Take Care on National Geographic

Nat Geo Assignment: Take Care - Kristian Bertel
Indian man in Ramganj, submitted to ‘Take Care’ on National Geographic.



See the National Geographic photo assignments that Kristian Bertel has participated in – Read the story about his photographs here…

Kristian Bertel has contributed to the National Geographic Your Shot photo community with an assignment called ‘Take Care‘. Curated by Gabriele Galimberti, a photographer who in this assignment is inspired by the National Geographic Proof post that will be in the January 2019 magazine issue discussing the future of medicine. So for this task we should show in a photography how we take care of ourselves.

As Gabriele is saying it: ”- Sometimes taking care of ourselves can feel like the most exhausting task at hand but at the end of the day, it is the most crucial task we do for ourselves as humans. Remembering to make doctor’s appointments is the biggest pain for me but then I feel so accomplished when I actually go. Maintaining our health is the single best thing we can do for ourselves and it comes in a multitude of methods”, he says.


”Maintaining our health is the single best thing we can do for ourselves and it comes in a multitude of methods”


Self-care as a topic on National Geographic
Self-care is everything we do for ourselves from maintaining our physical health to our mental health and every little bit in between. There is no definitive list of methods of the “best” way to take care of our health. What works for you is what works the best.

So National Geographic is wondering how we maintain our health and does medication or homeopathic care play a role. What about advanced technologies that make procedures happen faster than ever before. Do we have our trusty Ibuprofen in our nightstand and vitamins we take with breakfast or do we make our own salves or tinctures with any natural remedies.


”Mental health is an integral part of health and is more than the absence of mental illnesses. It refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being, prevention of mental disorders and treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders”


Mentally illness in India
Kristian Bertel participated with one of his photos from India, which depicts an Indian man in a street in Jaipur in the Rajasthan province of India. On this journey, he has focused on the life in the city of Jaipur, with stories from the everyday life of the inhabitants of this pink city. His pictures often caried out in portraits of people show a diverse culture of India. With the telling portrait in focus, the photographer’s work consists of pictures that tell a story. Despite improvements in various health indicators, India contributes disproportionately to the global burden of disease.

World Health Organization estimated that mental and behavioural disorders account for about 12 percent of the global burden of diseases. In India the burden of mental and behavioural disorders ranged from 9.5 to 102 per 1000 population. Burden of mental disorders seen by the world is only a tip of iceberg. Various studies had shown that the prevalence of mental disorders were high in females, elderly, disaster survivors, industrial workers, children, adolescent and those having chronic medical conditions. There is need to have better living conditions, political commitment, primary health care and women empowerment.

The photographer was inspired by one of the most harrowing photos he has seen from India of a Beggar in Bodhgaya that indicates that disease in India often is equivalent to Poverty.

Leprosy disease in India
In the photograph we see a beggar with leprosy, which is a disease caused by an infection of a bacteria. Many kinds of leprosy are known, but some symptoms are common to them, including runny nose, dry scalp, eye problems, skin lesions, muscle weakness, reddish skin, smooth, shiny, diffuse thickening of facial skin, ear and hand, loss of sensation in fingers and toes and flat nose due to destruction of nasal cartilage. Despite effective treatment and education efforts, leprosy stigma continues to be problematic in developing countries such as India where the disease is common.

Leprosy is most common amongst impoverished or marginalized populations where social stigma is likely to be compounded by other social inequities. Fears of ostracism, loss of employment or expulsion from family and society may contribute to a delayed diagnosis and treatment.

”- I’m also on the lookout for the sad faces just as must as the smiles when I take pictures. My great interest in photography is to find the human stories behind the people I’m taking pictures of, seeking out their own personal life stories from the expressions in their faces”, the photographer Kristian Bertel says.


    You might also like:

Assignments and Stories — National Geographic Your Shot »
My Best Photos of 2018 – National Geographic »
Your Shot Photo Community — National Geographic »
Kristian Bertel’s entire gallery on Your Shot »
Showcase of Kristian Bertel’s Your Shot »
Kristian Bertel’s website »


    Tags:   #india   #travel   #portraits