Our Ambassador volunteers are Nature First’s local experts. As a world-wide organization, their knowledge and expertise of local ecosystems, cultures and languages are invaluable, and an incredible resource for our Nature First members. Meet the team below and check out their passions and beautiful photography.
ADRIANA CLAUDIA SANZ
Adriana lives from a very young age in Chubut, Patagonia, where she developed a strong contact with nature. She has a master’s degree in environment. For more than 20 years, she has been working to care for and protect the environment. As part of her work, she must record the components of the ecosystem, their characteristics, alterations, evolution, and it is there that she discovers her other love, the photography of nature. Today it is completely dedicated to both passions. His periodic trips are intense photographic sessions, where he photographs to discover, immortalize, sensitize, because he believes in the power of the image as a conservation tool. She affirms that what is known is loved and what is loved is care. Her passion for this activity has led her to actively work promoting and participating in contests, exhibitions, dissemination, talks and promoting the creation of the first Argentine Association of Nature Photographers “AFONA”, where she works closely with friends and colleagues with whom they share the same dream.
Hello, I´m Félix Cárrega, I´m a photographer and I live in San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina. I mostly like Landscape Photography. I really enjoy trekking and camping, so I’ve started two years ago a project to offer to my students Landscape Photography Workshops, so I can work teaching doing what I most like in the world.
Cynthia is an Argentinian Ecologist, Conservationist, Field Naturalist, Nature photographer and wildlife artist. She has worked for more than eleven years at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’. She was involved in several Conservation Projects. Author of the Book: “The world of small, An approach to the universe of arthropods from an artistic, visual, and evolutionary perspective.” Cynthia is a Paws Trails Explorers Magazine Contribution Editor, an international magazine focus in conservation and Nature Photography. She also is teaching photography lessons, focus in macrophotography.
Astrid lives in Austria’s second-largest city, Graz, which is nestled in a hilly area with many forests, rivers, and ponds. Nature is never far away for her. Previously, Astrid would have called herself a landscape photographer, but now sees herself more as a creative person intrigued by everything that catches her eye and imagination – and this often means the small and most mundane things in her neighborhood.
Originally from Southern Ontario, Adam picked up a camera in 2013 just before embarking on a move across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia in order to be closer to nature. Adam’s photography goal at the time was to photograph nature and humans working in harmony, but he quickly realized that even in a city renowned as a “green city”, the relationship between people and nature is rarely harmonic.
Since then, Adam has slowly transitioned the city element out of his photography, to focus on the natural world, advocating the protection of these vulnerable areas. Now living in Port Moody, BC, Adam balances his time between his full time work in the mortgage finance industry, and observing and learning about nature. Adam then collates these lessons and passes the knowledge on to others, through his photos and vlogs.
I am on a constant journey of discovery and capturing the beauty this world shares. I have been privileged to capture that beauty in some of the most breathtaking and remote places on this planet. Earth is our home, and it is my belief that we all must work together to protect and conserve it. As a photographer, I hold myself to the “Leave No Trace” philosophy.
Canada is my home, and I traveled this amazing country east to west and south to north. The diverse beauty that Canada has changes in every province and territory as you travel throughout this incredible country. Storytelling is part of my creative journey. I believe that photographers have a unique ability to share their vision and tell stories with their images. Appreciating the fact that we live in a shared space, I think it is important for everyone, no matter where they are, to be able to appreciate this world.
I am a teacher, an engineer, a skilled tradesperson, and a traveler. It is my hope to share my knowledge with as many as possible so they too can follow their own passions and enjoy everything our amazing planet has to offer. I live proudly in Burlington, Ontario, and I promote our beautiful city in every way possible.
Andres has been a Nature and landscape Photographer since 2013, dedicated to capture the natural richness and the great diversity of wildlife in the extreme north of Chile, Arica and Parinacota region. He is also a bilingual Birdwatching guide and a Workshop leader for photography in the area, led by himself or as a local guide for international workshops. Andres expertise in the area, knowledge in the avifauna and wildflowers had lead him to get more involved in the responsible relationship with nature, which is his main motivation for being part of Nature First Photography and to became an ambassador for the region.
Andrés is the Ambassador Regional Coordinator for South America
JAY HUANG, XIU YU & WILLA WEI
The team of local Ambassadors representing photographers of Chinese heritage are originally from China and now reside in Australia and the United States. The backgrounds of these members include engineers, professors, scientists, financial professionals and others. Their photography interests include landscape, nature, wild animals, street, portrait and aerial photography and videography. They believe in the Nature First Principles and are dedicated to sharing and promoting the principles to the broad Chinese speaking community around the world.
