Interview with Roie Galitz | GBPW Podcast Episode 105

It doesn’t matter who you are. Even if you’re a photographer or not a photographer, as long as you have a good mind and a good set of eyes, I’m happy to learn from you. Always be ready to learn. Always accept the fact that you don’t know everything and you still have a lot of room to improve. That fact will never change. If you think you know everything, you will learn nothing.

Roie Galitz

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In this episode, I speak with the talented Roie Galitz, a wildlife photographer, entrepreneur, and public speaker from Israel. Roie owns one of the top photography schools in Israel, regularly leads expeditions, collaborates with incredible companies around the world, and much more. As someone who wears many hats, Roie knows how to balance his life and make the most of every opportunity.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • How Roie connects with animals in the wild to take stunning photos
  • The reason he started his own photography school in Israel
  • The importance of being open to other people’s feedback

& much more!

I had so much fun speaking with Roie! He’s travelled to many countries in the last few years, so he has many fascinating stories to share. I appreciate his collaborative approach to photography and his love for environmentalism. Regardless of your preferred photography genre, I’m sure you’ll enjoy listening to this episode.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Roie Galitz.

Q: How do you handle the entrepreneurial side of things? I’m sure it’s a lot to juggle.

Roie Galitz: It is a lot to juggle. The secret is – don’t tell it to anyone – having a good team. Once you have a good team, you can do everything. A team that you can trust, a team that will do the job better than you would. And then you just have fun.

You’re only one person. Even if you’re the greatest person on earth, you can’t do a 20-people job. You can’t be in four places at once. If you want to go further, you have to have a good team. Each team member is a power multiplier to your own capabilities.

Q: How long does it typically take you to connect with a wild animal?

Roie Galitz: It all depends on the subject and the animal that I’m photographing. I’ve been over 20 times in Africa and 15 times in Svalbard. I’m used to going to those places, and especially when I’m guiding there, I try to teach people how to create that connection.

Once you know the animals and what to expect, then it’s faster to connect. I’ve already photographed hundreds of polar bears. I know what polar bears do, what they like and don’t like. I know how to make them feel comfortable around me: keep quiet and silent and don’t move.

There are noises that they don’t like, such as Velcro. So don’t do anything with your Velcro! These little things really, really make a difference. Build trust with the animal and let the animal feel that they’re in charge and in control. Let them come closer to you, don’t chase them. That’s when you get that fly-on-the-wall approach.

Q: Is there a particular experience where a student learned something interesting that inspired you as a teacher?

Roie Galitz: With every expedition, I learn something new from the students. When I go to expeditions with students, rather than going alone, I get better pictures! It makes me try harder, it makes me push my limits, because people are expecting from you to lead, teach, create. It always pushes me beyond my limits.

You can see only with your two eyes. Even if your eyes are great, you won’t see as well as 10 eyes. People have seen some things that I didn’t see, like a reflection of a lioness in the water. You always learn from everyone around you.

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