Published in National Geographic! - Drake Sprague Photography

A lifelong dream come true, I was recently honored to have one of my photographs selected and published by National Geographic in the 2016 edition of their book "People of the World". The story of how this happened began in the summer of 2015 with a surprise email. In the message I was told that editors from National Geographic discovered this photograph on my Flickr site while key-word searching for images to accompany articles profiling ethnic people groups from around the world. My initial reaction to the email was disbelief, assuming it to be a hoax. However, after noticing the list of National Geographic email addresses in the 'from' and 'copy' boxes I realized it may actually be legitimate. Even still, I was a bit hesitant about allowing it to be published, as I photographed this woman, an indigenous Mixtec Indian, during a Christmas celebration deep in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico. Christ followers are rare among the Mixtec tribes, and I was invited to this unique celebration of Jesus' birth by missionary friends with whom I worked while living in Oaxaca. My biggest concern was that she would be featured in a respectful manner, as she is captured here in a very personal moment of prayer to the one and true living God of the Bible. Before allowing National Geographic to use my photograph I contacted my missionary friends in Mexico to ask for their approval. I felt that this was the right thing to do, and I was prepared to say no to National Geographic if necessary. I was happy though when they said yes, and especially thrilled when I finally received a copy of this remarkable book shortly after it went to print in October 2016. 

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