To 15-year-old Matthew from Bonita Springs, taking photos is more than a hobby or a passion. Photography is a way to express himself and also his desired career path. There was no doubt in his mind what his greatest wish was – he wanted to meet the editor of National Geographic, the mecca of photography.
Soon, Matthew, his parents and his three brothers were on their way to Washington D.C. to make his wish come true. He was greeted in the National Geographic lobby with a “Special Visitor” badge and the VIP treatment was just beginning. Senior Editor Kathy Moran quickly took Matthew under her wing and proceeded to give him a behind-the-scenes look beyond his biggest expectations. Kathy even took the time to look through his personal portfolio of images, telling him what she liked the most and offering constructive criticism as well.
They toured the viewing and screening rooms to see how photos are selected. In the Camera Equipment room, he met the crew who create the remote-controlled vehicles that hold the cameras used on exotic photo shoots. Matthew learned lots of tricks of the trade to help with the pursuit of his dream to be a professional photographer. Then it was time for a visit to the photo studio. Under the watchful eye of Mark Thiessen, National Geographic’s Staff Photographer, Matthew tested out the magazine’s top-of-the-line camera, snapping several funny photos of his family jumping in mid-air.
He left National Geographic Headquarters with goodie bags filled with special gifts, a swirl of photographic knowledge in his head and the biggest smile on his face.
Wish Granters: Mark Micheel & Christina Rosolia
Referred by: Lisa Milligan, his mother
Wish sponsored by: Ms. Michele Eddy
*Pictured here: Matt and family at National Geographic Headquarters; Matt with Mark Theissen and Rebecca Hale of National Geographic.
To view a video of Matthew sharing the story of his wish come true, click here.