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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Merçon

"Photographer's Page" Leonardo Merçon on the National Geographic Website.

With emotion and fulfillment, I share a touching chapter of my journey as a nature photographer. A few years ago, my images came to life on the pages of the iconic magazine with yellow borders, National Geographic.

It's a achievement that brings back memories of my father sharing these stories with me in childhood, reading the tales (still in English) before I slept. Can you guess which ones I liked the most, right?

The dream of seeing my photos in the pages of National Geographic was a promise I made to my father when I was a child. Although he's no longer with us to witness the fulfillment, I feel his presence with every click. For a year, even before the pandemic, I had the honor of signing a contract with them and seeing my passion for nature highlighted in their publications.

Whales leaping in Vitória-ES, a brave swimmer surrounded by rays in APA Baía das Tartarugas, turtle research in Abrolhos, and the sad reality of animal roadkill - these images tell stories of our rich biodiversity and the challenges we face to protect it.

While the magazine has ceased its print editions in Brazil and the focus of the website articles has shifted, I'm grateful to have been part of this legacy. National Geographic has always been a beacon of inspiration, and contributing my photographic perspective is an honor I carry with me. I try to see the positive side, that I was fortunate to be part of the beautiful story of print magazines while they still existed.

The journey continues, challenges renew, but the passion for nature photography remains stronger than ever. Just yesterday, a friend pointed out how much I smile when talking about using photos on citizen science websites, social media, or in my books. Sometimes I still feel like that 10-year-old child, inspired by National Geographic stories.

That's why I carry a motto with me: "Inspiring people, we promote change!"

Visit the photographer's page on the National Geographic website at:

If you haven't checked out my Instagram yet, click HERE.


Leonardo Merçon is from Espírito Santo, and for nearly 20 years, he has been a nature photographer/documentarian, focused on nature conservation. He holds a degree in graphic design from the Federal University of Espírito Santo, studied photography for publications at the Academy of Media and Arts in Germany with a full scholarship from DAAD, and is currently pursuing a professional master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation at IPÊ/ESCAS. He is the founder/volunteer director of the Last Refuges Institute (a nonprofit environmental organization). He has published dozens of printed books and video documentaries. He works to tell stories through images in national and international media, such as BBC London and National Geographic Brazil, among others. In 2015, he was a speaker at TEDx TALK in Vitória-ES. He believes in and works on environmental awareness activities, especially with children, and promotes nature-related tourism as a way to inspire people and bring about change.

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