Certified Photo Instructor

Meet the top photographers who help you take home the photos of a lifetime


Certified Photo Instructor

Photography is at the core of everything we do—after all, Sven Lindblad, our founder, began his career as a wildlife photographer. To help our guests take the best possible shots, a specially trained certified photo instructor joins every voyage to offer assistance with all of your photography needs, from camera settings to composition. Their goal is to help guests become better, more confident photographers—and to help them go home with amazing shots that tell the story of their journey.  

Our photo instructors are also trained naturalists, which gives them advantage when it comes to photographing the natural world. They are well-versed in animal behavior and can coach guests as they prepare to photograph a bear fishing for salmon or a pod of killer whales on the hunt. 

Photography is at the core of everything we do—after all, Sven Lindblad, our founder, began his career as a wildlife photographer. To help our guests take the best possible shots, a specially trained certified photo instructor joins every voyage to offer assistance with all of your photography needs, from camera settings to composition. Their goal is to help guests become better, more confident photographers—and to help them go home with amazing shots that tell the story of their journey.  ...

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Expedition staff are subject to change.

Meet our Photo Instructors

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Steve Morello

Steve Morello has had a long and colorful career in the natural history world. Born in New Jersey he was lucky to be able to summer on the shores of Cape Cod. Whether it was exploring the tidal pools, snorkeling along the beach, or hiking in the dunes, it all came together to instill in him a deep connection to the natural world. It was no surprise that he would return to the Cape as a whale researcher in his adult years. It was on the Cape that Steve first became involved in guiding, and for 15 years acted as naturalist on whale watching boats in the Gulf of Maine. Steve worked with groups creating environmental education material for school programs and soon found another one of his passions, photography. Well known as a professional wildlife photographer and guide, Steve’s work has appeared in countless publications, including National Geographic magazines and books, The New York Times , and photo collections of the World Wildlife Fund. Steve has written numerous magazine articles on the subjects of travel and nature photography. He is the author of The Traveling Nature Photographer , which has been acclaimed as a must-have for anyone who travels and is interested in photography. Although now a photographer more than anything else, he stays active in the research field and is on the Board of Directors of the Alaskan Whale Foundation, where he assists on research of the whales of Southeast Alaska. Steve is also working on a new project off the coast of Peru where sustainable tourism, scientists, and local fishermen will be working together to conserve a newly created marine sanctuary.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

José Guerrero

José Guerrero Vela is an Ecuadorian permanent resident of the Galapagos. His mother was born in the islands and his grandfather was one of the first generation of teachers in the Galapagos, which has always inspired him to promote education as the main path to protect the archipelago. He became a Galapagos naturalist guide in 2008. He has since been part of the Australian Awards Scholarship program which allowed him to complete an interdisciplinary Master´s degree in Applied Anthropology and Environment at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.   He has represented the Galapagos in various international events in Australia, Canada, India, Bolivia and Germany. His research on the relationship between humans and sea lions in the Galapagos achieved the prize for best master student paper at the International Symposium of Natural Resources and Society in Hanover, Germany. In Galapagos, Jose has worked with the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Galapagos National Park Service, WWF and the Galapagos Governing Council, in several projects related to sustainable development and community-based conservation. As part of the Lindblad-National Geographic team, he travelled to Washington DC to be trained in the National Geographic headquarters as a Certified Photo Instructor. Additionally, he is also part of a team of naturalists that became Certified National Geographic Field Educators, which increased his interest in outdoors learning and educational strategies to engage with families and groups of all ages.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Socrates Tomala

Socrates was raised on Santa Cruz Island located in the heart of Galapagos Archipelago.  After a childhood filled with swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and volunteering in conservation projects, he grew very passionate about the outdoors and the natural world.  Since an early age, Socrates has been involved in science, from tagging Pacific Green Sea Turtles to putting transmitters in sharks to track their migration around the Eastern Tropical Pacific. He was one of the few teens selected from the local schools to participate in the most successful Biological Control Agent Introduction project in the Galapagos conducted by the Entomology Department of the Charles Darwin research Station. He studied Biology at the School of Environmental Sciences at Universidad de Guayaquil and later decided to pursue his passion for nature by becoming a licensed Naturalist guide in the Galapagos, working and living there since. Socrates has been documenting the Galapagos wildlife and his extensive travels to wild places with his camera to create awareness about our planet to citizens of the world. He received his Photo Instructor certificate in a multi-day training workshop, developed and taught by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions photographers. The workshop helped him develop additional insight and skills necessary to help you better understand your camera and the basics of composition- to better capture the moments at the heart of your expedition.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jamie Coleman

Jamie is from England. He grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, yet somehow decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and volunteering in various roles on nature reserves and in aquariums. It was no surprise that in 2007, he left home to study marine biology at the University of Newcastle. As much as he loves working with people, he has a habit of ending up in isolated inhospitable havens, far from civilization. Ever since he spent two years on the Farne Islands, UK – an archipelago home to 150,000 seabirds and 5,000 grey seals he has developed an obsession for seabirds and seals. Most recently, he has completed his second stint (total 2 years) living amongst the seals and penguins of South Georgia working for the British Antarctic Survey. His work there mainly focused on long term population and diet monitoring of penguins, albatross and Antarctic fur seals, but he also worked on various tagging projects. He has also lived on an uninhabited island on The Galapagos tagging and monitoring Sea lions. He has successfully used his love for the environment to travel the world and avoid returning to the UK, most noticeably running a jaguar camera trapping project in the Pantanal, Brazil. Other roles include diving and coastal research in the Bahamas and Mexico, where he was researching marine protected areas and sustainable development. Keen to spend as much time at sea as possible, his work has always been interspersed with periods on board vessels in seabird and marine mammal observation roles.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Aaron Raymond

R. Aaron Raymond started his career as an underwater photographer, which blossomed from his love for the ocean. He grew up on a sailboat diving for abalone off the coast of California. He loves to photograph landscapes, nature, and wildlife - anything that allows him to capture fleeting moments and showcase the interaction of light and the natural world. He has traveled as a photographer from the depths of Madagascar’s oceans to the heights of the Himalayas, cresting them at 18,500 feet via motorcycle to capture life on all sides of the planet. After studying marine biology for two years, Aaron attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, one of the world’s top photography schools. He has taught photography workshops in the San Francisco Bay area and served on the faculty at India’s first professional photography institute, Light & Life Academy. He has photographed for NOAA and the National Parks Service as well as several underwater documentary companies. His photography has won many awards, including PDN and the Communication Arts photo annual competitions. Today, he focuses primarily on commercial photography, mostly portraiture and products and teaching photography. Aaron is currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, young son, a black cat named Cleopatra, two main coons named Rocketship and Tennyson, and many boxes of large-format camera equipment he can’t bear to part with.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Andrew Peacock

Andrew was born in Adelaide, South Australia and (mis)spent his youth surfing and kayaking in the ocean, as is the case for many Aussies! After graduating from medical school, he spent a year working as a surgical resident in Santa Barbara, California where he also began rock climbing. Taking up this new activity with a passion, Andrew began to explore the mountainous regions of the world and volunteered his medical skills in Nepal and India where he has since led numerous treks. Documenting his experiences with a camera led Andrew into the world of professional photography and he began contributing photos to what was then the  Lonely Planet  image library. So began a ‘sideline career’ using the creative side of his brain. In the years since Andrew has carved out a unique niche for himself as an expedition and wilderness physician, expedition leader, and nature photographer with multiple journeys across all of the continents. His images are published widely for commercial use and Andrew enjoys nothing more than combining his outdoor adventure and leadership skills with medical and/or photography work in far-flung locations of the globe. In 2017 he spent a month as a volunteer medical ranger with the National Park Service in Alaska high on the slopes of Denali, North America’s highest mountain.

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Nathan Kelley

Nathan Kelley developed his love for nature as a kid at his family’s cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Family fishing trips, camping, hiking and a trip to his first National Park in the Everglades, all vigorously shaped his passion for the natural world. After graduating with a degree in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest, he moved to Southern California to work as a camera operator and photographer in a wide range of projects including work for the National Geographic Society. Now living in Juneau, Alaska he has found the place his heart always belonged. His photography has also been exhibited in galleries and in publications. A strong desire for adventure led him to travel around the world learning new cultures and photographing the beauty in the diverse natural world we live in. Living and working in Southeast Alaska has allowed him to fine tune his creative eye, while educating his guests on photography tips and the ecology of the place he calls home. Nathan hopes his photography, knowledge and passion will inspire others to explore and stand up for the planet.

