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OUR TEAM

Our Team of Alaska Photography Guides

Our team of Alaska photography guides and instructors are a mix of lifelong and longtime Alaskans with varied backgrounds and levels of experience in photography, representative clients and publications, and awards. But the one thing they all share is a passion for photography and the beauty of Alaska. Meet our team!

Amber Johnson

Amber is a professional commercial photographer, born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She received her BFA from University of New Mexico with emphasis in fine art photography. She works with numerous local and national clients, and sells stock images through Alaska Stock. Her passion is outdoor and nature photography, which she brings as your Alaska photography tour guide.

In 2006, she was recognized with a “Highly Honored” distinction in the Plant Life category for the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (sponsored by Nature’s Best Photography and the Smithsonian Institution); her image was featured in an exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She has exhibited her photography at the Anchorage Museum and Alaska State Museum in Juneau as part of the All Alaska Biennial, Alaska Positive, and Rarefied Light juried shows. She’s also been featured in Alaska Magazine, and participated in many solo, group, and juried shows. Amber currently serves on the Alaska Society of Outdoor Nature Photographers‘ Board of Directors and as the organization’s secretary.

When she’s not working, she’s usually busy documenting her wilderness adventures backcountry skiing, packrafting, and mountain biking. See her work and learn more at Amber Johnson Photography.

Amber guides our Sunset Photo Safari. 

Ben Traylor

Ben was born in Texas but moved to Alaska in the early 80s. He primarily loves to photograph the beautiful landscapes and wildlife Alaska has to offer. He is most passionate about capturing the aurora borealis during the long, dark winter nights. The thrill of capturing the ever-changing northern lights is what you will find him doing most winter nights.

Ben’s most notable photo credits include the November 2016 cover of Alaska magazine. He has had several photos published in the Alaska Railroad calendar from 2016-2019. He was also one out of the thirty selected Rarified Light winners that were on display in 2015. Most recently, he won the grand prize for the 2020 Yakutia Airlines Photo Contest, which included a round trip airfare to the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.

Ben is a member of the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers. You can see his work online at Traylor Photography.

Ben is a Lead Guide, and guides our Sunset Photo Safari and Anchorage Aurora Quest, as well as assists in the office. 

Carl Johnson

Born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Carl Johnson started his photography career while serving in the U.S. Navy, where he was a ship’s photographer for two commands and trained in a documentary and photojournalistic style. Early photographic successes included photographing the launch of a Tomahawk missile using a single-shot film camera. His later work as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, along with his exposure to the writings of Sigurd Olson and the images of Jim Brandenburg, inspired his passion for nature photography. They also informed his belief in using photography to promote conservation. Carl’s greatest photographic passion lies in coming to fully understand a particular location, photographing all of its wonders, from small plants to vast landscapes, and increasingly the people who live with the land and call it home.

Carl has served as the artist-in- residence for Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Badlands National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Shenandoah National Park. He was the “Environmental Issues” winner for the Windland Smith Rice International Awards in 2010. In 2017, Carl was awarded the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for Excellence in Still Photography, Film, or Video by the Alaska Conservation Foundation. He has worked as a guest lecturer and instructor for Tony Robbins, Princess Cruise Lines, and several remote lodges in Alaska.

Carl’s first book, Where Water is Gold, was published by Braided River in June 2016. Recognized by Jim Brandenburg as a “masterpiece and a visual delight,” and PDN Magazine as “a love letter to a place,” Where Water is Gold explores the amazing ecosystem and way of life in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. Carl owns and operates the only fine art nature photo gallery in the city of Anchorage, the Arctic Light Gallery. He is an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Carl is also a member of Professional Photographers of AmericaNikon Professional Services, the North American Nature Photography Association, and the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers and Visit Anchorage

Carl lives in Anchorage with his wife, Michelle, who is a co-owner of Alaska Photo Treks. Carl and Michelle also own and operate Greatland Graphics.You can view his photography and learn more about his gallery at arcticlight-ak.com.

Carl teaches our classes and is the primary workshop leader and private tour guide for Alaska Photo Treks. 

