NDA Alum Skogg Blends Passion, Career

“Photography has forced me to slow down and do my best.”


Notre Dame Academy alum Erika Skogg had recently paid a visit to the high school to talk about her photography career and share some advice with students.

Skogg is currently living between the United States and Colombia, doing outreach for National Geographic Student Expeditions. She travels over the summers as a photography leader for them, having led trips through Montana, Italy, Ecuador and Peru over the past 3 years.

“My advice has always been to find what you love and stick with it,” Skogg advised.

Skogg was able to blend her love of photography and outdoor adventure-guiding which included white water guiding and ski instructing.

“I never knew that I would someday blend the two to become a photography travel guide and get to travel the world doing two things I love. If you continue doing what you love, you may just become an expert in it, and there will be a job out there for you to do just that,” Skogg said.

Graduating from Montana State University, Skogg was able to grab the opportunity when she received an email from Canon Photography asking for a photography guide. Her skill requirement level was low, but she got the job because of the passion and persistence she showed.

“What has always attracted me to photography is the ability to capture a moment in time and preserve a moment from my life or a complete stranger’s,” Skogg said.

She realized that at a young age, she was always the one with the camera in her hand photographing her family, friends and travel experiences non-stop.

“National Geographic magazine was the first publication to bring photographs from others’ cultures home here to the US, and that same value of photography holds true today. I can travel the world with my camera and hopefully inspire the same appreciation I have of other countries and cultures with the images I take,” Skogg said regarding the choice behind her career.

As a freelance photographer, Skogg looks forward to continuing to be surprised where her camera will take her and what stories she will be hired to cover abroad.

In today’s changing world, the more skills one can bring to a job, the better.  Skogg shared that she was never a great writer, so she recently began taking writing classes online during her free time.

“To an editor I’m much more valuable if I can take photographs, write, and do video work in the field. I’m focusing on each of these elements to continue getting big jobs that will take me to places I haven’t been so I can continue to get published and be able to call myself a visual story teller,” Skogg said.

Being a photographer, Skogg gets the chance to gain knowledge behind everything she photographs. For her, it has also taught her patience. Skogg admitted that she has a tendency to rush through life and projects, so “photography has forced me to slow down and do my best.”

“If you want the perfect shot, sometimes it takes waiting in a tree for long hours holding a heavy lens, or waiting for the sun to rise over the mountains in the dead of winter.  I’ve realized that the greatest photographs I’ve taken haven’t happened the moment I pulled out my camera. It takes time and patience to really nail the best shot.”

To see more of what Erika Skogg does, visit the website http://erikaskogg.com/ where you can also view her portfolio.