Les Picker has been photographing since the age of 11, when his father, an accomplished amateur, bought him his first 35mm SLR film camera. Les has since photographed for National Geographic Society publications and many other consumer and corporate magazines and newspapers. He has had more than 600 published articles in major national publications. He was a monthly columnist and features contributor to Oceans Magazine and a weekly columnist, Op-Ed contributor and features travel writer and photographer for The Baltimore Sun. Les shoots all Nikon equipment and is a member of Nikon Professional Services, as well as the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Two characteristics shape Les’ photography; passion and inquisitiveness. Since an early age Les has been interested in the natural world and in other cultures. He has an earned doctorate in winter ecology, which he believes helps inform his landscape and wildlife photography. His interest in other peoples and cultures draws him frequently to exotic locales. Les has spent time cruising on a nuclear attack submarine deep in the Pacific Ocean and has climbed the highest peak in the Pyrenees. He has been to the Arctic and stayed with a Bedouin tribe in the Eastern desert of Egypt. He was nearly bitten by a sea lion in the Galapagos (never stand between a mother and her pup!) and was chased by a 16-foot alligator in South Africa. In 2012 Les was named Best Travel Photographer for the prestigious Canada Northern Lights Award.
Les lectures on a variety of digital photography topics. He makes himself available for challenging editorial photography assignments.
“I feel blessed to be able to teach, write and photograph for a living,” Les says. “If my workshops and photographs help people better appreciate our natural world – and its fragility – then I feel I have accomplished a worthy life goal.”
Les is sponsored in part by
Joe LeFevre is a landscape photographer from Upstate New York with over 30 years of experience. His work has received international recognition. Recently, Joe won the “Most Inspirational Moment” category, pro division, in the national Wilderness Forever photography contest sponsored by the Smithsonian, Nature’s Best Photography, and the Wilderness50 Coalition in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. In 2013 he placed first in the “Wild Lands” category in the Defenders of Wildlife international photo contest, and in 2012 Joe won of one of four first place prizes in the Share the View International Photography Contest sponsored by the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. In 2010 Joe was chosen as a Highly Honored Photographer in the prestigious Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition in the “Art in Nature” category. His work has appeared in Nature’s Best Photography, Outdoor Photographer, and Photography Monthly (UK) magazines, and in numerous regional publications, including Adirondack Life magazine and wall calendars. A popular teacher and convention speaker, Joe has captivated audiences at major photographic venues throughout the United States with his remarkable imagery and passion for teaching, including the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) conventions at UMass Amherst, the Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs (SWMCC) convention, the Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs (NFRCC) annual conventions, and the Photographic Society of America (PSA) International Conferences of Photography, where he gave one of the keynote addresses in 2011. He is a staff instructor at the Adirondack Photography Institute (www.adkpi.org), which offers photographic workshops and tours throughout the spectacular Adirondack region of Upstate New York, and in other select locations in the northeast. Joe and his wife Linda have three grown children and live in Oswego, NY.
Joe is sponsored in part by
My interest in photography began with my first camera at the age of 15. My passion and commitment to photography, and my current definition of myself as an artist, grew out of my 38-year career as a professional photographer, which began shortly after I graduated from Dickinson College in 1977, with a degree in English literature.
I joined the staff of The Perry County Times, the official county newspaper in 1978, as a reporter-photographer, (self taught in both) writing and photographing feature stories, public meetings and general news in a largely rural-agricultural county of over 30,000 people
I worked for the next four years entirely as a photojournalist for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s daily newspaper, The Patriot-News. Here I honed my narrative and documentary skills on photography assignments ranging from spot-news to feature stories, sports and advertising. During this period the paper published about 4,000 of my pictures.
I founded Socolow Photography in 1984 because I felt a need for more independence, autonomy and greater technical and creative challenge. For the past 30 years I have specialized in commercial, industrial, architectural and editorial photography..
I have exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in local galleries. I have had numerous one-person shows including Havana, Cuba. My work has repeatedly been included in the “Art of the State” exhibits at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg where it has received first and second place awards.
I have been adjunct professor at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania and have granted internships to college and secondary school students. I have served numerous times as a juror for many art organizations.
I presently work for Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as college photographer where I provide imagery for the various communication needs. These include high visibility publications such as the alumni magazine, social media and web content and marketing materials.
I date the real beginning of my ambitious, personal artistic work in 1998, when I consciously pursued subject matter unrelated to my commercial work. I have given this project the working title “Scenes from Civic Life”. My Mexico project, for which I received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, is a chapter in this ongoing work.