublin and after visiting the stunning Library at Trinity College, we headed straight to a pub for a proper pint of Guinness!

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

From Ireland we sailed for Wales, where we visited the lush Bodnant Gardens in the rain.

Fowey, England, Europe

After exploring Wales for a few days, we headed to England, where the charming town of Fowey welcomed our rather large ship into port.

Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure is a summer opportunity to ride on top of the Grouse Mountain Gondola viewing platform as you ascend 1610 meters to the top of Grouse Mountain.  On a clear day, you can see for miles and your view will include all of

After my adventures on board the National Geographic Orion, I flew back to North America where I had an assignment to photograph lovely Vancouver, British Columbia. We had stunning weather! This is the Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure, with views back to the city from the top of the aerial tram.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

As soon as I wrapped the shoot in B.C., it was back across the Atlantic to meet my husband in beautiful Bordeaux. Here is Le Miroir d’eau at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux during the blue hour.

Venice, Italy, Europe

After eating and drinking our way through France, we hopped an EasyJet flight to Venice, to take in the sights, and my show, one last time. Here is the Basilica San Marco in the morning, Venice, Italy.

Washington, DC, America, USA

We flew back to the U.S., and no sooner had we touched down, then I had some meetings to attend in our nation’s capital, so I flew to DC for a quick trip.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, HI, USA

Then, it was back to Hawaii for us. I was fortunate enough to be invited to photograph the Keiki Hula Festival at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. It was inspiring to see these young people carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of hula.

Lahaina, HI, USA

My husband got to catch a few waves before I had to wave goodbye and head off to…

Charles Hotel, Boston, MA

Cambridge!! I had a fantastic shoot for the Charles Hotel. We spent a week making a library of images for the hotel’s new web site. I’ll post more about this shoot once the job is live!


Luckily for me, there was still time after Boston to head back to Hawaii, where I was able to enjoy some beach time with my husband. Cheers to an incredible 2017!


Susan Seubert Photography’s Picture Chosen as one of National Geographic’s 30 Best Travel Pictures in 30 Years

Zed's surf school at Surfer's Point on the South Coast of Barbados

Zed’s surf school at Surfer’s Point on the South Coast of Barbados

This past November, National Geographic Traveler Magazine celebrated its 30th Anniversary. The magazine was launched in order to ” ‘inspire members [of the National Geographic Society] to go and experience [destinations],” complementing National Geographic, “which has taken its readers to places most of us will never reach.'” This is quoted from the editor’s note in the November 2014 edition, quoting National Geographic editor Gilbert M. Grosvenor‘s editor’s letter from the first magazine launch in 1984.

The issue celebrates how photography has played an important role in the magazine’s history with a segment called,”30 Years in Pictures, The Best Photographs From the Pages of Traveler Magazine,” and one of my images was included.  Keith Bellows wrote, “In this anniversary issue we celebrate our 30th year through the camera lens, offering a chronicle of changing times. Since 1984 we’ve shot more than 3.4 million photos and published some 36,000.”

Having an image chosen from that number must be what it feels like to win the lottery. 🙂

You can see the picture on my web site here or on National Geographic Traveler’s site here.


Behind the Scenes with Susan Seubert and National Geographic Traveler

Aloha!  While I was on assignment last August in Honolulu for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, I was fortunate enough to have a few things that had to be photographed either from or in the water.  One of the images I thought would be interesting to make is the classic photo of the traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe rides with Diamond Head in the background.  This has been an iconic image of Waikiki since the early twentieth century as evidenced by a story that ran in the New York Tribune in 1908.  Honolulu has changed enormously since then, however the ocean and the waves, along with the geologic feature of Diamond Head, remain intact.  When I arrived on Oahu, I decided to head down to the beach and try to figure out a way to get in the water on a surfboard with a giant water housing and surf alongside the canoe.

How Did You Get That Shot?

Outrigger Canoe rides are one of many attractions for tourists on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HI.  Waikiki is one of the only places where anyone can ride waves in traditional outrigger canoes.

Outrigger Canoe rides are one of many attractions for tourists on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HI. Waikiki is one of the only places where anyone can ride waves in traditional outrigger canoes.

