My answer, a true legend in the outdoor media world. Marty Stouffer is at least partly responsible for inspiring me to become a nature, wildlife, conservation and commercial outdoor photographer! As much as I like to think that my inspiration came completely from the heart, I must admit it did not. The passion, commitment and motivation comes from there, but the inspiration to make nature, wildlife and outdoor photography my livelihood is due in part to Marty Stouffer and his long running TV series "Wild America."
There probably is not a person in the outdoor media world, over 30 years old, that has not seen at least one episode of, "Wild America." Stouffer's series, "Wild America" was, for a young outdoors-man, the "holy grail" of wildlife and outdoor TV experiences. To this day it's still the longest running wildlife and nature show ever aired on PBS.
After watching those episodes of "Wild America," it dawned on me that if someone made those films it means there's a job doing it - right! So, while I did not run right out at 10 years old and buy an 8mm camera to start my own journey to become a relevant outdoor, nature, and wildlife photographer, the seed was planted. That seed sprouted many years later and today I have a successful career in the outdoor media world.
When Marty emailed me to talk about the bighorn sheep photograph he saw on the cover of Western Hunter Magazine, it reminded me that his TV series is what got me thinking I could have a career in the outdoor world. I replied to his email thanking him for the complements and for his great contribution to the outdoor media world. Later that day, I decided to call and talk directly to him. Imidiatly upon hearing his voice I recalled many of the episodes I watched as a young kid growing up.
A couple of weeks after Marty and I first talked, I received the full box set of 120 episodes of "Wild America" in the mail. What a surprise. Marty, one of my childhood heroes, and one of the greatest cinematographers to work in this business, personally sent ME a collection of the greatest wildlife, nature and outdoor films ever produced! I'm grateful to Marty.
This brings me to my closing comments. If you are interested in becoming a professional in the outdoor world, I encourage you to consider joining the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). I love the organization so much I decided to become a board member. Today POMA is the Nations premier traditional outdoor media organization, made up of some of the nations top outdoor TV producers, film makers, photographers, radio talk show hosts, and writers.
If you are in any way part of the outdoor media world, you need to join POMA. If you're not yet a professional, we have special membership just for you. If you're interested in becoming a member contact Tony Bynum. Before you do, I encourage you to check out our website for more information about becoming a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.
Get out there and find your passion in the outdoor media world!