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Nature, Wildlife and Outdoor Photography – who inspired you?

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.

Bighorn Sheep Cover Photograph

Bighorn Sheep Photograph on the Cover of Western Hunter Magazine©

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!


Tony Bynum

You also can find Tony Bynum on Facebook, and Tony Bynum on Twitter


6 Responses to “Nature, Wildlife and Outdoor Photography – who inspired you?”

  1. Shelley Abell says:

    What a wonderful gift You and Mr.Stouffer have gave America in Sharing your Photos and films. Thank-you!

  2. Nick Fucci says:

    Tony, I my early days I grew up watching the American Sportsman hosted by Curt Gowdy. He more than anyone else kindled my love of the outdoors and my dream of going to Alaska. Why I let the Mrs. talk me into ever leaving I’ll never know. I guess that’s one of the mysteries of life.

    As for photographers; Galen Rowell and Michael “Nick” Nichols inspire me to push the limits of whats possible with my images.

    • Tony says:

      Nick, thank you for commenting and for leaving us with some more very influential subjects in the world of outdoor photography! You do have to admit, leaving Alaksa for Montana was not all bad, there are a lot of other places that cant compare to our great state! If you have to be from someplace, Alaska or Montana have to two of the best! Thank you!

  3. LLD says:


    I had so many inspirations – Ansel Adams, Lenoard LeRue, Curt Gowdy, my father … Today I have more – you are certainly one. Thanks for sharing the info on POMA. It is an amazing organization. I learn from members every day. And, we have student memberships too.

    • Tony says:

      Thank you @LLD . . . I appreciate you adding to the list of Inspirational figures, it seems LeRue and Gowdy have made the list twice, and for adding me to it . . . That is truly an honor coming from someone with your knowledge and talent in the outdoor media world! Thank you for the great work you do for traditional outdoor media broadly, and for the Professional Outdoor Media Association @POMA_HQ specifically!

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