These articles are for inspiration and education purposes only!

Vince J Musi

Vince MusiBio: Vincent J Musi has been a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1993 covering subjects from the Texas Hill Country to hurricanes, volcanoes and mummies. A specialist in animal portraits, his work has also taken him from historic Route 66 to the oldest temple on Earth in Turkey.

A popular teacher and speaker, he mixes his love for the history of photography with reverence and wit. He is the host of LOOK3/Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA and has been the emcee of the annual National Geographic Photographic Seminar 10 times.

 The Big Cat Studio Portraits of Vince J Musi

Vince Musi Portraits

When I took classes at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, I had a professor who suggest that one of the bests ways to learn photography was to study what other photographers were doing.  She suggested looking at advertisements, magazine articles, coffee table books and such.  I did all that and still do till this day.  But I took it a step further.  I figured National Geographic had some of the best photographers in the world, so I subscribed.  As funny as is sounds, I really only wanted the pictures.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to say that I never read it, but I would study those pictures and try to reverse engineer what the photographer did to create his image.

The King

Today I got my daily copy of PetaPixel and there is a story about a National Geographic photographer, Vince J Musi.  This struck me odd because I had just seen a TEDx Talk with him.  He was funny, real and insightful; seems to be a down to earth kind of guy.  And apparently will do whatever it takes to get the picture.


“National Geographic‘s Vincent J Musi will quite literally do whatever it takes to get the animal portrait he’s looking for, including kneeling in urine while singing Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?” to a growling Snow Leopard… hand gestures included.

Fortunately, the trick works (was it the hand gestures? he wonders), “mesmerized and captivated by [his] theatrical prowess and virtuosit,” the Snow Leoppard stops and stares at the yummi, camera-wielding steak. One down, seven to go.”

Now while I didn’t recognize his name right away, I certainly did his images.  There is no mistaken his work, as he takes formal studio portraits of wild animals on seamless backgrounds.  They are spectacular, stunning, and magnificent as the animals are so far removed from their environment that you can’t help but to be captivated by them.


While the PetaPixel story was promoting his fundraising efforts for the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, unfortunately the special ends in two days.  Yet Vince’s work is so worth studying and exploring.




Here are some links to check out for more information.

The PetaPixel Article is here.

Pictures for sale for the Nat Geo Big Cat Initiative

His personal site with more then the big cat gallery



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