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Steve Winter


Wildlife photographer and big cat specialist Steve Winter has been a photographer for National Geographic for over two decades, and has been named BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and BBC Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year. Growing up in rural Indiana, he was given his first camera by his father on his seventh birthday, and in 1991 he realized his ambition of becoming a photojournalist for National Geographic.

Since then, Steve has been stalked by jaguars in Brazil, trapped in quicksand in the world’s largest tiger reserve, and charged by a grizzly bear in Siberia.

He has slept in a tent for six months in -40˚C temperatures while tracking snow leopards and visited remote villages where residents have never seen a camera before. He now gives lectures across the world on wildlife photography and conservation, and has appeared on CBS Nightly News, BBC, CNN and other media outlets. His photography book, Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Cat, was published in 2013. Steve has also filmed numerous shows for NatGeo and NatGeo Wild, including Mission Critical – Saving the Leopard.

Steve is incredibly committed to big cats and wildlife conservation in general, and feels that he has a great responsibility to get people excited about both the natural world and its fascinating people and cultures. Above all, he wants to give people a front row seat to the action, making them part of the team alongside the photographer, writer and filmmakers.

Steve Winter led his first trip with NWS, a jaguar photography safari in Brazil, in August 2018. Based in the vast Pantanal wetlands, Steve provided hands-on guidance to our guests and delivered some fascinating lectures on his previous work. "Inside the Hidden World of Jaguars", a story which appears in the December 2017 edition of National Geographic, features photos shot by Steve on location in Brazil, at the locations visited on this safari.

2019 saw Steve take the helm of one of our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer departures and he will return to the Arctic in August 2022. Big cats are also back on the menu in 2022. With trips to India in search of the Bengal tiger, which shares its territory with leopards, sloth bears, and jackals; and to Brazil's Pantanal wetlands, in search of the elusive jaguar. You can find more information on these exciting trips below: