As published in American Photographer’s Pro Photo Daily:
Over the past 34 years, Cox has traveled to seven continents in search of wildlife subjects, ranging from pumas and porcupines to polar bears. In 2013, he was named Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year by the North American Nature Photography Association; he’s also won awards in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature’s Best competitions. His images have appeared in countless nature magazines, more than 20 books (including his most recent children’s title, Portia Polar Bear’s Birthday Wish). He also has two National Geographic cover stories to his credit. And today, with his wife Tanya, he teaches workshops and guides shooting trips around the planet. On top of all that, he works with Panasonic as a LUMIX Luminary team member.
Cox’s love of wilderness and wildlife began at a very early age, when he began hunting and fishing in the Minnesota woods with his father. “I came to love the outdoors and became more interested in the animals my father wanted to put on the table,” he says. “It sounds strange to be a hunter and have a love for animals, but some of the most sincere supporters of wildlife and nature are sportsman,” he says. “They really can go hand and hand. I no longer hunt myself, but I harbor no ill will to those that support wildlife with their hunting dollars.”
His interest in photography also came from his father. “He enjoyed photography and shot with a 35mm Mamiya Sekor with lenses that you had to screw on,” says Cox. “His interest drove my interest and he let me use his camera at home, but he restricted me from bringing it to school in my high school years.” When Cox and his sister sold a car they owned together, he used his half of the proceeds to buy a camera through a friend in Japan.
Cox recently took time between shooting trips to speak with writer and photographer Jeff Wignall about his photography, his travels and his work with various environmental organizations.