Erika is a Slovak landscape photographer currently living in Prague, Czech Republic. Her work reflects her passion for travel and her fascination with nature. She feels drawn to the magical Arctic and loves to photograph all kinds of icy landscapes and seascapes, and she doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice sleep or go the extra mile for a unique shot. Her endless curiosity and eagerness to develop new skills have lately driven her to dedicate more time to night photography. While not on her adventures, she is organizing small group tours for those wishing to see and photograph these extraordinary places for themselves. Erika is teaching the Nature First principles in her photo tours and highlighting the importance of prioritizing the well-being of nature over photography.
STÉPHANIE & DAVID ALLEMAND
David grew up in Provence and spent a part of his childhood in Verdon. From the earliest age, he fell in love with nature and being in the wild. He later developed a passion for photography and in 2003, dedicated himself to it completely. His camera became his best tool to capture the magic of nature. Stéphanie was born in Arcachon. She spent her youth between countryside and seaside. Her attraction to the outside world made her become stewardess during many years, a camera always in her luggage! Their paths eventually crossed to share their love of nature and pictures. David’s photos are awarded in numerous international competitions and Stéphanie dedicates herself to writing, to tell their photographic adventures.
From distant breakaways to closer immersion in nature, they realise reports for the international press. In 2013, they published “Verdon, other faces”, a book gathering many years of discoveries crossing the Verdon territory. 2017 is the culmination of a long-term project, more than ten years to seal their encounters with the thirteen species of owls of Europe in a beautiful book. “Owls” unveils the hidden and mysterious world of these charismatic nocturnal birds that have fascinated them so much…a first in Europe.
Both are supported in their projects by different partners such as Canon France, Patagonia, Manfrotto or Tragopan. Photographer guides in France, in Europe, in Arctic and in Africa, they organize workshops where they learn photography of nature. As lecturers, they animate many naturalist and artistic events. By showing their photographic work and the beauty of nature, they hope to sensitize the public to the protection of our planet. They have traveled around many countries, but remain particularly sensitive to the soft and fairy lights of the Nordic lands.
Cristiana is a Nature and landscape photographer based in the north east of Italy, on the border with Slovenia. Cristiana approaches photography in 2010, but her passion for nature has always existed, since she was a child. The scientific studies have increased curiosity towards the world of nature, fascinating her more and more. From the immensity of landscapes to the details of microcosm, everything charms her. She likes to show people what everyone can find just “around the corner” and that too often goes unnoticed, hoping to be able to sensitize people towards respecting the environment through her photos. All her pictures are made respecting the subject and its environment, a “conditio sine qua non” for her vision of nature photography where she puts ethics first, then shooting. Some of her works have been awarded both in Italy and across Europe.
Andrea is a nature and landscape photographer based in Tuscany. His approach to nature photography starts from respect for places and strongly believes that each of us is just a guest in nature. After years spent shooting large open scenarios between the mountains and the sea and after a few trips to Northern Europe for a few years he has concentrated on photographing some protected areas and national parks close to him, dedicating great attention to details, especially the forests. His photography wants to be an intimate and personal way to convey the emotions he feels in the images he creates. Its purpose is a careful search for art in nature.
My name is Gustavo Costa. I was born in Argentina but am currently living in Mexico. I love doing all kinds of nature photography, but my real passion is to photograph the underwater natural world. My desire in belonging to Nature First is to help promote good habits when taking photos in nature.
Netherlands and Belgium
Madeleine was born and raised in the US and spent her youth in the woods and hills of New England, stimulated by her mother’s love of nature and photography. She bought her first (analogue) camera when she was 18. After her move to the Netherlands in 1970, photography became a hobby; raising a family and building a career seemed more important at the time. But after her retirement in 2012, she started devoting all her time to developing her art.
As primarily a landscape photographer, the destruction of nature and landscape, but also of bird and wildlife habitats, distresses her and motivates her to find a way to turn the tide. Nature First provides a way to raise consciousness about what homo sapiens, and, in particular, enthusiastic and ambitious photographers, do to the very landscapes and wildlife they photograph.
Madeleine is the Ambassador Regional Coordinator for Northern Europe
RUUD VAN DER BLIEK
I’m Ruud van der Bliek (1958) and married to Evelien. We live in a small town called Nijverdal, close to ‘Sallandse Heuvelrug National Park’, in the East of the Netherlands. I’m a hobby photographer, mainly shooting landscapes and wildlife during my holidays and travels. I love all nature around my house (there’s a lot) and everywhere else in the world. I mainly join Nature First because I support their goals and want to contribute.
