For over 30 years Michelle Valberg has focused her camera on people, wildlife and landscapes with the intention of transforming simple beauty into a deeper reflection of humanity. Her thoughtful portrayals of the natural world aim to draw viewers toward the idea that we all need to be better stewards of our natural world.By developing a deeper awareness of the connection between people, animals, and the environment, Michelle believes that we can be inspired to take action in our local communities and beyond.
Michelle is a Nikon Ambassador Canada and the first Canadian Geographic Photographer-in-Residence. She is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and the prestigious Explorer’s Club in New York City. Michelle has self-published 4 books, her photographs hang in embassies around the world and she has been published in numerous international magazines. She was recently awarded the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers and top prize in the Big Animal International Photography Competition in the Terrestrial Category.
“The natural world mirrors what we see in ourselves… our beauty, our simplicity, our complications, and our responsibilities. Nature is a part of us and reflects who we are. As a visual storyteller, it is my mission to educate, inspire, and immerse my viewers in the beauty and wonder of planet earth.”
One morning, while in the Great Bear Rainforest, I was crouched low at the river’s edge with my knees in the water and 3 Nikon mirrorless cameras ready for all encounters – however, I didn’t anticipate Boss standing 15 feet directly in front of me. He lowered his head into the river and, without realizing it, I too instinctively ducked my head a fraction. I was watching the elusive Spirit Bear through my viewfinder, holding my breath and trying to remember to exhale. He pulled his head up and shook, droplets spiralling around his head. He looked at me for an instant, and plunged his head back into the water. I felt a catch in my throat. The photographer in me knew intuitively that it would be a memorable photo. The human in me felt that, in that moment, I was part of Boss’ life, as he was part of mine. We were deeply connected in a way that is hard to describe.