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National Geographic photographer to give talk here

Local auto dealer Ron Rosner was so impressed when he heard National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths speak at a Florida museum last fall that he wanted to give the Fredericksburg community the same opportunity.

Griffiths, one of the first female photographers for National Geographic, has worked on six of the world’s seven continents in places so remote she has taken a camel, an elephant and a hot air balloon to reach them.

On Thursday, she will share insights about her craft and tales of her three decades of world travel in a free lecture sponsored by the Rosner Automotive Group at 7 p.m at the University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center.

Griffiths’ lecture, “A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel,” comes from her 2008 book of that title. The photo memoir describes a life spent juggling her photography career and international travel with raising two children.

Carole Garmon, chair of UMW’s Department of Art and Art History, said she was ecstatic when she learned that Ron and Nancy Rosner wanted to sponsor Griffiths’ visit.

“It’s huge,” Garmon said. “We could never afford this.”

Garmon was familiar with Griffiths’ work and is pleased her visit will include a question-and-answer session and book signing for the community at the end of Thursday’s lecture and time to interact with UMW students Friday morning.

Garmon said it’s important for students in the arts to meet professionals who have made a career in the field and for professionals to see their work.

Griffiths, who lives in Great Falls, has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, The Associated Press, the National Organization of Women, the University of Minnesota and the White House News Photographers Association.

She also is executive director of the nonprofit Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document programs that empower women and girls throughout the developing world.

Rosner, who spends part of the year in Florida and enjoys an eclectic mix of the arts, heard Griffiths speak last November at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

He said he was captivated by her ability to tell a story with a photograph and fascinated to learn how she and her National Geographic colleagues captured their images.

“I think the audience will be blown away,” he said.

Griffiths’ Florida lecture was based on her 2010 book, “Simply Beautiful Photographs,” which formed the basis of an exhibit at the Vero Beach museum, said Sophie Bentham Wood, the museum’s marketing director.

Rosner said he thinks this week’s lecture will appeal to fans of the arts and photography and could broaden the horizons for some UMW students.

“If it inspires one photography student over there to make a career, I’ll be happy,” he said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972


WHAT: National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths talks about her career in a lecture titled, “A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel,” followed by a book signing.

WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.

WHERE: University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St.

COST: Free