Katarzyna is a nature photographer, graphic artist. She is in love with the far north and the world of wild nature, which she considers the highest form of beauty.
“Nature photography, if it is not a passion – it dies. It’s more than a job or a hobby… it’s just a way of life.” Being faithful to this sentence, when she can – she hunts with her camera for unique landscapes – in Poland and abroad, looking for beautiful light and color. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer such wild, beautiful places. Therefore, she believes that every nature lover should try to protect this piece of wildlife we still have.
Daniel’s photographic adventure started at the end of 2015 with a hike on Cozia National Park (Romania) in which he had the first “flash” while photographing the sunset over the Făgăraș Mountains, and two years later, he quit his job as a manager to do nature photography. Usually, Daniel is saying that nature is his home, and through photography, he is trying to show other people how beautiful and vital to our lives is. He believes that everything in nature is connected, and we, as nature photographers, have a mission when we are on the field: to protect the environment and to take with us just the memories of that moment and the photograph itself. Daniel firmly believes that through photography, we can help, also, at nature’s conservation. Because of this, he is collaborating with conservation and protecting nature NGOs like WWF Romania, Rewilding Europe, European Wilderness Society, and Conservation Carpathia. Also, since January, he is a vice-president at the Romanian Nature Photography Association called FORONA.
PETRA DRAŠKOVIČ PELC
Petra Draškovič Pelc Petra is a curious researcher by heart, also holding a PhD in Biomedical science but always very close to the heart of Nature. Curiosity and spending time in the Nature has shaped her way and helped her to explore the world around me. However, she decided to leave science work and turn her hobby (photography and travels) into profession in 2015. Since then she works as a photographer, responsible nature guide, certified tour and interpretive guide, and researcher through different projects. Her work is published in several articles, publications, books. And often she gives live talks, and lectures or runs workshops and photo- and nature guiding. She loves serenity, solitude, and light of natural places, the wildness and the light of the North (like Alaska and Kamchatka or Scandinavia), as well the beauty of untouched nature of her home – Kočevsko, the secret forest of Slovenia.
Raimon is a nature photographer born and based in Vilafranca del Penedés (Barcelona), with extensive experience and an extensive curriculum. He considers that nature photography “is an essential tool for its conservation.” To do this, he uses a wide variety of photographic disciplines, more or less classic in nature and landscape photography, such as macro, wildlife photography, landscape, or more abstract images. He is a member of AEFONA (Spanish Association of Nature Photographers) and WWF, Spain.
A Cumbrian based photographer living in Castle Carrock near the Lake District. With a love for the outdoors and the special landscapes surrounding me such as the North Pennines right on my doorstep, he is spoiled for choice of subjects to photograph. Paul started his working life at college where he studied Habitat Management and forestry which would eventually lead him to wanting to capture the beauty of nature in image form. His goal is to capture these beautiful locations and share the magic of the area with everyone. Vanguard UK Ambassador and Breakthrough Photography Filters Ambassador. Published in Practical Photography Magazine as well as others.
Richard Birchett is a published and award-winning British wildlife and Conservation photographer based in Cornwall, England, and has spent the last 22 years in the UK Military as a Survival Specialist. He likes to adapt his skills as a pathfinder to allow him to track, stalk and photograph wildlife in all environments. All nature fascinates me; I was a naturalist long before I picked up a camera. As long as I am out in nature, I am a happy man, with or without capturing an image. I joined nature first as I felt just taking an image of a subject was no longer enough as I wanted to become a better voice for nature. Having seen the increasing popularity of nature photography, I’ve sadly witnessed the impact it has on Nature and the environment, and I want to protect and promote safe, ethical nature photography.
Born and raised in Swindon, UK which is really well situated to the mountains in south wales and a few hours away from the lake district and also not far from the stunning landscape of Cornwall and the coast. His passion for nature and the landscape was born early as my dad was a keen mountain climber and surfer. Growing up he was very active, swimming, mountain biking and skateboarding which taught me good values and to appreciate the landscape around him. Photography has always been there but it never really grew as a passion and part time profession until 5 years ago when Tom started his YouTube channel. Skipping to the present he is now a partner of Kase filters and has built a growing audience on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and run photography 1-2-1 and group workshops by himself and co-host group workshops with Chris Sale from the lake district and soon to be running workshops with Paul Thomson. Tom loves being busy and pushing himself and his photography forward.
ANDREW HERTEL (SOUTHERN CA)
Andrew was born and raised in the Midwest, South Bend, Indiana and moved to Southern California with his wife almost twenty years ago. Andrew grew up camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing or anything that took him and his brother outside. Early on, he developed a deep love of nature and the outdoors, it wasn’t until around 2016 that photography was introduced to his love of nature and it changed his life.
