Bill Hatcher’s first story for National Geographic magazine, “Storming the Tower” (April 1996), was a photographic journey of the epic struggle of four climbers to reach the summit of Nameless Tower, a 21,000-foot (6,400-meter) granite spire in Pakistan. Hatcher’s subsequent stories for National Geographic documented mountain climbers on Denali, the first traverse by bike of the Alaskan Range, exploration of slot canyons in the American Southwest, scientific endeavours to study giant trees in Borneo and Australia, and examination of the use of yucca plant fibers by ancient Native Americans.
Hatcher’s editorial, commercial, and video work has received several awards, including those from Communication Arts, ARCHIVE, and the Emmy Awards. His photos and stories have been published widely, both in the U.S. and internationally. Hatcher has also shot feature stories for Smithsonian, Outside magazine, Newsweek, Paris Match, and GEO, in addition to many specialized magazines such as Climbing, Rock and Ice, Bike, Snowboarding, and Archaeology. His advertising clients include Nikon, the Discovery Channel, Reebok, Johnson & Johnson, Ralph Lauren, Bally Gyms, Nike, The North Face, and Montbell.
Hatcher authored The National Geographic Field Guide to Adventure Photography. His photography is also prominent in the National Geographic books Desire and Ice and Caves: Exploring the Hidden Realms. He teaches photography at the annual National Geographic Adventure Photography Workshop hosted by the Banff Centre in Canada each fall.
Hatcher draws from a rich family history of photojournalism. His grandfather, award-winning photojournalist James Miller, Sr., was owner and editor of the weekly newspaper the Missourian. From his grandfather’s wild stories of exploits around the world Hatcher found himself drawn into the enticing realm of photojournalism. His family still owns and runs the paper.