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Our story began in our 1970 university days when Tom invited me on a hike to find bighorn sheep in eastern Washington’s Blue Mountains. Tom was from a hunting/fishing family with a deep knowledge of wildlife behavior. He was shy and had definite plans about not living an average life. No house with a picket fence or two cars in the garage for him. By the end of the day I was hooked. But our marriage almost fell apart before it had hardly begun. We separated.
Deciding divorce was an average way to solve the problem, we packed up our VW Bug, moved to Yellowstone National Park to learn to work together. Once there we discovered town folks had already been burned by hippies without a job, and no jobs were available in a tourist town in late August anyway. We finally found a cabin at the NE entrance to Yellowstone in the tiny town of Cooke City, Montana where the temperatures fall to 40 below and the area gets 10 feet of snow. The old log cabin had no insulation (you could see out through the logs.) We had no running water, no wood, no chainsaw, no income. We were alone, not hardly even friends with each other.
During the long weeks of searching, stalking, pursuing wildlife, life started looking up. The first winter we enjoyed several serendipitous opportunities. Sold our first photo story to VW’s Small World magazine featuring our VW “log truck” based on our need to get in 8 cords of wood before snow fall using an old crosscut saw.
Fast forward a few years, we became one of the first husband-and-wife wildlife photography teams in the US. Without money to travel to distant wildlife hotspots, we photographed the same species over and over throughout all the seasons. As soon as we had all the behaviors of a new species, the story was highly marketable to the natural history magazines: NATURAL WILDLIFE, AUDUBON, SIERRA and in many children’s magazines like RANGER RICK and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS. Intimate, in-depth wildlife story packages became our trademark, and is still the type of work we most enjoy. We’ve sold story packages on grizzlies, black bears, wolves, beaver, badger, mountain goats, sea otter, and most other North American species. In recent years we have also focused on international endangered species: tigers, elephants, rhinos, pandas.
During the 45 years in the field, our wildlife images appeared in hundreds of U.S. and foreign publications every year. Editorially we have worked with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, SMITHSONIAN, NATURAL HISTORY, SIERRA, DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, GEO, TERRE SAUVAGE, DAS TIER. TIME, READERS DIGEST, BBC, LIFE. We’ve created about 35 books for children and 6 photographic books including THE AMERICAN EAGLE, a limited edition book, given by President G.H. Bush as an Official Gift of State to the Queen of England at the White House.
After our year at Yellowstone, we chose to live near Olympic National Park in Washington, and now call Vancouver, WA home. Living a lifestyle around wild places and wildlife has been our joy, We’d love to share this peace and beauty with you. Enjoy our galleries as we grow this new art site.
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