Specialties: Wildlife Photography in all (strictly natural) conditions; Biographer; Educator; Writer; Conservationist
Melissa’s passion for educating people about Nature’s marvels shines in her remarkable Instagram posts. She considers herself equally a wildlife biographer and wildlife photographer … telling stories through her photography. Her mission is “to raise awareness and change minds about not only the extrinsic beauty of animals, but also their intrinsic worth.”
Melissa never uses any sort of artificial aid in her work … no caged animals (!!!!!!!!), no baits, no automatic cameras, no scents or animal calls, and no modification to the environment (such as trimming brush). Melissa works at a distance from her subjects so as to minimize any influence on their behavior.
Melissa took the photo of the Spirit Bears on the Coast of British Columbia. Melissa provides some info on this awesome image (one of my favorite photos ever!), captured while on assignment for @smithsonianmagazine.
This was only the second time, according to our guides, that a white mother had been spotted with a white cub. Usually you see either a black mama with a white cub or a white mama with a black cub. The white fur on this “black bear” is due to a double recessive gene, not albinism. There are estimated to be only about 200 or so of these “Spirit Bears,” sometimes called “Kermode Bears,” in the entire Great Bear Rainforest. If you’d like to read the article that appeared in @smithsonianmagazine [Instagram account] and see more photos of these two, it can be found online here.