16 More TED Talks to Inspire Professional Photographers

ted talks by and for photographers

We love TED Talks and think they can be a great resource for photographers looking to take their work to the next level and prepare for the future. Gain inspiration from these sixteen photographers telling amazing stories about their photography.

The story of life in photographs

In this stunning slideshow, celebrated nature photographer Frans Lanting presents The LIFE Project, a poetic collection of photographs that tell the story of our planet, from its eruptive beginnings to its present diversity. Soundtrack by Philip Glass.

A flying camera … on a leash

Let’s admit it: aerial photo drones and UAVs are a little creepy, and they come with big regulatory and safety problems. But aerial photos can be a powerful way of telling the truth about the world: the size of a protest, the spread of an oil spill, the wildlife hidden in a delta. Sergei Lupashin demos Fotokite, a nifty new way to see the world from on high, safely and under control.

Photos that bear witness to modern slavery

For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images — miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal — illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide.

Photos that give voice to the animal kingdom

Nature photographer Frans Lanting uses vibrant images to take us deep into the animal world. In this short, visual talk he calls for us to reconnect with other earthly creatures, and to shed the metaphorical skins that separate us from each other.

Psychedelic science

Swiss artist and photographer Fabian Oefner is on a mission to make eye-catching art from everyday science. In this charming talk, he shows off some recent psychedelic images, including photographs of crystals as they interact with soundwaves. And, in a live demo, he shows what really happens when you mix paint with magnetic liquid—or when you set fire to whiskey.

A father-daughter bond, one photo at a time

A long time ago in New York City, Steve Addis stood on a corner holding his 1-year-old daughter in his arms; his wife snapped a photo. The image has inspired an annual father-daughter ritual, where Addis and his daughter pose for the same picture, on the same corner, each year. Addis shares 15 treasured photographs from the series, and explores why this small, repeated ritual means so much.

From stigma to supermodel

Rick Guidotti is a fashion photographer with a passion project: finding and sharing the unmistakable beauty of kids with albinism and other conditions that affect their physical appearance — and the way society treats them. At TEDxPhoenix, he shares some of their stories and the empowering effects of a little glamour as he redefines their beauty in a flash.

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.

Photos from a storm chaser

Photographer Camille Seaman has been chasing storms for 5 years. In this talk she shows stunning, surreal photos of the heavens in tumult.

Photographs of secret sites

Taryn Simon exhibits her startling take on photography — to reveal worlds and people we would never see otherwise. She shares two projects: one documents otherworldly locations typically kept secret from the public, the other involves haunting portraits of men convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Photographing the hidden story

Ryan Lobo has traveled the world, taking photographs that tell stories of unusual human lives. In this haunting talk, he reframes controversial subjects with empathy, so that we see the pain of a Liberian war criminal, the quiet strength of UN women peacekeepers and the perseverance of Delhi’s underappreciated firefighters.

Wry photos that turn stereotypes upside down

Artist Uldus Bakhtiozina uses photographs to poke fun at societal norms in her native Russia. A glimpse into Russian youth culture and a short, fun reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.

Dreams from endangered cultures

With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world’s indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

Ingenious homes in unexpected places

In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story “Tower of David,” an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity’s ability to survive and make a home — anywhere.

One year of turning the world inside out

Street artist JR made a wish in 2011: Join me in a worldwide photo project to show the world its true face. Now, a year after his TED Prize wish, he shows how giant posters of human faces, pasted in public, are connecting communities, making change, and turning the world inside out.

The beautiful nano details of our world

When photographed under a 3D microscope, grains of sand appear like colorful pieces of candy and the stamens in a flower become like fantastical spires at an amusement park. Gary Greenberg reveals the thrilling details of the micro world.

Have any more TED Talks that you turn to for inspiration? Let us know in the comments!

H&H Color Lab

Popular Topics