Chad Kotter

Chad Kotter grew up among the Rockies in Utah and Idaho before the Air Force brought him to Alaska in 1998. Chad transferred to the Alaska Air National Guard to remain in his adopted home state, and retired in 2018 after spending the previous 20 years seeing the world, visiting over 30 countries, and deploying 6 times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He currently works for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Electronics Technician, maintaining navigation aids to ensure pilots find their way home safely.

Photography transitioned from hobby to passion after Chad discovered the art of capturing Alaska’s beautiful aurora, and prompted him to embark on an endless journey of learning to see our world through the lens. When not behind his camera on cold winter nights, you can usually find him running sound for his wife’s band Zen Trembles, which he also manages and roadies for.

Chad currently guides our Anchorage Aurora Quest tour.

Colin Tyler Bogucki

Growing up in the lakes area of northern Minnesota, Colin developed a connection with the natural world at a young age. Upon moving to Alaska in 1996 to pursue what would be a short-lived career in human services, he soon discovered the art of photography after receiving a camera for Christmas – a gift that would change the course of his life. He ultimately resigned himself from the career he had studied for so diligently to pursue a new purpose; a decision that he has never regretted, and as a result, his life has been filled with a wealth of experiences, adventure, and subsequently, gratitude.

After attending a beginning photography course at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, as well as a class at a local community education organization, Colin began to find satisfaction in creating beautiful, unique images of wildlife and natural scenes. During the first year of discovering his new camera, Colin was grateful to have a photograph published with the Anchorage Daily News. That same image would later be published in Alaska Magazine.

Since that first year, Colin has had numerous images published and his work is represented by two stock photo agencies. Publications include the Associated Press, Alaska Magazine, US Postal Service, Anchorage Daily News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Lake Country Journal Magazine, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Magazine, American Essence Magazine, and AT&T. Additionally, he has written editorial pieces for publications including Alaska Magazine and the Lake Country Journal of Minnesota. His photography has received numerous awards in juried competitions and three of his images were featured in the 2021 AlaskaWild exhibit. One of his most cherished accomplishments was having an image featuring the aurora borealis and Big Dipper over Denali used by the US Postal Service on the “International Polar Year” commemorative stamp sheet in 2007.

In recent years, Colin’s desire to explore and create has taken him to international destinations where he’s had the opportunity to witness beautiful, exotic locations and wildlife, and interact with foreign cultures, in places like India, Cambodia, New Zealand, Australia, Cuba, Iceland, and recently, Namibia. Perhaps the greatest lesson he has received from the art of photography is what it has taught him about himself and his desire to explore and create. Colin has now taken that desire and launched a photo tour company, Nat Expo Tours, with a fellow photographer from Montana. They currently lead groups in Cuba, Iceland, Namibia, and more. When he’s not traveling, he lives at the Eagle River Nature Center in Alaska’s Chugach State Park and serves as the center’s Assistant Manager. He is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers, and North American Nature Photography Association.

Colin will always find the means to explore, create, and share the magic of the natural world. It is not only his dream; it has become his purpose. You can view his images at Colin Tyler Photography.

Colin guides our Anchorage Aurora Quest and Sunset Photo Safari tours.

Cory Lescher

https://alaskaphototreks.com/treks/anchorage-northern-lights-tour/Born and raised in Oregon, Cory grew up playing in the mountains and backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, and that is what sparked his love for the outdoors. In his free time, Cory can be found whitewater kayaking, backcountry skiing, scrambling up peaks or enjoying a host of many other outdoor activities. Cory graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology. After working for a handful of years as a biologist out at sea, a Master’s program at the Alaska Pacific University finally brought Cory to Alaska full time. It was then a desk job, as a marine biologist, that retired him from the high seas giving him the opportunity to pursue his hobby for exploring the vast wilderness of Alaska, where his photography career was born.

Photography quickly grew into a passion that allowed Cory to share his experiences with the rest of the world and has become an avenue to educate others through the stories and teachings that accompany his images. Published locally and in international magazines, like EuroNews Green, Cory endeavors to always pay it forward; to the communities that support him and the natural world that fuels his lust for photography. Living in Anchorage, he takes his camera – and his dog, Stewart – with him on every new adventure he takes, and Alaska is full of adventures for an outdoors enthusiast and man’s best friend.