Living in San Diego allows Andrew access to a variety of natural environments, from the Sea to the Desert to the Mountains. Andrew feels lucky to call this part of the county home. As a nature photographer, Andrew feels an obligation to protect the precious environments of our natural world.
KYLE READER (NORTHERN CA)
Kyle Reader was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, spending most of his youth exploring the Rocky Mountains. Those formative years of camping and fishing trips fostered a deep fascination with the outdoors and conservation. Kyle has since lived in Seattle and now is located in Northern California with his wife Rachel. Kyle believes strongly in the power of imagery to educate and bring people together. Kyle focuses his photography on showcasing the beautiful places of our planet, and hopes to motivate others to protect these spaces for future generations.
JON NORRIS (SOUTHERN CA)
Jon Norris is a landscape photography guide, a JTNPA business member, and a Desert Institute volunteer. Jon offers one-to-one and small group workshops, plus photographic adventure tours, in Joshua Tree National Park. He started taking photos at the age of 14 with his trusty Zenit 10, teaching himself the fundamentals of photography via countless rolls of poorly exposed 35 mm film.
Born in the UK, Jon spent 25 years working in aerospace engineering (15 years while living in France and Germany). As a recovering engineer, he now divides his time between marketing and photography and lives in Lake Forest, OC.
Josh Meier is a professional nature and landscape photographer with an educational background in Journalism, Sustainability, and Non-profit Communications. Sharing time between Iowa and Utah, he is in tune with environmental challenges across varied ecosystems and has worked with a number of advocacy-based organizations. Through photography and writing, Josh strives to deepen people’s connection to our natural world, believing this to be our greatest hope for protecting it. He initially began volunteering with Nature First as a writer and North American ambassador (and will continue contributing in those roles). As Partnership Coordinator, he seeks to make a further impact by fostering mutually beneficial relationships in ways that advance Nature First principles amongst like-minded parties.
Chrissy Donadi is a travel, nature, and landscape photographer hailing from the beautiful Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania in the United States. After working for several years in the engineering world, she found nature and landscape photography. Today, she balances spending time with her family with photographing around the globe. Her goal is to capture moments in time which exemplify the beauty of this amazing world. Additionally, she tries to bring awareness and inspire others to collectively preserve and protect our world and its creatures for future generations.
I am a photographer based in western New York state (Buffalo, Niagara Falls). My primary focus is nature and landscape, with a documentary lean for wildlife and the beauty of the natural world that we need to protect. Much of my work is centered around western New York and Southern Ontario, Canada with portfolio projects in progress on the beauty of our National and State Park System. Whether landscape, seascape or cityscape, my work shows the beauty of our world and how we live within and interact with our one planet. I try to travel somewhere else special at least 2-4 times each year to record that location and it’s wonders as well. This world is a wonderful, beautiful place and I want to share what I see with everyone that is willing to take the time to look. I shoot with Sony Alpha a7R III-IV camera gear these days, am proficient with LR, PS and various other software filters and processing, giving presentations on photographic passion and training. I am also an active member of the National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and the “Nature First” advocacy program.
My name is Emmanuel Hernandez. I currently reside in New England. The majority of my photography and filmmaking are inspired by things in their natural state. Nature is the finest example of that when it is respected and protected. My love for nature and the impact it has on my life has inspired me to become more aware of the impact that I have on nature as a photographer and filmmaker. With that added awareness, I want to educate and empower others to participate in actively doing their part to protect nature.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST (WA, OR, ID)
Jonathan is a native of Pennsylvania but made the Pacific Northwest his home a little less than a decade ago and has fallen in love with its geographical and geological diversity. He predominantly uses a traditional large format view camera, creating images that show nature for it is, expressing himself while retaining the integrity and splendor of the wilderness. Jonathan joined Nature First in 2022 because his personal ethics fully aligned with those of the organization, and he is frustrated by the lack of stewardship and continued commodification of nature by photographers and the general public alike.
Rocky Mountains (CO, WY, MT)
Martha is a landscape, nature and wildlife photographer currently living in Colorado. Her love of nature was instilled early on as a child while enjoying camping trips with her family. Later in life it strengthened after exploring remote places via backpacking trips with friends. Born in Mexico City, she has lived and traveled in different states in the US which has helped her appreciate diverse cultures and the beauty of this world.
Martha is currently working on a project to visit all the National Parks in the US and abroad. Her passion for photography started in childhood As an adult it grew as a way to show others the beauty of the natural world and inspire them to conserve and protect our planet.
