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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER

With close to a decade working in the field as an adventure tourism guide and naturalist, Jamie Scarrow has gained an amazing understanding of the natural world.

Jamie is a lifelong resident of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. He is currently residing in the Comox Valley on the north central east coast of Vancouver Island. Jamie considers himself a true West Coaster and has a profound love for the blue and green rugged coastline that largely defines the beauty of British Columbia. The wildlife teeming within this rich coastal environment are Jamie’s favorite subjects to photograph. Grizzly bears, Bald eagles and Orcas (Killer Whales) are his passion.

Jamie’s work has been published in notable magazines such as National Geographic and Nature Conservancy. His photographs are available online and in galleries in the Comox Valley and area.

In 1997 Jamie commenced biology and chemistry studies at the University of Victoria. His summers away from school were often spent working at various remote backcountry lodges in British Columbia. In 1998, he found the job of his dreams working at Knight Inlet Lodge, Canada's premier bear viewing destination situated in British Columbia's most beautiful coastal fjord.

Working with Grizzly Bears Inspirational

After two seasons viewing the magnificent grizzlies of coastal BC, Jamie finally picked up his first camera, and ever since has been capturing truly unique images of the bountiful bears, other wildlife, and spectacular scenery of the area.

Working in Knight Inlet was a turning point for Jamie, leading to other great opportunities in guiding around the world and, above all, helping him become one of British Columbia's premier wildlife photographers.

Predominantly a self-taught photographer, trial and error has led to his photographic success. Guiding has allowed Jamie to work closely with many famous photographers and film crews from both National Geographic and the BBC, notably, Thomas D. Mangelsen, a prominent photographer and a favorite of Jamie’s. These experiences provided Jamie with a wealth of photographic knowledge.

From Grizzly Bears to Polar Bears to Penguins to Lions

Knight Inlet Lodge was a stepping stone for Jamie into the realm of adventure guiding, leading to other work opportunities in some very exotic locations. In the winter of 2002 Jamie found the perfect compliment to working with the Grizzlies of British Columbia - the Polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba. For five seasons Jamie spent his winters working with the Manitoba based company, Tundra Buggy tours, leading small groups out to the northern tundra in search of Polar bears. These encounters during the prime season from October to November offer unparalleled opportunity to photograph these wonderful bears and other abundant northern animals of Canada and the arctic like Arctic Fox and Red Fox.

In April 2005, Jamie made his first trip to Africa and spent six weeks on safari photographing the wildlife of the South Luanga in Zambia. With luck, more trips to the wonderful continent are soon to follow.

Antarctica - the Opportunity of a Lifetime!

By 2006, a life long dream was made true, Antarctica! As one of the staff with Quark Expeditions onboard the Russian expedition ship Akademik Shokalskiy, Jamie operates zodiacs, conducts camping and kayaking trips and, whenever possible, holds photography seminars for the guests. Antarctica's remoteness allows for some very special encounters with wildlife and the scenery is second to none.

"Many whale, seal, and bird species, including penguins, seem to be intrigued by our presence, making them excellent subjects for photography. The scenery is very special, very pristine and is the definition of dramatic. Antarctica has inspired me to become a scenic photographer."

Working on a Russian ship for periods up to four months in a season has allowed Jamie to capture some extraordinary images from this seldomly visited destination. Jamie continues to spend his winters in Antarctica after the completion of the bear season in Knight Inlet.

Respect, Understanding & Conservation are Top Priorities

Jamie is an ambassador for the conservation and protection of the natural world. Through photography Jamie attempts to express the beauty and importance of some of the world's most fragile ecosystems and most vulnerable animals. His wildlife images have a unique feel to them, often showing the less understood side of his animal subjects. This distinguishes his work from that of other wildlife photographers.

"Bears in particular are highly misunderstood animals. All bears are potentially dangerous but, if treated with respect and given a wide berth, can be very placid animals to be around. They are highly intelligent, often showing a softer side to their nature, especially among family groups. They can be quite playful and even comical, both on an individual level and when interacting with other bears. This is the side of bears that I choose to portray in my photography."

Guiding has allowed Jamie to spend limitless amounts of time with the wildlife he photographs and through this he has learned important lessons for photographing wildlife, including patience, waiting for just the right moment and, of utmost importance, understanding animal behavior.

Jamie's work has been on display locally in Comox Valley at the Comox Valley Art Gallery and Airport. Significant publications include the 2006 Western Canada Wilderness Committee calendar, August 2007 Nature Conservancy magazine, and the May 2006 issue of National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Please visit the Photo Gallery to see more of Jamie's work.

Publications:

  • National Geographic Magazine, May 2006
  • Nature Conservancy Magazine, August 2007
  • Western Canada Wilderness Committee Calender 2007