1.14.2015 National Geographic Creative Panel

National Geographic Creative invited me to speak on a panel. To which I replied, it'd be a huge honor to be even considered. So here I was. The panel was titled Monetizing Social Media. Here was the list of panelists:

Kira Pollack
Kira is the Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise at TIME. In October 2011, she was named the photo editor of the year at the Lucie Awards. Since Pollack joined TIME in October 2009, the brand's photography has been recognized with many prestigious awards including the World Press photo of the year, and the Visa D'Or award at Visa Pour L'image. Pollack spearheaded TIME's Beyond 9/11 project, which was awarded an Emmy in October of 2012. In March 2011, she established TIME's photography site LightBox, and in August, 2013, she established TIME's new documentary film unit, Red Border Films. Previously, Pollack was the Deputy photo editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Allen Murabayashi
Allen is an avid photographer and frequently speaks on how photographers can use online marketing to grow their businesses. Before PhotoShelter, Allen served as one of the founding employee and Senior Vice President of Engineering at, where he assisted in the company's massive growth from a 4-person start-up to a publicly-held company with over 675 employees. He oversaw a staff of 50 engineers, and was responsible for the development of, Softshoe, and a number of internal applications. Allen graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor's degree in Music with distinction in the major.

Richard Kelly
Richard is a Pittsburg-based photographer, producer and director. He has been awarded the 2011 United Nations' International Photographic Council's Leadership Award and a 2009 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is the President of the multimedia production company Indigo Factory, Inc. that produces photography & multimedia projects for companies and organizations. Richard was the Director of Photography for WQED Multimedia and is the past president of the American Society of Media Photographers. He is currently the Visuals consultant at the Public Source, a Pittsburgh based Investigative News Organization.

Amy Yvonne Yu
Amy has thirteen years of experience on the agency and production side of the photography industry across different mediums, including stills, video and experiential. She attributes her diverse background to working alongside Albert Watson, Cass Bird, Jill Greenberg and The Selby. She has given many talks and interviews regarding the importance of promotion, focusing on social media. Amy stresses that one must understand each platform, its function and audience before pushing out content specific to each effectively. This is essential to successfully gain traction in social media.

A photo posted by Heather Perry (@heathfish) on

I am not here to discuss the panel itself, but to tell you of my experience of the Nation Geographic photographers. Lynn Johnson came up to me at the wrap party on Friday and said to me, "I have been wanting to tell you that you are a badass woman." I was utterly stunned out of words for a few moments. Then I asked her how many times she was arrested on assignment. She was never arrested, but has been detained, people tried to shoot at her, people tried to put her in the trunk of a car, and has been choked. What was in my mind but couldn't say as I was having one of the most surreal moments of my life was, "Lynn, you and all the men and women here are literally are the most badasses I have ever met!" Every time one of these incredible photographers came up to me this past week to tell me how great I was, I was thinking, "Do you know who you are? Because I am in awe of every one of you here."

Never in my life have I been in the company of a group of photographers more deserving to make a living out of their profession. These are the people that constantly remind us of our relationship to our planet, our relationship to other species, and our relationship with each other. In this age of extreme apathy and people that does not open their eyes outside of their smart devices, this is more important than ever. These are the men and women who risk their lives to re-educate us of the importance of staying connected with our world.

Jim Richardson said during panel that unlike David Guttenfelder, the rest of us are not interesting, so it's really intimidating going on social media. Naturally, like the extremely logical person that I am, I wholeheartedly disagreed and reminded them all that they are indeed the most interesting photographers I have ever met and that anyone would have to be blind to miss that.

Here are some ways for you to help:

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