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[SPECIAL EPISODE] What Does Connecting With Nature Mean to You?

[SPECIAL EPISODE] What Does Connecting With Nature Mean to You?

Episode 20: Today, we celebrate our 20th episode by paying tribute to the ten amazing guests we’ve had on the podcast so far.  Each of them has shared so much wisdom and valuable nuggets of information about photography, creativity, composition, and connecting with nature.  This special edition of Tidbit Tuesday is a compilation of their responses to the question: what does connecting with nature mean to you?  Please enjoy!


Episode 1: Matt Payne

Episode 3: Chase Tucker

Episode 5: Brenda Tharp

Episode 7: Jaymi Heimbuch

Episode 9: Robb Hirsch

Episode 11: Linda Nickell

Episode 13: Sarah Marino

Episode 15: Courtney Harvey

Episode 17: Charles Bergman

Episode 19: Colleen Miniuk 

Full Show Notes



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Matt Payne Profile Photo

Matt Payne


Matt Payne is a landscape photographer living in Durango, Colorado, USA. Much of his photography has focused on his life-long goal to climb the one-hundred highest mountains in Colorado which he completed in 2017. Matt is a co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance and the Natural Landscape Photography Awards, and he is also the host of the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen Podcast, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!

Chase Tucker Profile Photo

Chase Tucker

Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

Chase is an avid hiker with over eight years of experience as a certified strength and conditioning coach. In 2012, he founded Base Camp in Australia, which operated as a gym and mountain training camp to prepare Australians for overseas treks and climbs.

To reach a wider audience, he’s now expanded Base Camp to include online programs as well as an active YouTube channel, called Chase Mountains. With a background in solving lifestyle-based movement issues like painful knees and tight hips, his goal is to enable people to stay free of pain and injury while hiking, skiing, and climbing well into old age.

Brenda Tharp Profile Photo

Brenda Tharp


Brenda Tharp is a full-time photographer, educator, and speaker with a passion for the natural world. Her landscape and nature photographs have been used by Apple, Audubon, Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service, Sierra Club, and more. She is an author and contributor to many photography magazines and books on composition, which I definitely recommend you check out. She shares her love for celebrating the beauty of this world through her workshops and through her fine photographic prints offered for sale on her website at

Jaymi Heimbuch Profile Photo

Jaymi Heimbuch

Conservation Photographer

Jaymi Heimbuch is a wildlife conservation photographer, who was listed in the “Top 10 Female Nature Photographers to Watch” in Wild Planet Photo Magazine. Jaymi’s photography has been published in National Geographic Books, Sierra Magazine, Bay Nature Magazine, Wild Planet Photo Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, and in many other outlets.

She is also an accomplished writer with publications about the environment, wildlife, and companion animals in the Huffington Post, Beautiful Beasties, Sierra Club’s Green Life Blog, and a cover feature in BBC Wildlife Magazine. Jaymi was also the recipient of a National Geographic Expeditions Council grant to create the Urban Coyotes Initiative, which was a 6-year project that combined photography, filmmaking, and science to raise awareness on how to safely co-exist with this incredible animal in the urban environment.

Jaymi’s current passion is helping other nature photographers craft visual stories so that they can inspire smarter decision-making locally and globally. To this end, she created the Conservation Photography 101 course, which is a self-paced online course that guides you through the step-by-step process of identifying a conservation story, crafting a photo essay, and pitching it to editors for publication.

She is also the creator of Wild Idea Lab, which is a membership community for conservation photographers and filmmakers with access to a peer community and mentors, exclusive access to educational content and resources, and ongoing coaching and support.

Lastly, Jaymi is the host of Impact: The Conservation Photography Podcast (, which you should definitely check out if you are interested in learning more about conservation photography.

Robb Hirsch Profile Photo

Robb Hirsch


Initially trained as a field biologist from UC Irvine, Robb Hirsch is now a full-time landscape photographer with an intimate relationship to the natural world. His passion for Yosemite started early with annual childhood visits to the park.

As a field biologist, he worked on a variety of projects for California State Parks, USGS, and several private firms. His love for traveling and exploration had led him through Africa, Central America, and the Western United States. Photography was originally a means to document his work and travels but soon became the focus.

His photography has since been featured in international competitions, calendars, magazines and gallery showings and he leads customized, small group photography workshops in Yosemite and surrounding Sierra Nevada.

Robb’s debut book, The Nature of Yosemite - A Visual Journey, was published in 2019 by the Yosemite Conservancy, and combines stunning imagery of the park with educational text about the natural history.

Linda Nickell Profile Photo

Linda Nickell


Linda Nickell is a Texas-based photographer who has been recognized by as one of the “Top 25 Travel Photographers to Follow on Instagram” and has also been noted as one of “The 9 Best Landscape Photographers in Houston.” by Her travel and landscape images have been published by the Texas Nature Conservancy and Country Extra Magazine. As an active Instagrammer, she curates multiple feature accounts to inspire and promote the work of other photographers.

