As our Wildlife competition comes to an end, we’d like to give you a better idea about the man behind the camera. Stan was gracious enough to answer more than a few questions for us. Some of the answers may surprise you, some will hopefully inspire you. So, without further ado, Twelve Questions with Stan Tekiela.
- Where did you grow up? I grew up on the West Side of Chicago.
- What led you to photography? The desire to write books about nature, wildlife, birds led me to photography. When I was young I (very young) I tried to illustrate my own book with drawings and realized I needed something better so at the age of about ten or twelve picked up a camera and started to shoot “nature in my back yard”.
- What role does photography play in your life? First and foremost I am a biologist / naturalist and author. The wildlife photograph came about as a necessity to help illustrate the books I wanted to write. I have no training in photography and picked up everything along the way. I have been photographing professionally for 30 years but certainly photographed for fifteen years before that.
- What type of photography is your specialty? About ninety percent of what I do is wildlife. I also enjoy some landscape and studio photography.
- What do you do to continue to grow as a photographer? I am always trying to pick up the latest camera, lens and software to keep up with the latest updates. I believe it’s important to keep up to date with latest equipment and techniques.
- Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why? I really don’t have many favorites. I have just over a half-million images in my LightRoom collection. I often say my favorite images are the ones I am taking at that moment.
- Whose work has influenced you the most? Unfortunately I don’t have much time to look around at other photographers images so no one comes to mind when I think about it.
- What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? Can’t think of anything.
- What gear do you shoot with? I have been shooting Canon for thirty years. A friend started me on Canon and I have stayed with it. I have been very happy with Canon, especially the lens.
- What projects are you currently working on? I have eight new books coming out this spring 2015. I think this is a new record for me. I often have four to five books per year but this year my publisher wanted eight so I foolishly said yes, I would do it. It was one of the hardest things I have done. www.adventurepulications.net.
- Where can people find out more about you? My web page www.naturesmart.com has everything you would want to know about me and my books, images and audio CD’s. It also have links to all the radio shows and news paper columns.
- Can you tell us about NatureSmart? What is it? How many publications? Nature Smart is my company name. It comes from the title of my third book which came out nearly thirty years ago. It is the umbrella name for all of my activiites such as author, wildlife photography, nature sounds and recordings. I have written and photographed 133 books and audio CD’s.
We thank Stan for taking time out of his busy schedule and donating it to Minnesota Exposure.