National Geographic Photographer
Dan Westergren has spent three decades producing award-winning images as a National Geographic Society photographer, photo editor, and social media strategist. Years after being introduced to the camera by an indulgent eighth-grade science teacher, Westergren became Director of Photography at National Geographic Traveler, where he developed a photographic aesthetic that has defined the magazine’s visual impact in print, digital, and social media.
Driven by photo-journalistic values rooted in the heritage of the National Geographic Society, Westergren’s storytelling approach positioned him as the central point of contact between the magazine, advertising, and digital teams. In 2014, Westergren helped pioneer a method for communication between photographers in the field that enabled efficient and impactful travel reporting on Instagram, Facebook, and the popular “On Assignment” blog. The result of using social media to share photos in real time has drawn readers to the site and led to high advertising client satisfaction. Westergren frequently contributes to the magazine’s integrated sponsored content packages. Westergren helped launch the popular and profitable National Geographic Traveler Photography Seminars series and contributed to the program as it grew from four events the first year to more than three dozen scheduled events in 2015. Westergren presents ten seminars each year and serves as a key point of contact for thousands of NatGeo Travel readers.
As a photographer, Westergren has shot stories and led workshops on all seven continents, including expeditions up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in the European Alps. His defining moment at the National Geographic Society came when he stood at the North Pole, after skiing the last degree of latitude, to produce photographs for a Traveler story. Though exhausted, Westergren reflected on his organization’s history of visual excellence and proudly claimed his place as a National Geographic photographer