SARAH LEEN 

EDITOR . TEACHER . CURATOR


In 2019, Sarah Leen founded The Visual Thinking Collective as a community for independent photo editors, teachers and visual managers to serve photographers, media, art and academic institutions, NGOs, and corporate clients in telling their stories in unique, authentic and highly visual ways.

In 2014, Sarah became the first female Directory of Photography for National Geographic Magazine and Visual Media. She led a team of photo editors, photo researchers, freelance photographers, staff studio photographers, and a photo engineer. She assigned all photographers, departmental budgets, and led the visual content for both the National Geographic magazine and the Nat Geo Traveler magazine.

For nearly 20 years prior, she worked as a freelance photographer for National Geographic magazine until 2004, when she joined the staff as a Senior Photo Editor. Leen published 16 photo stories and produced five covers for the magazine. Sarah has also won numerous awards for both her photography and photo editing from the NPPA, the Pictures of the Year and the World Press Photo Awards.

Leen teaches photography and photo editing at the Missouri Photo Workshops, the Maine Media Workshops, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the Eddie Adams Workshop and Syracuse University. Mentorships are available through application and portfolio review.

Leen has juried numerous contests including Pictures of the Year International, LensCulture, Critical Mass, Photo Lucida, the FotoEvidence Book Award, the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, the Getty Images Editorial Grants, the World Press Joop Swarts Masterclass and the Santa Fe Center Review.

She is on the Board of the International League of Conservation Photographers, on the Advisory Council for the Eddie Adams Workshop and a member of 
The Photo Society. Leen has curated exhibitions at Photoville, NYC, the Annenberg Space for Photography LA, LOOK3 and the National Geographic Museum.

PARTNERS AND CLIENTS: The National Geographic Society, VII Photo, Santa Fe Photo Workshops, Maine Media Workshops, FotoEvidence, and Women Photographers of Washington (WPOW).


CONTACT

SARAH@VISUALTHINKINGCOLLECTIVE.COM  @ROSELEEN     LINKEDIN

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CONVERSATIONS 

I believe in creating community and collaborating with partners to create authentic, compelling and transformative experiences. Please check out this online panel I moderated for the Focus on the Story Festival on how to pitch ideas to photo editors.


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EDIT/CURATE 

Working with individual photographers and agencies to create visually-driven narratives is my passion. I am available to develop your ideas, edit your projects, curate exhibitions and review portfolios. Check out this on going project, American Again, I have been editing for the VII photo agency on Medium. 

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TEACH/MENTOR

I teach workshops on how to edit visual narratives at varying locations including Maine Media Workshops and the Santa Fe Photo Workshops. I am also available to create custom workshops about the elements of visual storytelling for your team.


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Visual Thinking Collective

The Visual Thinking Collective is a community of creative independent women. We are committed to visual storytelling.
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