Linda is also the creator and host of a popular weekly photography webinar series, called the Happiness Hour, where photographers come together online to connect, inspire, and create. I was fortunate to be an invited speaker for her Happiness Hour, and I can vouch for the group’s camaraderie and overall good vibe. Community and connection have been tough to come by this past year due to the pandemic, so I definitely recommend anyone interested in improving their photography while connecting with others to check it out.

Sarah Marino Profile Photo

Sarah Marino

Nature Photographer

Trained in both business administration and public administration, Sarah Marino worked for many years in Colorado’s vibrant nonprofit sector as a leadership and strategy consultant. As a very accomplished nature photographer, photography educator, and writer, Sarah was fortunate enough to recently transition to a full-time career focused on photography and her passion for the natural world. She splits her time between her home in Southwestern CO and nomadic traveling, often in an Airstream RV trailer.

Sarah is an exceptional photography teacher and provides education through speaking engagements, photography workshops, coaching, ebooks, and video tutorials. Her approach to teaching emphasizes personal expression, seeing opportunities in any landscape, finding joy in photographing nature’s small scenes, and a slow style of photography focused on exploration and deeply connecting with nature.

Her writing and photography have been published in numerous outlets, including On Landscape, Digital Photo Magazine, Landscape Photography Magazine, Luminous Landscape, Nature Photographer’s Network, Outdoor Photography Guide, and many others.

Lastly, Sarah is a co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance, and promotes the conservation and stewardship of wild places through her photography and teaching.

Courtney Harvey Profile Photo

Courtney Harvey

Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness EMT

Courtney Harvey’s love for hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and camping was instilled by her parents at an early age. Her passion for outdoor recreation grew from there to include more remote activities like backcountry skiing, orienteering, and backpacking.

In graduate school, she studied strength and conditioning, and in 2015 she took her first wilderness first aid course. Shortly thereafter, she joined the search and rescue team in Killington, VT, and got further certifications as a wilderness first responder, a wilderness emergency medical technician, and then as an advanced EMT.

She continues to serve on the search and rescue team and now teaches CPR, first aid, and wilderness first aid for the Stonehearth Outdoor Learning Opportunities School, also known as SOLO. She also teaches wilderness leadership and safety skills to teenagers at the Okemo Mountain School.

Charles Bergman Profile Photo

Charles Bergman

Author and Photographer

Writer and photographer, Charles Bergman, is a long-time Professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University. He’s the author of five books related to conservation, including one that will be the focus of today’s conversation, “Every Penguin in the World, A Quest to See Them All”, which was published in 2020 by Sasquatch Books.

He’s written over 150 articles on wildlife and animals in national magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, Natural History, and National Geographic. Several articles have been cover stories, including a story on wildlife trafficking in Latin America Smithsonian.

His writing and photography have won several awards, including the Washington State Book Award, Southwest Book Award, Ben Franklin Book Award, and he was a PEN USA Literary Award finalist. Charles has also completed two Fulbright Fellowships in Mexico and Ecuador.

One of his great joys has been to lead student study-away tours to wild destinations like Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Tanzania, and Uganda, and he’s proud to have led six tours to Antarctica with his students.

Colleen Miniuk Profile Photo

Colleen Miniuk

Photographer and Writer

After working as a software engineer for Intel Corporation for 10 years, Colleen Miniuk decided to close the doors on her cushy, cubicle job to pursue her love of the outdoors and photography in 2007. Since embarking on this journey to honor her passions, she has served three times as an Artist-in-Residence with Acadia National Park, has led numerous photography workshops for her own company as well as the Arizona Highways Photography Workshops, the Moab Photography Symposium, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Wildlife Federation's "Becoming an Outdoor Woman," and for numerous private clients.

In 2017, in addition to her co-ed workshops, she started holding women's-only photography workshops under the brand, Sheography™, to inspire women to enjoy the outdoors safely and comfortably with their cameras.

In late 2019, she started a photography advice column, Dear Bubbles, which is packed with valuable nuggets of information about photography and creativity.

Colleen’s writing and images have been featured in On Landscape, National Parks Traveler, Extraordinary Vision, Arizona Highways, The Smoky Mountain Journal of Photography, National Geographic calendars, and many others.

Colleen has authored several award-winning guidebooks, including "Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, & How" (1st and 2nd editions), the instructional eBook, "Seeing the Light in Outdoor Photography", and "Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How" of which she just released a second edition.

Colleen is also an active member and board member for the Outdoor Writers Association of America, where she has received numerous awards for her service to the organization. She is also a member of Women Writing the West and is currently serving as a contributor to Nature Photographers Network.