Bradley Secker, Photojournalist

Bradley Secker, Photojournalist

Meet Bradley Secker, a National Geographic Explorer and Istanbul-based British photojournalist. He has spent over a decade covering LGBTQIA asylum and migration, among other subjects, and his work often focuses on themes of identity, sociopolitical actions, and the concept of "home."


10 - 12+


Storytelling, Photography, Anthropology

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Early Work

"Likely due to having grown up in a small town, my interest in international news and events was present from my early teenage years. I wanted to know about the wider world. Growing up gay in Britain at the time, under something called 'Section 28' (which prohibited the discussion or 'promotion' of homosexuality at schools), being interested in politics was more of a necessity than a choice. This shaped my personal work as I went into the photojournalism industry, and my first projects were focused on LGBTQIA asylum seekers and refugees from the Middle East."

Most Exciting Part of Your Work

"Being present at big world events to photograph and experience them unfolding is definitely the highlight of my work and job. It’s not always easy, but it feels rewarding, and has a role to play in the way others view what’s happening elsewhere in the world. I’ve learned that everything that happens around the world is connected to all of us in one way or another, a kind of butterfly effect. Visual storytelling can be local or global, and if you’re interested in what’s going on around you, I’d recommend starting with a focus on something close to your heart, and learning the history of photojournalism from old to new."

Most Demanding Part of Your Work

"I wouldn’t say that photojournalism is particularly popular within the LGBTQIA community per se, and the stereotype is that we are more interested in fashion photography. Despite that, and some specific challenges, like working in places where being gay is illegal and dodging awkward questions, it is a rewarding job. The industry isn’t overtly homophobic, and I’ve not faced discrimination from photo editors or colleagues, but being gay adds an extra layer of thought into every assignment and trip."

What Being an Explorer Means to You

"Being an Explorer has given me a wonderful community of colleagues. It has helped me showcase my work to a wider audience, highlight the issues I’ve been working on (LGBTQIA asylum and migration). I can now count an amazing group of oceanographers, archeologists, bat specialists, paleoanthropologists, and conservationists amongst my friends. NGS has given my work the platform to inform and raise awareness of the issues I photograph, and has the power to reach a global audience."

Explorer Work Showcase

"My long term personal work on LGBTQIA migration and asylum is my proudest achievement. It was shot over 12 years (from 2010 to 2022), and was the first in-depth photographic project on the topic. It delved into several sub-topics, but shows the community’s strength and determination to live freely and openly, as well as the sacrifices along the way."

So, You Want To Be a…Photojournalist

"Photojournalism is a broad field, and it’s not restricted to conflict zones. It’s about visual storytelling. You can photograph anything you’re interested in. An interest in people is important, but you don’t have to study photography to get into this career, it draws people in from a range of backgrounds. If you have an interest in telling stories, the doors are open to you. The main benefit is that photos don’t have a language barrier, so everybody can experience your work."

Get Involved

"Photography is more prevalent than ever, especially through our phones, which makes it much more accessible. Go out and snap away, you don’t need the most expensive camera equipment. You can focus on one particular theme, or person, or place, or a feeling. The sky’s the limit."

Media Credits

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Last Updated

June 20, 2024

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