William Albert's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    America Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Washington, DC

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 3

  • ON DVD:

WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD

Staff Photographer
National Geographic

“It makes me realize that it's possible to set out with a goal, and it's possible to reach that goal...but you cannot be indifferent.”

INTERESTS:

Art Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Goals Passion Chance

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

Amish, Amish community, art school, being indifferent, grades, high school, internship, photojournalism, proving yourself, visuals, writing

BIOGRAPHY:

  • After graduating from high school, he didn't have the grades to go to college, so he didn't.
  • Instead, he got a job with the telephone company; one day, his sister told him, "There's more to life than climbing poles," so he enrolled in art school.
  • One day, an enthusiastic professor led a photojournalism class on the marriage of words and pictures.
  • He became obsessed with photojournalism and decided to tack it on as a double major.
  • Because he was older than other students-he already had a wife and kids-his portfolio was a bit more serious than others.
  • The director of photography at National Geographic gave him an internship and a chance at a story.
  • He says that he was very well set up for this assignment, psychologically, and as a result, his photos of the Pennsylvania Amish were published.
  • That spread was considered a major turning point in the style of the magazine, and it jump-started his photography career.

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