Sisse Brimberg
“I was born very prematurely, two months to be precise. The nurses who took care of me gave me the nickname ``Sisse``. Later on I was baptized Marie-Louise, but it never stuck, I have always gone by Sisse.”

Sisse Brimberg is a highly experienced photographer who has photographed over fifty stories for National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Traveler ranging from the far corners of Japan's paper industry to northern Europe's Viking culture. Her work is exhibited around the world. Her particular passion is for historical/cultural stories that require a great deal of research and even more imagination. You can't photograph history, of course, so you have to find ways to make the past visible. Together with Cotton Coulson, her deceased husband and colleague, Sisse has been awarded prizes by Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, White House Press Photographers Association, and Communication Arts.

“I was raised near the sea and spent my youth sailing with my friends in Øresund,” says Sisse.
It has therefore been perfect with the opportunity to travel aboard the National Geo­graphic Explorer ship to the Polar Regions and gain access to some of the most amazing photographic destinations imaginable. The frozen landscapes are spectacular with its unique light and surroundings. And with that comes the arctic species, many of them endangered, making it important to document their lifestyle and environment.

Sisse Brimberg has been a National Geographic Con­tributing Photographer since she was in her twenties, when she met and married Cotton Coulson in Washington DC. At that time, they often traveled in opposite di­rections spanning the globe on photo assignments for the magazine. Sisse focused her energies on cultural and historical subjects that had interested her since child­hood and while growing up north of Copenhagen. Some of her favorite feature stories took her back to Scandinavia, “The Vikings”, “Denmark”, “Hans Christian Anders­en”, “Hanseatic League”, just to name a few.

“Good travel photography is all about conveying your emotional response to being some place new. The images have to convey details, context, and people that can provide a contextual sense of being in this very special place. It’s also important to be very familiar with your equipment, keep your gear simple, and don’t run out and buy something the day before departure,“ tells Sisse when asked to give us a handful of tips on photography based on her amazing career.

In 2004, while living in Paris, Sisse and Cotton made a life-changing decision; to work together as a creative couple. They formed their company, and spent part of the year traveling to remote and exotic locations shooting for National Geographic Traveler and teach­ing photography.

In association with National Geographic Nordic, they launched an exclusive photo workshop pro­gram with Better Moments to Bhutan, one of the most desirable locations to visit today for photographers and film­makers. Bhutan is from our point of view, the last country in Asia that has maintained its own unique culture, histo­ry and religion. The landscapes are unique and beauti­ful and the people are open and genuinely welcome you with a smile. Bhutan is much like Tibet was 60 years ago - unspoiled and innocent with a strong thread of autonomy and dignity - the last real kingdom in Asia.” says Sisse Brimberg.




    Land of the Thunder Dragon



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    Interview with Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson