We had the good fortune of connecting with Krisztina Scheeff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Krisztina, how does your business help the community or world?
As a professional Wildlife & Nature Photographer I work on creating meaningful images that convey a message of hope for the natural world. Conservation photography is one part what my photograph says, and two parts what my photograph does. My goal is to share these images of beautiful animals in their natural environment to inspire others around me to preserve the world that we share with all the amazing living creatures around us. https://www.ksnaturephotography.com/conservation-education/grebe-conservation/ And then there is education. I love teaching the young about birding and photography. Two years ago I started a project at Sundance Elementary school in Poway CA with the help of the Principal and Miss Alice Holmes. We started with creating educational posters of birds that hang in the school yard and now we bird every week. And thanks to the Palomar Audubon Society we have amazing binoculars to do it with. To read more about this project please visit my site: https://www.ksnaturephotography.com/conservation-education/school-birding-program/
Please tell us more about you. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
My fascination with wild creatures and nature started during high school in Hungary in the early 1990’s. I spent my summers hiking, camping and learning about nature, wildlife and conservation. After getting my college degree in Animal Science & Agricultural Engineering from the University of Godollo in Hungary, I continued my studies at Purdue University. During my graduate school years I worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Biology Department at Purdue. Later I moved to Southern California where I continued to enjoy and photograph the local wildlife and the natural beauty of my favorite spot, Lake Hodges in San Diego County. Today I spend my time between San Diego and roaming Scotland, where I also offer small group ours to the Highlands and Isle of Skye for nature photography. I also offer tours to Ireland, Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, Chile, and other parts of the US. Being an avid outdoor enthusiast helped me fuel my appreciation for the natural world. My interest in photographing wildlife is to being able to share with others who may not otherwise get the opportunity. My first experience with cameras started 25 years ago with those “old” film cameras. I’ve even developed my own film in my photo lab. Moved to digital cameras with interchangeable lenses years ago and settled with Canon gear. About five years ago I got more interested in one of the most fascinating birds in the world, the Western and Clark’s Grebes. I mean what bird walks on water to find a mate? The Grebes do! So I spent years studying them and their behavior and their rushing or “dancing on water” is one of the most photographed behaviors in the World. Yes, I can tell when they will do it – I guess that is why my clients call me the “Grebe Whisperer”. I actively lead tours here in San Diego CA for wildlife and nature photography, especially photographing the dancing Grebes on the lake. These tours can be one-on-one or small group, from shore or boat.
Currently, I’m also leading on average 7-10 photographic tours to destinations all over the world every year. These trips last from 1-2 weeks and consist of 6-10 clients each tour. We explore and photograph the wildlife in amazing locations around the World, from Scotland to Ireland, Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands and more. I lead small group tours, many custom tours and with today’s ever changing challenges (Covid) this has proved to be a great strategy. Of course things are not easy right now, but we have the hope of traveling again soon and I truly love all my loyal clients who never cancelled. As I say 2020 just been postponed to 2021 :-). Has it been easy? The road hasn’t always been straight or smooth. But you need to stay dedicated in what you believe in and keep going. Never give up!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh, I have lots of great spots to take folks in San Diego! San Diego county in sunny California is one of the most diversified location for wildlife spotting, including hundreds of birds (resident or migratory), mammals, gorgeous landscape and of course plants. San Diego is a nature photographer’s perfect playground. During the year there are different locations to take photos from and different subjects, and I can help you achieve your goals especially if you are short on time. Best time to visit San Diego and see lots of birds and wildlife is the winter / early spring (November – March). One of my favorite spots is La Jolla Cove in the winter for the migratory birds and in May / June I sure enjoy photographing the Peregrine Falcons. Of course there are the Grebes. Those birds that walk on water! A few spots to see them in Southern California, and yes, I can take you there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Dad. I started photography a long time ago, back in Hungary, probably about 25 years ago. He was the “old school” photographer. We even had a lab. Yes, a film developing lab. Did I say film? ;). Our lab wasn’t really a lab, but our bathroom converted into a dark room. While my Dad was in love with architecture and portrait photography, he did not mind helping me develop my nature photos. And being an Animal Science and Genetics major in college, I sure had a lot of nature photos. He was the inspiration for my photography carrier. He did pass away in 2000 from cancer, I will miss him dearly.