The Power of Teamwork
The recent release of Polar Bears International’s 2023-2024 Annual Newsmagazine showcases a great deal of the work I’ve been producing under the umbrella of the Arctic Documentary Project. It truly highlights the power of teamwork.
The Arctic Documentary Project and PBI
Since the beginning of Polar Bears International, I’ve donated my photography of polar bears and other arctic subjects to them. Just as I’ve done for the subject of this blog, Polar Bears International’s 2023-2024 Annual Newsmagazine. Donating my work as a professional wildlife photographer is not something I take lightly. But I firmly believe giving back is essential, and I chose PBI as my conduit to make that happen. To accomplish our goal, we started the Arctic Documentary Project (ADP). The ADP allows me to raise money under the nonprofit umbrella of PBI, which we then use to document polar bears and other animals of the Arctic. If you’re interested in DONATING to the ADP you can do that here. It’s fully tax-deductible under the umbrella of Polar Bear’s International.
At one time, I would travel to the Arctic on my budget. The idea was to get photos I would use in my photography business and also donate them to PBI. That business model drastically changed when people were no longer willing to pay for photographs. With the ability to pay for my own travel gone, we had to devise a way to continue that would allow me to produce the images that Polar Bears International needed to tell the story of the bears. And that’s how the ADP was born.
Seeing the Project Come Together
This blog post was inspired to share with my readers the great teamwork we have at Polar Bears International. PBI recently produced their Annual Newsmagazine, which details the projects they’re working on. Since we share an office, I was there for some of the design discussions and layout ideas as the photos were being selected.
All the folks working in PBI Communications as well as Marketing and Development, helped make this publication a reality. They include Janette May, Barbara Nielsen, Jenna Beckley, Erinn Hermsen, Kari Crain, Betsy Jasper and Megan Spranger.
Thanks to all who worked to make it happen and for doing such a beautiful job.
How Are ADP Photos Used
I was fortunate to have many images used, several coming from ADP shoots and others from my personal work in the Arctic. Yes, I still travel there at times without the help of the ADP. Usually, I’m in the Arctic with one of our photo tour groups in places like Svalbard, Norway. Anyone who’s traveled with us on our Arctic Photo Tours has helped provide my time to the ADP. In short, all our guests have made a donation to the ADP and, in turn, PBI.
How PBI Got to Bozeman
Sharing an office with Polar Bears International has been one of the highlights of my career. It all began in maybe 2009 when I convinced my good friend and PBI Executive Director, Robert Buchanan, to settle the organization down.
At the time, Robert and his wife Carolynn ran the nonprofit from their motorhome. Bozeman has a very high number of nonprofits per capita, so I was convinced Bozeman would be a great place to hang the PBI hat.
In 2010, my other good friend, Krista Wright, was hired to help Robert. Robert eventually retired, and Krista took over; the rest is history, as they say.
Photography Is My Life
So, where would this Blog be without mentioning some photo details? The cover of Polar Bears International’s 2023-2024 Annual Newsmagazine was shot with the Olympus E-M1X and the 150-400mm zoom lens. Most of the inside images of mine were shot with the Olympus gear as well.
When working with polar bear mothers coming out of their dens it’s mandatory to stay 100 meters back. Having the reach of a 1000mm lens makes all the difference in this long-range situation. I thought this was worth mentioning since so many think the smaller cameras I now use can’t produce professional results. This publication is just one example of how wrong that concept is.