I live in Longmont, CO approx. 45 miles northwest of Denver near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I love taking pictures of nature and am a huge supporter of LNT and protecting our environment. I joined Nature First to help support and protect nature while educating those on how to do so as well.
TODD WINSLOW PIERCE
Todd is a professional landscape photographer, conservationist, author, and producer based in his hometown of Vail, Colorado. Growing up in the heart of the Rocky Mountains instilled a deep connection to nature that continues to inspire and ground him both personally and professionally.
Although nature and wildlife have been the golden thread throughout his diverse photography career, he feels the mission to help protect it through compelling imagery is more urgent than ever. His first foray into mission-driven work was founding a non-profit enterprise that provides professional photography and services to conservation-related organizations and initiatives in his local area. Since its inception in 2020, the project has helped protect hundreds of acres, leverage over $700,000 in conservation funding, and influence the creation of a new state park.
Todd believes in the true power of visual storytelling as an instrument for change, one that relies on a foundation of ethical creation and faithful representation.
SOUTHEAST (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Barbara Livieri for the past 20 years has been living in south Florida, right next door to the Everglades, although she is originally from southeast Wisconsin. Barbara is not a professional photographer but considers herself to be more of a weekend warrior who spends too much money on all-things photography; trips, gear, education.
Shortly after Barbara graduated high school, she bought a book called “50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth”, and I’ve been snipping plastic 6-pack rings and trying to save the trees ever since. Nature was the reason she got into photography, and when she saw Ben Horne’s video talking about Nature First, she knew she was meant for this cause.
Nelson Stegall is a professional photographer with a passion for nature, landscapes, wildlife, adventure, and conservation. Nelson has chosen a lifestyle that takes him on amazing adventures to see what most people only see on TV or read about. Nelson has traveled in the remote backcountry of Alaska, rowed a raft down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, paddled a kayak across Florida and Georgia, and have managed to have visited all 50 states.
Nelson is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and North America Nature Photographers Association. Go into nature and help conserve a small part for the next person.
Hello! I am Hazel Meredith, and I currently reside in the Northeast corner of Tennessee, not too far from the Great Smoky Mountains, which is the main reason we chose this location. I love photographing in nature, though I must say I also love “old and rusty things.” I was thrilled to learn of Nature First and its goals of helping to protect the natural beauty that we all love. I hope to share the ideals and goals of Nature First both while I’m out photographing and through my teaching sessions.
SOUTHWEST (AZ, NM, UT)
Dave Koch has been lucky enough to have been a photographer- a shooter- for the last thirty years. He has worked in news, in Hollywood, and across the western US. He has seen – and shot – such a wide variety of amazing things that even he doesn’t believe he’s really done some of them. But that is his job description: Get out there and shoot amazing things for others to enjoy.
Dave loves that he has so many opportunities to get out in nature. He finds it refreshing to his core. He feels that Utah and the Southwest has given him so much. When he first came upon Nature First, he saw instantly they were putting into words exactly what he was feeling inside. The chance to work with us is, to him, a small payback for all the outdoors has given me. Dave thinks it is important that all photographers – professionals and amateurs alike! – band together to educate ourselves and those around us to protect the delicate environments we enjoy so much.
JENNIFER LEIGH WARNER
Jennifer Leigh Warner is a fine art conservation wildlife photographer, writer, public speaker, and workshop leader living in Central Texas and specializes in creating meaningful images that convey a message of hope for the natural world. Jennifer feels strongly that by sharing these images of beautiful animals in their natural environment, she can inspire those around her to preserve the world that we share with all living creatures.
As well as a Nature First Ambassador, Jennifer has also served as the Chair of the Ethics Committee for the North America Nature Photographers Association since 2018.
Jennifer works closely with conservation organizations to help support their missions to protect wildlife and the world around us. She believes that photography is a powerful tool to share these stories, educate photo viewers on important topics, and inspire change.
Jennifer’s work has been published in Outdoor California, Gizmodo, the NANPA Expressions Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, WIRED, The New Yorker, National Geographic Online, and Wild Planet Photo Magazine, among others.
Currently based out of San Antonio, TX, USA, Alyce is a professional nature photographer, writer, educator, and tour leader. Alyce found Nature First to be an ideal fit as she is a staunch supporter of ethical photography and a teacher of other photographers on how to create images ethically while using those images to further conservation efforts for wildlife and habitats. She found Nature First to be an ideal fit. Nature First’s principles align with the actions she has been educating others about for years now, so it only made sense for her to get involved.