• January 22, 2014

William Albert Allard on the Passion From Within

“I want to live right in the middle of my story. I just go out and walk through the story… and respond to what I see at that moment.” —William Albert Allard

Picture of girls running home in France
Girls running home, Béhorléguy, France, 1967

William Albert Allard claims he isn’t your typical National Geographic photographer. He avoids dangerous situations and diseases and is largely a photographer of people. Allard fell in love with photography early in his life, and started his career as a National Geographic intern in 1964. He has used color photography to explore topics from the American West to the banks of the Seine river in Paris, and has done more than 40 stories for the magazine. Allard relies on having time to explore a story, as well as serendipity to catch the right moment. His passion for the work has meant an American Book Award and the Leica Medal of Excellence in 1983, as well as numerous other accolades. —Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

View more of William Albert Allard’s work on his website.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: William Albert Allard
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM

There are 9 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Steve Faber
    October 31, 2015

    As with all the amazingly wonderful things in our world that GOD gives us the ability to see, hear, feel, smell and taste, you aptly spoke of immersing yourself in the creation and exercising both diligence and patience to capture what you see with camera, often times never seeing “it” until you are walking away from the opportunity. Thanks for your excellent work and skill in sharing with those of us who appreciate seeing the things that you have captured with camera.

  2. Kelly Shipp
    June 28, 2014

    Inspiring. I wish NatGeo would offer these as downloads (or put them on a YouTube channel). I’d like to download these to keep them as motivators, etc.

  3. Will
    March 7, 2014

    Someone who actually cared about the resulting image. This has become a rare thing.

  4. Cheryl
    February 12, 2014

    This picture looks almost like a painting.

  5. Jose Velasquez
    January 24, 2014

    So fabulous to see this NGS legend being featured at the PROOF website. I still remember the photo of the Peruvian boy who had lost his sheep and also Allard’s work with the Amish. Keep these legends coming!

  6. Dr.A.K.Tewari
    January 24, 2014

    The author deserves MY appriciation .

  7. Andrea Calandra
    January 23, 2014

    From your pictures I feel the smell of dust, wood and leather, and in general I see a world watched from inside. Thank you!!!

  8. chris
    January 23, 2014

    I saw at first sight it was ‘Le Pays Basque’ (south west of France) ! <3

  9. Jim Richardson
    January 22, 2014

    William Albert Allard was one photographer who convinced me that not only was it possible to capture true moments of the essence of life — it was possible to do it in color. Other photographers revered in the art world get credit for bringing color into the vernacular language of photography. But Bill Allard deserves the credit.

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