Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sisse Brimberg has been a regular photographer for National Geographic since 1976, when a Danish grant allowed her to study photojournalism at the Society. She worked as an apprentice in a commercial photo studio while attending photography school, and later operated her own studio in Copenhagen for five years before coming to National Geographic.
Sisse's particular passion is for historical/cultural stories that require a great deal of research and even more imagination. You can't photograph history, of course, so you have to find ways to make the past visible. She has published more than 30 stories ranging from the far eastern corners of Japan's paper industry to Northern Europe's Viking culture. Sisse was awarded the Picture Story of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association for her photographs of migrant workers.
In 1988, Sisse documented the National Geographic Society’s Centennial. Other articles for the magazine include "The Fragile Recovery of California Sea Otters" in June 1995, "When the Greeks Went West" in November 1994, and “The Hanseatic League: Europe’s First Common Market” in October 1994.
She lives in Copenhagen with her husband, long-time Geographic contributing photographer Cotton Coulson and their two children. She and her husband also own a media company, KEENPRESS, which produces photography and HD video film for international publications and companies. Much of their work focuses on the environment, climate issues, and international travel stories. They are frequent contributors to National Geographic Traveler magazine, and have their photo archive with NG Image Collection.