For me, seeing wildlife, whether it’s a deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, butterfly, bird or marmot is a gift. Photographing wildlife takes patience unless you are an opportunistic wildlife photographer, meaning you capture what you see when you see it.

Wildlife photographers spend hours, days and sometimes years capturing the exact shot. Typically the chose a location, wait for the light and hope for a wildlife sighting. Finding a place near water helps ensure wildlife visitation. Hiring a guide who knows where the animals are bedding down, moving through, or simply stopping to play can help immensely.

For me, my wildlife photography is opportunistic, but experiences with wildlife have been frequent, sometimes frightening, but no matter what the experience, I’m filled with a sense of awe and respect for the creatures I share the planet with.