The locals are one of the most invaluable resources to a travel photographer.  We, the photographers and journalists, get our names placed in the magazine, but I’m of the opinion that we all owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the people who are open to sharing their knowledge and expertise with us, the interlopers.  Waikiki turned out to be no exception.  I surf – a little – but not nearly enough to be able to safely operate a surfboard and camera in the crowded line up at Waikiki.  When I got to Waikiki Beach, I stood in the middle of the crowd and hung around, watching to see who was the best stand-up paddle surfer.  One man stood out immediately.  He could easily navigate the crowds, he caught wave after wave and it was clear that he knew his way around the ocean.  When he came out of the water, I asked if he’d be interested in taking me out on his SUP so that I could make pictures.  Without hesitating, he said, “sure thing,” and the next thing I knew we were off for a test run.  I had brought my GoPro with me to take a few test shots and also to see what it would feel like to sit on the front of a surfboard while making pictures.  The test shots were a success, so we made an appointment to meet up the next day and arrange with the outrigger for us to follow them while they took out their last round of tourists towards the end of the day when the light would be good.  It was a fantastic experience to ride the waves and be able to concentrate on composition and lighting while the driving was taken over by the talented local beach boy, John Paul.  Here are two behind-the-scenes pictures to illustrate the crowds and how I had to ride on the front of the board shooting with a Canon 7D in an underwater housing as JP navigated us through the crowds.

Surfing through major crowds at Waikiki, I was grateful to have a very talented driver to negotiate the waves and the surfers.

I’m sitting on the front of the paddleboard, as JP navigates us along side the outrigger canoe, all the while trying not to get into a wreck!

Me and JP coming in at the end of our photo shoot with the outrigger canoe.  Aloha!!!

JP and I coming in at the end of our photo shoot with the outrigger canoe. Aloha!!!

Award Winning Travel Photographer Susan Seubert wins NATJA Award

It is my great pleasure to announce that I am the proud recipient of an award from the North American Travel Journalists Association, known as NATJA, for excellence in photography in the category of portraiture.  The winning story is called, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  It was published in the January/February 2011 issue of National Geographic Traveler Magazine. I received my letter from the association today which states that, “This year’s competition was marked by an overwhelming number of outstanding entries.  As an award winner, you were singled out as one of the best of the best.”  🙂  Thank you NATJA and National Geographic Traveler!

opening spread for, "It's a Wonderful Life" story by Charles Kulander, photographs by yours truly. Click here to be taken to a gallery of some of my other favorite photos from the shoot.

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert named in National Geographic Traveler’s top ten photos of 2011

National Geographic Traveler Magazine senior photo editor Dan Westergren posted today his selects for the top 10 photos from 2011 and I was pleasantly surprised to be included.  The selected photo was from a shoot at Zed’s Surfing School in Barbados, which was the opener for a story I shot about the island nation that ran in the January/February 2011 issue of National Geographic Traveler.  I completely agree with Dan about having the subject in the center of the frame, usually considered to be a visual no-no.  I had been lying on the ground shooting, trying to capture a moment of the lessons that are given before entering the water, a very typical event, but often not the most dynamic time to shoot.  Later on, as I was reviewing the images from the take, this one immediately caught my eye and was marked as a file select.  My husband, who ran a major photo gallery for ten years, remarked that it has the appearance of a diorama.

It’s always thrilling to be assigned such wonderful stories.  However, when pictures from those assignments receive singular recognition, particularly when the image is culled from thousands of others that were submitted or published over the year, the excitement is even greater.  It’s also an honor to be included among the other 8 fantastic photographers, including Frans Lanting, Catherine Karnow and Chris Rainier.  Thank you National Geographic Traveler!!!

National Geographic Traveler Magazine's Top 10 Photos from 2011 includes the opener from my story about Barbados. 🙂

Maui Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

Aloha All!  Just a brief post to update my location.  I’ll be based at Kaanapali near Lahaina on the island of Maui until November 22.  After completing my first two assignments, I am back in the water, surfing.  The weather, as usual, has been stunning with days filled with sunshine, trade winds keeping the temperatures perfect, and always a little swell in the water just outside my island home.  Mahalo for reading and a hui ho!

Full moon over Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Commercial, Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert heading to Maui

Tomorrow, April 20th, marks the beginning of another adventure in the Aloha State where Susan Seubert will be based for four weeks.  With headquarters on Ka’anapali Beach, she’ll certainly be spending many mornings surfing and enjoying the tail end of the Humpback whale season,  the large cetaceans that migrate to this area every year from Alaska.  Otherwise, she will be available for assignments. Hawaiian Air just announced new non-stop service to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and Incheon and Busan in South Korea.  For portfolios, stock requests or assignments, feel free to contact Susan directly at susan (at) sseubert (dot) com or by phone at +1-503-819-6692.  A hui ho!

A young man surfing at a popular winter break on the North shore of West Maui, HI