He Left Everything Behind and Became National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year

He Left Everything Behind and Became National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year

I've met photographers who sold almost everything they had to travel the country in an RV, doing portrait sessions along the way. I've known people who have given up everything they know about their way of life in order to have the ability to adopt a new sense of adventure. But this guy. This guy! He left everything, started diving around the world, and became National Geographic's "Nature Photographer of the Year."

When French-born Greg Lecoeur sold his company six years ago, he didn't know what his next steps would be. He had a comfortable life, but didn't have time to do what he loved: playing in the sea. So he dropped everything and started traveling with not much more than a backpack and a camera.

I ran a company, but I was working every day. I had money, but I didn’t have time to play in the sea. So I sold my company; I sold my car; I sold my boat. I left my apartment, and I found someone to take care of my dog.

It takes a lot of courage to exchange everything you know around you for a life of uncertainty and adventure, but Lecoeur seems to have done all right. After a 2015 stint in South Africa, he came back with some stunning images of underwater sardine migration and predation that landed him the grand prize in National Geographic's "Nature Photographer of the Year" contest. 

photo by Greg Lecoeur

Proof that taking a risk and following your heart can lead to great things.

[via National Geographic]


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Matthias Dengler's picture

Great! I dream of doing the same. So I guess it will be different, working towards the goal of dropping everything, instead of having everything and dropping it. That's my approach towards that. But even getting rid of a few things I have in my apartment, feels really weird. So big respect for selling everything and pursuing what he loved.
Isn't that what life is about? Why wasting lifetime for something you don't like?
All done right!!! Hands down!

Ingemar Kenyatta's picture

I'm glad you all had the integrity to point out that he was quite comfortable and dropping everything wasn't going to mean having no money. There is a big difference between sort of setting out with very little and being financially stable.

That said, as Matthias put it, much, much respect for the courage, dedication and hard work! The images are gorgeous and the story is inspiring!

And go to this guy's website. The image of the alligator is EVERYTHING!

Leigh Miller's picture

Very true...I did the same and it certainly wasn't like quitting a job without the cash to see something else through.

He sold his dog too?

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I did the same thing! except for the "National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year" part :D