Mike Hettwer is a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine. He is focused on geopolitical, archeology and paleontology stories--and his travels have taken him to 75 countries. He has photographed 10 dinosaur and archeology expeditions to the Sahara Desert with dinosaur hunter Paul Sereno, and to Kenya with paleoanthropologists Louise and Meave Leakey.
His photos have appeared in more than 5,000 magazines, newspapers, books and web sites and includes National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Science, Nature, Discover, Scientific American, the United Nations, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, NPR, MSNBC and CNN. He has created photography books with the Leakey family and with Paul Sereno.
Mike has given two talks at National Geographic headquarters to the NG photographers and staff. One was on "Moving Photojournalism from Creating Awareness to Creating Impact", which looked at 500 stories and why 50 got significant impact. The research was distilled down to seven best practices with case studies. The other talk was on "Alternative Sources of Income for Photographers" and 75 top photographers and industry leaders were interviewed.
In his other life, Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has started and built six companies focused on technology and the Web. His last two agencies built 200 web sites and drove over $1.5B in revenue for their clients online. Previously he sold his web development firm to a public company and built that group to 200 people and $30M in revenue annually.
Mike has a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and has attended the TED Conference for 16 years. He is Executive Director of the non-profit TEDxMidwest, a locally organized version of the TED conference. It is viewed as one of the top TEDx events globally and brings world class speakers to Chicago annually. TEDxMidwest has also hosted a youth event for 600 inner city high school students and their teachers which inspired kids and provided summer jobs.