Here at Studebaker Studios, we have Matthew Studebaker, John Crawley, and Dan Behm in the field on tours, helping you get the best photo possible. And we have Mindy Bowman in the office, keeping things organized and handling logistics. Let me introduce us:
interview by Jenna Millemaci
As a passionate wildlife photo tour leader, Matthew Studebaker guides groups of photographers through exotic places to help them capture the most spectacular shots of the natural world. Since his first tour in 2006, Matthew has been traveling the continent and steadily adding more destinations to his itinerary including Costa Rica and the Alaskan Arctic. While many are drawn to Matthew for his foundational expertise in bird photography, his collection of tours continues to expand in new directions based on where wildlife photography enthusiasts want to explore with him next.
Matthew grew up in a 100-acre woods in Northeast Ohio. He was home schooled from a young age and spent every day exploring the biodiversity of the local deciduous forests, capturing what he saw with pencil and paper. When Matthew was 10, his uncle gifted him his first telephoto lens and SLR camera and Matthew has been shooting every since. Matthew feels grateful for wildlife artists Steve Leonardi, Robert Bateman, and Arthur Morris, the “father of modern bird photography,” for their heartfelt mentorship and influence on his success. Matthew went on to graduate from Akron University Meyer’s School of Art with a double Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Painting.
Almost right out of school, with the encouragement of Morris and others, Matthew started leading photo tours in 2006. "While I love making good images, I think I get as much joy out of helping others get their dream shot and giving them have a trip of a lifetime," he says. Small, exclusive groups allow Matthew to devote careful time and attention to improving the wildlife photography skills of each photographer on the tour and inspiring their artistic vision, while making sure everyone seizes the highest-quality shots in an optimal amount of time. Connection and mentorship follow naturally, as everyone brings different stories and skills. "Leading photo tours puts me in touch with people who share the same passion and allows me spend my day helping others do what I love most.”
When Mindy Bowman isn’t riding her horses, she works from her home in Florida as a certified professional virtual assistant. She brings professionalism, organization, creativity, and kindness to the team and has quickly become indispensable!
Dan Behm will jump into cold water to get the perfect photo faster than anyone I have ever seen. No hesitation. Just dedication. But he would also jump into that cold water for a friend or client just as fast. And it’s a good thing he isn’t afraid of cold water because he leads our Barrow, Alaska trip. Dan was brought on board because of his knowledge, dedication and energy, amazing attitude, and great sense of humor. He started photographing nature by building trail cameras for wildlife surveillance 15 years ago. He added a DSLR to his camera bag in 2009 and has since traveled the country photographing birds and wildlife, taught classes and field sessions, and helped on a great many tours for Studebaker Studios.
John Crawley graduated with a degree in Zoology with an emphasis in raptor biology. He did research for the DNR and NFS on Osprey and helped take care of endangered raptors at BYU as they transitioned to the Peregrine Fund. John currently leads and co-leads our Utah Raptors, Costa Rica, and St. Paul Island photo tours.