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Lucas Bustamante

Lucas Bustamante has been bitten by countless snakes, dived with whale sharks, lived with Amazonian indigenous tribes, and chased by elephants. Since he was a child, he grew up around the Ecuadorian outdoors and later became a passionate biologist and a conservation photojournalist. He co-founded Tropical Herping and Savia Fund, an Ecuadorian Nonprofit that works in the legal defense of nature, environmental and cultural conservation, and visual storytelling. Lucas's primary objective is to use photography to promote wildlife conservation, so he manages different projects throughout South America, Africa, and Asia. He is an author of some books, like “Reptiles of the Galapagos” and has described 8 new species for science, including two gecko species for the archipelago. His photographic work has been featured in National Geographic, Audubon, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, and many other magazines, books, photo exhibitions, and articles. Lucas is a Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice prizewinner. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and Nature Picture Library represents his images. Lucas spends time diving and playing soccer with his friends when taking a break from work.

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Gemina Garland-Lewis

Gemina Garland-Lewis is a Seattle-based photographer, EcoHealth researcher, and National Geographic Explorer with experience in over 30 countries across six continents. She first picked up a camera when she was 12 years old and proceeded to spend the better part of high school in the darkroom in her hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Both her photography and research explore the myriad connections between humans, animals, and their shared environments. She is passionate about integrating the worlds of visual storytelling and research to develop new ways of communicating social and environmental issues to broader audiences and building unique platforms for education and outreach. She is a past recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, during which she spent a year of travel in seven countries focusing on different cultural relationships with whales and whaling. She has worked as a trip leader and photography teacher for National Geographic Student Expeditions since 2010, leading in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Tanzania, and Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. Her photography and writing have been featured by National Geographic News, National Geographic Adventure, and REI, among others. Gemina completed her Master’s degree in Conservation Medicine at Tufts University in 2013 and continues to work part-time with the Center for One Health Research at the University of Washington, where she focuses on health and disease issues at the human-animal-environment interface. She is an avid outdoor adventurer and environmental stewardship advocate who is often found somewhere in the mountains or on the ocean, chasing the light with a silly grin on her face.

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Anna Mazurek

South Carolina native Anna Mazurek fell in love with traveling and photography while studying abroad in England during college. Since then, she’s been to 53 countries and lived in five. She is a freelance travel photographer and writer currently based in Austin, Texas. Her previous clients include the Wall Street Journal , Facebook, Rolling Stone, AFAR magazine and Google.  She has a Master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. She also teaches part-time at School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Texas State University. She managed student photo trips in Asia for five years and currently runs summer photo trips for National Geographic Student Expeditions. She doesn’t like to sit still and spends her time exploring the remote corners of the world including Mongolia and Easter Island. Some of her travel highlights including climbing Kilimanjaro and photographing the Dalai Lama at his temple in McLeod Ganj, India.

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor icon Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Kelly Coursey Gray

I like to remind people that there are very few big surprises left in life, but if you are out in nature, with an open mind and a lot of time, you never know what you will find. Born and educated in Western Pennsylvania, Kelly always loved the outdoors and all the creatures that roam the beautiful Allegheny Mountains.  Always curious and creative, her interests ranged from science to art.  Kelly majored in Art History at Allegheny College where she took photography and developed a passion that combined her love of nature, exploring and composition.  After college, photography became a focal part of Kelly's life driving her to search for larger mountains and new horizons.  While living in Colorado, she journeyed throughout the west, developing her enthusiasm for North American wildlife and the ecosystems that support it.  Kelly has served as a Naturalist at sea in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Australia, and New Zealand for many years. Using her images and observations of wildlife Kelly crafts engaging presentations to share her knowledge and passion for the creatures she encounters during her travels.  

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Sue Forbes

Sue has been creating wildlife, landscape, and travel photos for over 30 years, traveling to over 90 countries on all seven continents. She has combined this passion with an unusual career that includes being an Engineer Officer with the Royal Air Force in the U.K. and taking on various executive roles in the technology companies of Silicon Valley, California. In 2011, she managed to escape to focus solely on her wildlife and travel photography. Sue’s award-winning work has been exhibited in museums and art galleries including the Natural History Museum in London. She has also been published in newspapers, magazines, and books around the world, including the Sunday Times and BBC Wildlife . She spends most of her time on various expedition ships as a certified photo instructor helping passengers take home great photos and learn more about their cameras and smartphones. As an avid naturalist, Sue examines wildlife behavior from a photographer’s perspective and has taught about wildlife and photography on expedition ships around the world. She can also be found driving the odd Zodiac! You can find Sue’s images on her website at sueforbesphoto.com or Instagram @sueforbesphoto. Sue has a B.Sc. in electronic engineering from Warwick University and an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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