1. What is your favorite genre in photography?

I love looking at all types of genres of photography, but for my own work I have specialized in nature and environmental photography. Even these designations have a lot of variations. I have been doing drone photography for the last five years and much of my work could be labeled New Topographics or photos of human impacts on the environment


  1. What is the first thing you do after waking up on a Monday?

Recently, after reading The Artist’s Way, the first thing on a Monday and most other mornings is I write three pages of thoughts in a notebook. I then have breakfast and read the NYT and AJC online.


  1. What are your favorite instagram feeds?









  1. What is your favorite museum or gallery for photography?

Just before the pandemic I went to Paris Photo and that was the closest to photo heaven I have experienced. There was a fabulous selection of gallery owners displaying original prints and many photo book publishers.


  1. What’s one piece of advice that has guided you?

Once early in my career I was having a difficulty with a photo editor and I asked my father about it. He just said “take good pictures and it will work out.” That hasn’t always been the case, but most of the time if you do good work it does tend to smooth things over.



Peter Essick is a photographer, teacher, and editor with 30 years of experience working with National Geographic Magazine. He specializes in nature and environmental themes. Named one of the forty most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine UK, Essick has been influenced by many noted American landscape photographers from Carleton Watkins to Robert Adams. His goal is to make photographs that move beyond documentation to reveal in careful compositions the human impact of development as well as the enduring power of the land.

Essick is the author of three books of his photographs, The Ansel Adams Wilderness, Our Beautiful, Fragile World and Fernbank Forest. He has photographed stories for National Geographic on many environmental issues including climate change, high-tech trash, nuclear waste and freshwater. After 30 years travelling the world as an editorial photographer, Essick decided to focus his work on a more personal documentation of the environmental and cultural changes in his hometown of Atlanta.

Essick’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Booth Western Art Museum and many other private collections. He is represented by Spalding Nix Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Peter will be instructing our Fall on the Georgia Coast: Cumberland Island, Okefenokee Swamp, St. Marys, Georgia Photo Workshop, September 28 – October 2. Go here for more information.