Our brand ambassadors
Mike Darter is a photographic artist with the natural world as his preferred subject. Mike has been studying and documenting wildlife and wild spaces since he was a young boy, growing up in Oklahoma. Mike’s images teach us about our natural world through the connective emotions that we share when we see something from his vision. He has been leading wildlife and nature photo tours for the past 8 years through Aaron’s Tours, based in Seattle.
Photography is an incredible art that in our modern world has the ability to change our thoughts, our politics, our opinions and in Mike’s hands, change our hearts. You can see the resilience and struggle in the eyes of a Bison trying to survive winter in Yellowstone. Or, the strength and vulnerability in a Silverback in the extreme mountains of war torn central Africa. The incredible beauty of a ridgeline in the Tetons. Mike’s talents bring these to our own eyes.
The Kiboko backpack allows me to get the best shot in the field. Hands down. It is the only backpack that I can fit my 400mm f2.8 or 500mm f4 on a body, along with a second camera and the 70-200mm f2.8, and another lens, go pro, and more, and still fit in the overhead of any plane. The top Butterly zipper system really allows you to maximize that space. In a recent flight, I was actually able to get both my Kiboko and Chobe messenger bag in the overhead in one space. The Chobe gives me that extra space needed for my laptop, tablet, a couple more lenses and all cables an accessories. With having a wide and narrow insert for the Chobe, and it being expandable, it is the perfect solution for any setup.
Jim Abernethy, award-winning photographer, filmmaker, publisher author and most importantly conservationist is a pioneer in cageless shark encounters with the world's largest predatory sharks. For decades, he has been running photography/video ecotourism expeditions while always pushing for conservation. Abernethy pioneered cageless shark encounters (day and night) with tiger sharks, great hammerheads, oceanic white tips, bull, and lemon sharks. It should be noted that Jim is best known as an extremely passionate crusader for their protection.
Since 1998, Jim has lived at sea, in the Bahamas, running shark expeditions and wild dolphin encounters 25 days a month,, year round on his boat, "Shear Water." His dive business, Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures Inc., is based in West Palm Beach, FL.
Abernethy has hosted many of the world's top nature filmmakers and magazines such as Imax, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channel. His favorite film "Tales by Light, Misunderstood Predators" can be seen on Netflix. This film features one of his discoveries in 2002... the affectionate side of sharks! He uses affection to gain the sharks trust in order to get them close enough to remove their hooks. He has removed hundreds of hooks from 8 different species so far. While Abernethy is well known as a photographer and passionate conservationist, it's his unique ability to bring divers up close to some of the world's largest predatory sharks, turning them into strong passionate ambassadors to save them, which sets him apart from all others.
Sapna is a professional landscape photographer based in Northern California. She is currently pursuing dual careers as a photographer and a physician. As a radiologist she studies images in an attempt to establish diagnosis to achieve cure. As a photographer she aspires to generate images that are both a creative expression for the artist as well as a therapeutic visual for the viewer.
She conducts small group photography workshops focused on creative expression both within the country as well as internationally. Her work has been published internationally and featured on National Geographic, Adobe, Sony, Lonely Planet and Flickr platforms.
In addition to incorporation into multiple medical centers to create an ambiance of healing, her images have been used for video conferencing needs by corporations including Google, Gap, Hitachi, Yahoo etc.
I am a mid-western gal (from Michigan to be exact) at heart who considers herself a New York native after living over 20+ years in Manhattan.
Over the next six years, I juggled a freelance career and a growing passion for photography–I always loved travel). By 2018 I was miserable; I no longer enjoyed the work that had fueled me most of my adult life. My profession had been my cornerstone, and seemingly all of a sudden, I hated it.
I was lost. Enter anxiety, depression, and confusion. Not fun.
I wanted to travel and photograph my adventures, but I’d have to start pretty much from scratch. Months went by, and I was paralyzed. Finally, thanks to good friends and an excellent therapist, I made the leap. Ironically, once I made the decision–and the sky didn’t fall–my anxiety vanished. Who knew?
Since then, while it’s scary to begin a new life after 40, I’m much happier, and I’ve had some incredible experiences, and there’s more to come. Is it easy? Hell no. But I’m going to keep plugging away.
Born in Alaska and raised in the wilds of Iowa, Drew spent countless hours outdoors as a youth building forts along the Iowa River and delivering an incalculable number of newspapers. The travel bug bit him hard as a teenager when his family lived on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, their base for exploring Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and western Russia. After stints living on the east and west coasts of the U.S., Drew made his way back home to Alaska in the late 1990s. His first job there sent him to a bear-viewing camp where he found his calling: bears.
Since then, Drew has spent more than 20 years observing and photographing brown bears, black bears and polar bears across Alaska and Canada, including six seasons running the bear photo-identification program in the famed McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, home to the largest congregation of brown bears on Earth. Even when he isn't guiding, much of Drew's time is spent pursuing and photographing Alaska’s varied megafauna. While best known for his work with bears, Drew’s nature passions are varied, ranging from the northern lights to musk oxen to monarch butterflies.
Drew got his start in photography as a youngster in the darkroom of his parents’ small-town newspaper. From there, it was an easy expansion into wildlife photography as he combined two growing interests, and conservation emerged as a driving motivation. Stemming from his belief that imagery can be a powerful tool for change, Drew has made conservation an important theme in his photography. In 2019, the Alaska Conservation Foundation awarded Drew the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for his use of photography in the fight against the proposed Pebble Mine. As president of the nonprofit organization Friends of McNeil River, Drew works with a broad coalition of Alaska. Natives, conservation organizations, photographers and businesses to bring permanent protections to the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.
Drew enjoys exploring many different photographic styles and editing techniques to push the boundaries of what is possible in wildlife storytelling. Always a student, Drew looks to constantly adapt and experiment with new approaches to nature photography. View Drew's latest photography portfolio additions on Instagram at @drewhh.
Winters are generally a slow time in the bear-viewing business (think hibernation), so Drew fills his downtime cross-country skiing, editing photos, making homemade pretzels, and staying up all night to photograph the northern lights...until it's time to get back into the field with his camera once again.
Veterinarian, Conservationist, Award Winner, Wildlife Photographer and Safari Leader.
As a veterinarian, I offer a special look into the eyes and souls of the animals I photograph. My ability to read and anticipate animal behavior allows me to catch "special moments" and give you a glimpse into their rich emotional lives and unique personalities.
Many of the animals I photograph are endangered. I hope that you will connect with them through my lens, love them as I do, and join me in the fight to help them.
I lead African safaris, and specialize in East Africa. My guests get to experience Africa in a special and intimate way, mostly away from the crowds. My knowledge of animal behavior and the African wildlife, together with great spotting ability, makes a safari with me a rich and rewarding experience.