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National Geographic’s “Man Behind the Blinds”

By Lauren Kermelis on November 17th 2013

The life of a National Geographic photographer is anything far from the ordinary. Many days are spent working hard, in what to most would seem unbearable conditions in order to capture the photos that grace the page of your monthly issue. These photographers love what they do, and would not change their profession for the world.

[Rewind:”National Geographic Uses Drones/Robots to Photograph Lions“]

What one might not know, is that behind many of these amazing photos is Walter Boggs, National Geographic’s resident mechanical engineer, who has spent the past thirty-two years of his life creating contraptions also known as “blinds” that allow photographers to get up-close and personal with some of natures most inaccessible creatures.

The Man Behind the Blinds

Background and Overview

Thirty-Two years ago, Boggs responded to an anonymous advertisement he came across in the Washington Post, expressing their need for an engineer. Not knowing what was in store, Boggs walked into the interview with one of his many inventions, and was offered the job on the spot.

His Creative Method

Boggs begins his creative process in the basement of National Geographic the moment a photographer comes to him expressing a need. From tiny underwater housings, to life-size hippopotamuses, the design process all starts the same way, by creating a sketch with a simple pen and paper.



It is no doubt that Walter is an incredibly unique individual with a mind built for unlimited capabilities. When asked why he loves to do what he does, he simply replies “I just have to.” Boggs is as free-spirited as the animals his contraptions are used to photograph, and we have yet to see many more amazing creatures that he will help bring to a reality.

[via Shannon Sanders]

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Lauren Kermelis is a freelance photographer wedding, portrait, and event photographer based out of Southern California.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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