Joining us for today’s show is the remarkable international wildlife photographer Marian Brickner, who shares her fascinating story and the lessons she has learned from following her dreams. You’ll hear about the surprising way she got started in her photography career, the driving force behind her passion for capturing the individual lives of animals, and her practical advice for creatives or anyone who wants to follow a passion. You’ll love her delightful sense of humor—and how her captivating images landed her in National Geographic Kids, on the cover of a book by a famous Dutch primatologist and, yes, even on a billboard in France.
In short, you don’t want to miss this priceless interview. Simply click the Play button above, then sit back and enjoy!
I first met Marian Brickner during a Monday-morning strategy session at Medici MediaSpace, a creative, collaborative co-working space based in Saint Louis, MO. Having joined Medici as the newly minted founder and editor of Boomalally magazine at the time, I was there to learn as much I could about launching and growing a successful business. Turns out, Marian was there for a similar reason—to take her photography business to the next level.
My first impression of Marian was that she was fiercely observant, intense, and curious. Petite with piercing blue eyes and short, silver hair, she was filled with energy, enthusiasm, and passion for her work. I promptly invited her to speak at a Meet-up group that I also was starting. The captivating photographs and stories she shared about her life’s work during her talk were truly spellbinding.
Over the next four years, we kept up with one another. Then after two lovely conversations this year, she graciously agreed to join me for this podcast episode.
In this heart-warming interview, you will hear how Marian began her journey as a wildlife photographer at the age of 55, how capturing the lives of Bonobos (the fourth great ape) became her passion, and the gutsy, unconventional ways she gained access to both animals and people in some of the top zoos and publishing outlets in the world.
You’ll be inspired by her keen sense of responsibility for capturing the lives of animals as unique individuals and her fierce determination to make a difference through her mesmerizing images. You’ll also be captivated and moved by her intriguing stories and her powerful, straightforward advice for anyone who wants to follow a purpose, passion, or dream.
- Launched her career as an international wildlife photographer at 55 years of age
- Traveled the U.S. (and world) capturing images of animals ranging from dragonflies and green tree pythons to jaguars and Bonobos
- Documented the life of one special Bonobo named Lucy growing up over a 13-year period
- One of her images of Lucy playing with her baby named Yuli was featured on a billboard in France
- At 85 years young, she continues to be a prolific nature photographer
Quotes by Marian Brickner
“When I was 55 and I was working, I woke up one day and said, ‘Why do people keep killing each other all the time? I really need to do something about that.’”
“I am looking for respect for the individual no matter what body they happen to have. You never can tell what body [you’ll be] born in. That has nothing to do with you.”
“What I’m wanting to do with my images is cause an inadvertent smile to everyone who sees the image. So, all the images are always about there’s an individual living in the body they happen to have, and we get respect for that individual, and those are my images.”
“We all have spikes, but generally we don’t see them on each other. And the question is how do we get along? To me it’s all about that: How do we get along when we have all these spikes with each other?”