Get to Know the Photographers: National Geographic Live!

Hosting the award-winning National Geographic Live series on The Paramount’s stage is a highlight of our year. This annual series welcomes National Geographic photographers to share the stories behind capturing their incredible work, whether in our oceans, forests, or outer space. Our first installment of the season took place on Thursday, October 10, when we welcomed in more than 1,000 students and teachers for the opening of the 2019-20 Arts Education Season. The daytime performance was followed that evening with a presentation to a public audience of 500 patrons. Mark your calendars to join us this February when photographer Shannon Wild joins us to share her work in Pursuit of the Black Panther, and in May when Kevin Hand takes us out of this world with The Search for Life Beyond Earth.

Shannon Wild filming in South Africa. (Photo by Russell MacLaughlin)

Paramount Presents: National Geographic Live – Shannon Wild, Pursuit of the Black Panther, FEBRUARY 7 AT 7PM

Q: What drew you to photograph the black panther?

A: “My husband and I came across of photo of the panther on Instagram and knew immediately we wanted to pitch a documentary about it, since one hasn’t been professionally documented in the wild before.”

Q: How do you handle frightening situations such as being charged by elephants or bitten by snakes?

A: “The positive far outweighs any negatives given that I love animals and being around them.  It’s part of the job, and every job has its risks—mine are just a little more unique than most.”

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the trials you’ve faced during the making of your documentary?

A: “Oh, so many, which I’ll detail in my talk and certainly too many to list here—but without giving too much away, apart from the day to day challenges of filming wildlife in general, I also managed to break my back. You’ll have to come along to hear all about it!”

Kevin Hand explores a mountainous region. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Hand)

Paramount Presents: National Geographic Live – Kevin Hand, The Search for Life Beyond Earth,

Astrobiologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kevin Hand searches for life beyond Earth. He is currently helping plan a NASA mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate evidence of a vast subsurface ocean—a body of water that could sustain primitive forms of life on this alien world nearly 600 million miles from our planet.

Based at Pasadena’s world-famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Hand designs instruments for the probe that will travel to Europa. To gain perspective on the conditions these instruments will have to endure, and to see how microbes eke out a living in our world’s harshest climes, Hand has traveled to the most forbidding environments on Earth. He has conducted studies on the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro, the valleys of Antarctica, and the depths of our oceans.

Pictured here, Europa is one of Jupiter’s 79 known moons. (Photo by Guillermo Abramson)

Aside from his compelling scientific work, Hand founded Cosmos Education, a nonprofit organization that empowers some of Africa’s poorest children through science, health, and environmental education. In 2005, Hand appeared alongside director James Cameron in Aliens of the Deep, applying his knowledge about extraterrestrial environments to Earth’s own unexplored territories. And in the summer of 2012, Hand joined Cameron’s team on his historic Challenger Deep dive into the Marianas Trench, the deepest place on the planet. Join Hand at The Paramount on May 8 for a firsthand report on the search for real extraterrestrials.