Steve Morello: Your Photo Fellow
Add this to your bucket list — an unforgettable photography adventure.
You’ve probably seen his stunning photographs in publications and books from prestigious publishers such as National Geographic, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, The New York Times, or in the photo collection of World Wildlife Fund. Steve Morello has spent his entire career dedicated to photographing nature and travel destinations all over the world.
Morello is also an accomplished author having written The Traveling Nature Photographer, considered by many as an absolute must-have for novice and aspiring photographers. The guide prepares the reader for photographic adventures in the wild and includes tips for taking professional-quality photos. It also features beautiful examples of his work as a source of inspiration. He’s also authored a plethora of articles on travel and nature photography that have been widely published in many magazines.
Whether as a guide or photographer, his experiences have taken him throughout most of the world. His subjects have spanned the globe from the Arctic to Antarctica, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Hiking through forest jungle, pontooning along a river, or trekking across an ice field — these are the places where Morello feels right at home to capture once-in-a-lifetime images.
A Force of Nature
In his early years, he spent summers on the shores of Cape Cod reveling in all things nature, like exploring tidal pools, snorkeling along the beach, and hiking in the dunes. Through these experiences he developed a deeply rooted oneness with nature. As an adult, he returned to Cape Cod as a whale researcher. He became a naturalist leader on whale watching boats in Massachusetts and a teacher at the Audubon Schools at Hog Island in Maine where he enjoys working with kids and families teaching them how photography is a wonderful way to experience nature together.
While working with groups to pull together educational material for school programs he discovered photography and was hooked ever since. In 1989, he joined Natural Habitat, a wildlife tour company organizing guided photo excursions. For the next twenty years as the Field Director, he took pictures in some of the most exotic places and remote wilderness areas in the world.
In 2004, while at Natural Habitat he guided organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, World Wildlife Fund, and the American Museum of Natural History in specialized adventures. If that weren’t enough, he also created guide training programs to help locals develop sustainable tourism in the U.S., Tanzania, Peru, and the Canadian Arctic.
Experiencing a Workshop
Known to have an enthusiastic and fun-loving personality, Morello makes every wildlife adventure a truly memorable experience. His teaching style has been described as “friendly and humorous” and “as a teacher who takes the worry out of learning photography, he makes it fun.”
He teaches participants to tell a story with their images, making them a reflection of their vision. Participants are encouraged to look at photography in a new way using techniques and skills taught from decades of experience. They are taken to some of the most biodiverse locations on the planet and their time is maximized out in the field getting close to the action for the best possible photos.
Morello likes to bring a positive attitude to his teaching and teaches his students how to get the most of the equipment they have and to develop good techniques for photographing when they are on their own. Steve tells his students not to open a question about photography by telling him about what they can’t do because they don’t have a particular lens, he wants his student to think of what they can do with the camera they have in hand. Why waste your time thinking about your limitations instead of opening yourself up to the possibilities. He says that there is never only one image, there is never only one lens, and never only one camera. There is a saying, “the best camera is the one in your hand.” Figure out how to make wonderful images with what you have instead of not getting any image because you are feeling intimidated by what you don’t even own.
Steve’s latest photo workshop is conducted with fellow National Geographic photographer Jeff Mauritzen on the Osa Peninsula, described by National Geographic, as one of “the most biologically intense places on earth.” This is the only location in the entire country of Costa Rica where all four species of monkeys reside. It is also home to over 900 species of birds, an abundance of tree and poisonous dart frogs, reptiles, turtles as well as the lush rainforest the country is famous for. Participants are immersed in an intensive photo workshop from sun up to sun down. They learn in the field from two working photographers and come away with a new set of photo skills and a portfolio of incredible images. Guests are treated to comfortable accommodations, transportation, and meals. Each day is full of exploration with amazing sites like unspoiled beaches, roaring waterfalls, and the pristine rainforest. Each location is brimming with wildlife photo opportunities. Participants explore and make new discoveries they’ve never seen, unbridling their creativity to capture perfect photo moments.
The experience can be exhilarating, and participants enjoy being surrounded by nature with its beautiful landscapes and encounters with varied wildlife. They put into practice techniques they have learned and some go on to master them. Many are enthralled with the photographic opportunities and return for more of Morello’s workshops and adventures.
Life Today for the Nature Lover
Morello is proud of his career and continues to be involved in wildlife projects. These days, he enjoys his photography and is on the Board of Directors of the Alaskan Whale Foundation. When not on a photography assignment, he’s an instructor for Lindblad / National Geographic Expeditions.