Cory serves on the Board of Directors for the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers. You can view his work at his website Cory Lescher Photography or on Instagram @C.Lescher.7.

Cory guides our Anchorage Aurora Quest and Anchorage Winter Wonderland tours. 

Glenn Aronwits

Glenn Aronwits is a multifaceted professional photographer and marine scientist with over 40 years’ experience creating visual representations that enhance the understanding of the world around us. Glenn has been a resident of Alaska since 1981.

At the age of nine Glenn’s interest for photography began when he purchased a Polaroid 110A Land Camera at a garage sale with earnings from a paper route. He shot countless rolls film until 2000, when he bought his first digital point-and-shoot camera. The digital age rekindled Glenn’s passion for photography since images can be viewed instantly and adjustments can be made during image capture. His passion for photography grew stronger than ever with the ability to have a virtual darkroom in his home by utilizing computers and printers. What started out as a lifelong hobby developed into a photography business in 2005, and is currently his full-time occupation.

Glenn’s images have been published in a variety of print and electronic media including NewsweekAlaska BeyondBackpackerAlaska and Alaska Home, as well as publications and media produced by clients such as the Alaska Railroad, Municipality of Anchorage, State of Alaska, University of Alaska Anchorage, ConocoPhillips, Oil Search, Alaska Communication Systems, The Alaska Club, Hotel Captain Cook and Alyeska Resort.

Glenn has worked with Alaska Photo Treks since 2016 as guide. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers since 2009 and the treasurer since 2011. You can learn more about one aspect of his commercial work at GA Panorams.

Glenn guides our Sunset Photo Safari and Anchorage Aurora Quest

Jamin Hunter Taylor

Jamin grew up in in the heart of the Matanuska Susitna Valley of Southcentral Alaska in the 80’s and early 90’s, which was still wild and untamed. Being the only boy out of a family of 6 kids, he often found himself on his own, either doing something creative indoors or in the woods near their house letting his imagination run wild.

Jamin’s father was an outdoorsmen, always out hunting, trapping, or fishing depending on the season. He grew up in a home filled with taxidermy on the walls. When he was born, his father wanted to name him Jamin Hunter Fisher Trapper Taylor. His mother, being a bit more sensible, said he had to choose one, so Hunter it was. Being his father’s only son, it was only natural for him to want Jamin to follow in his footsteps. Jamin, however, had desires of his own and was always more interested in drawing or a number of other things that sparked a young boy’s imagination. Drawing was one of the ways that Jamin developed to express himself as a lifelong artist.

Jamin’s love of birds and nature is rooted in his childhood, as his father would always record the first Robin sighting of the spring and would talk about all the colorful warblers and thrushes. It wasn’t until he had a son of his own that things came full circle. Jamin discovered his latent love of birds first, then decided to try photographing them. His photographic talent improved with more time in the field, and his camera gear upgraded to match his skill.

Jamin’s photography has been published in Wild Planet Photo and Alaska magazines. You can view his work at J. Hunter Photography and on YouTube.

Jamin guides our Focus on Feathers and Moose Photo Safari tours. 

Monica Whitt

Monica Whitt was born and raised in Mexico but has lived in Anchorage with her husband and three children since 1998. She calls Alaska home.

Monica’s interest and education in photography began while earning a BA in Communications at Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) in Monterrey, Mexico. Spending most of her professional career as Web designer, she has always been inspired by many talented photographers, not to mention, the stunning beauty of Alaska. After receiving her professional photography certification with the New York Institute of Photography, she has specialized in environmental portraiture.

Her passion is capturing the essence of people while doing what they love, whether it’s adventuring around Alaska, practicing outdoor adventure sports, or celebrating a special event. Besides her freelance and commercial work, which you can view on Monica Whitt Photography, she’s also part of the Chugach Peaks Photography team and considers it an honor to photograph weddings all around Alaska.

Monica co-guides for our Anchorage Aurora Quest

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