ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Washington State Nature
Photographer Peter James
"Exposure to nature's beauty is the best way to improve our quality of life. Nature walks, hikes, camping and time at the beach are de-stressing and rejuvenating. Enjoying vibrant, life-like landscape photographs is the next best thing.
My mission is to help people connect with nature on a daily basis, filling their lives with beauty, and helping them feel happier."
- Peter James
When he was 14, his dad gave him his first camera and taught him how to develop and print his own black and white photos. From the first day he left his house with that simple Canon rangefinder camera (pictured left), to explore what he could see and capture through the lens, he fell in love with nature photography. Ever since then he has been on a constant quest for natural beauty.
Peter James was raised with the dramatic seasons and abundant lakes of northern Michigan. Since he can remember, he was playing in the water and the forests, with no desire ever to come inside.
He studied black and white film photography throughout middle and high school, and then went on to get an excellent formal photographic education at Lansing Community College which, at the time, was ranked third among all photography schools. There he did an intensive 3 year program where every class except two were photography studies. His third year he majored in digital-hybrid photography, which involved shooting color negatives and scanning the film into the brand new world of digital photo processing.
Graduating with no student debt allowed Peter to open his own photo studio right out of college, and he has worked as a professional photographer ever since. He's done nearly every type of professional photography imaginable and has met with many challenges throughout his career. But living by the photographer's motto of "make it happen" has brought him to where he is today. His passion for nature led him first to live in Colorado for several years, before coming to land at his permanent home in Bellingham, WA.
For the majority of Peter’s excursions into the wilderness and beaches of Washington State, he is joined by his wife iMa, and their 12 year old daughter Zaya. They are a family of adventurers who are willing to hike for miles, get up before sunrise, drive long and bumpy roads, all to get the opportunity to see, experience and photograph nature’s extreme beauty.
When at home, Peter and his family direct their passion for beauty into their landscaping, vegetable gardens, fruit orchard, community gatherings and dances, and making music.
PETER'S TREE PROJECT
From his love for nature, comes Peter James' desire to help restore it. In addition to planting trees for every photo he sells, Peter co-founded a global tree planting campaign with his wife iMa, called Help Plant Trees. The concept is to inspire the world to side-step the political and economic resistance to taking action toward solving major global challenges (water, food, refugees, wildlife, climate change, etc) by offering the simple solution of restoring the degraded lands of the world through tree planting. By supporting existing tree planting non-profits, we as individuals can do what governments and industry are not.