Michele Westmorland – 2019 Lifetime Explorer Recipient
Michele is a freelance photographer with a variety of photographic skills. Westmorland Images, LLC operates from her home in Redmond, Washington. Michele has created a vast library of imagery from around the world. Although she produces commercial marketing images for resorts and the scuba diving industry, she is especially passionate about conservation and is proud to be a Senior Fellow of International League of Conservation Photographers. In November, 2016, she won the Fellow of the Year award from iLCP. Her underwater and cultural photography has gained international recognition. Michele understands the need to tell a visual story, whether it covers exotic locations or the wonders of the natural world.
She is also a Fellow National of the prestigious Explorers Club, a member of the Society of Woman Geographers, Wings WorldQuest, NANPA and was inducted into the Woman Divers Hall of Fame in 2011. In addition, Michele received the Fellowship Award from NANPA at the biennial summit in February, 2015. Much of her imagery has appeared in national and international publications. Michele has won several awards for her imagery including, Grand Prize in the Papua New Guinea Underwater category, the Environmental Photography Invitational, Photo District News, and many others. She is proud to be included in the book “Adventurous Dreams-Adventurous Lives” by Jason Schoonover. Her book “Ocean Duets” was published in 2006 and is focused on the beauty of the underwater world. As a speaker, Michele has given a variety of lectures on culture, the marine environment and photography workshops. Locations she is most proud to share her stories include: Keynote Speaker for NANPA, BLUE Ocean Film Festival, Explorers Club Sea Stories, Pingyao International Photography Festival in China and Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, Florida. Michele is especially proud of a documentary film released in 2017, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera. The film has appeared in various film festival and proud that it won “Best Foreign Documentary” at LA Femme International Film Festival in Los Angeles.
“I have had the privilege of photographing marine life since 1984. Each dive gave me new and dramatic experiences. From the tiny creatures that hide in the coral to magnificent marine mammals that give our world balance, it is an environment where new discoveries are made every day. I believe in the power of imagery to motivate stewardship and protection of the fragile underwater world. It is equally important to connect with the indigenous peoples of the world – man is, in fact, a part of nature.” – Michele Westmorland