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It started with a love of bears. But not just any bears — the magnificent brown bears of the Alaska Peninsula. These bears accepted us into their world and left an indelible impact on our lives.

A connection so powerful that when a proposed mine threatened their very existence, it brought together a group of wildlife photographers who decided to work together to protect these amazing animals. The Wildlife Collective was born.

It started with a love of bears. But not just any bears — the magnificent brown bears of the Alaska Peninsula. These bears accepted us into their world and left an indelible impact on our lives.

A connection so powerful that when a proposed mine threatened their very existence, it brought together a group of wildlife photographers who decided to work together to protect these amazing animals. The Wildlife Collective was born.

By forming a community, we believe we can be a powerful voice to promote the conservation of threatened wildlife and wild spaces.


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Meet The Collective

Zac Mills

Founder & CEO

Zac lives for adventure and feels at home in some of the wildest places on our planet. A former World Bank economist, he founded The Wildlife Collective to give a greater voice to conservation and work with others to take direct action on conservation challenges. Zac has extensive experience photographing big cats, great apes, and bears. His favourite locations are East Africa, Sumatra, Alaska, Churchill, and the Rocky Mountains he calls home.

Favorite wildlife experience: Brown Bears in Alaska

What wildlife photography means to you: Connection

Brooke Bartleson

Brooke is a wildlife photographer based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She has always been a lover of animals, and when she first began shooting she was naturally hooked on photographing wildlife right from the start. Her ultimate goal is to photograph all the core species of megafauna found in North America. When Brooke is not actively photographing, tracking, or scouting for wildlife, you can find her snowboarding.

Favorite wildlife experience: Elk in Colorado

What wildlife photography means to you: Purpose

Graeme Purdy

Graeme started his photographic journey in a modest high school darkroom, a world away from the remote and wild places where he know spends much of his time. He was born and raised in Northern Ireland, just a stone’s throw from the sea, and is now based in London, England. He always loved the outdoors — hiking, camping and being in nature are at the heart of his fond memories and friendships. For Graeme, great images are driven by going the extra mile, following the beat of his own drum and aiming for genuinely unique content.

Favorite wildlife experience: Big Cats in Kenya

What wildlife photography means to you: Empathy

Jenny Wong

There was never a clear pursuit for photography for Jenny. Backpacking around the world with a camera was always that paperweight that came along for the ride. It’s the adventure that helps you realize yourself, your world, and the things you love. Photography organically became her medium to preserve those profound moments.

Favorite wildlife experience: Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

What wildlife photography means to you: Conservation

Behzad Larry

Behzad Larry is a photographer, explorer, and conservationist. He specializes in wildlife, portraiture, and landscapes in the Himalayas, Central Asia, and the Tibetan Plateau. His images have featured in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, FT’s How To Spend It, The Times, Robb Report, Sports Illustrated, and Discover India. He studied History at Colby College. Besides English, Behzad speaks Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, and has studied Russian, Arabic, and Farsi. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, and a Nikon Pro.

Favorite wildlife experience: Snow Leopards in Ladakh

What wildlife photography means to you: Conservation

Drew Hamilton

Known as one of the best bear guides in the world, Drew has over 20 years of guiding experience in North America, including 6 years at the world famous McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.  As the president of the non-profit Friends of McNeil River, Drew is committed to protecting bear habitat from the proposed Pebble Mine. In 2019 he was awarded the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award by the Alaska Conservation Foundation for the use of imagery and social media in the fight against the proposed Pebble Mine.

Favorite wildlife experience: Brown Bears in Alaska

What wildlife photography means to you: Connection

Erin Ranney

Erin Ranney is a wildlife camerawoman and deep sea video engineer based in Alaska and Washington State with a background in wildlife ecology. She’s spent a significant amount of time exploring remote Alaska where bears had never been filmed before. She is also a third generation fisherman in the Bristol Bay fishery.

Favorite wildlife experience: Brown Bears in Alaska

What wildlife photography means to you: Experiences

Dave Sanford

Dave’s passion for photography extends across multiple genres and styles. For more than 20 years, he has been a professional sports photographer and worked extensively with the NHL, NBA and Hockey Hall of Fame, and covered two Winter Olympics and Super Bowl XL. In addition, he won critical acclaim for his landscape series aptly named the “liquid mountains”, which documented the intricate shapes of Lake Erie’s waves during “the Gales of November”. His wildlife photography has taken him to the far reaches of the planet as he seeks to _____

Favorite wildlife experience: Humpback Whales in Tonga

What wildlife photography means to you: Connection

Lianna Nixon

Lianna is an educator, professional filmmaker, and award-winning photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She is particularly interested in stories that explore the relationships of the natural world, wildlife, technology, and identity development as agents for change. She is currently the media coordinator and filmmaker for the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), the world’s largest and most complex Central Arctic Research Expedition to date.

Favorite wildlife experience: Polar Bears in the Arctic

What wildlife photography means to you: Empowerment

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