Benjamin Franklin Award winner Stephen Gorman has photographed and authored five large-format books and dozens of articles for national magazines. His Arctic photographs are currently on tour at United States Consulates across Canada, his work is in demand by a wide variety of clients, and his photographs are in numerous private collections.
Stephen's work focuses on understanding the connections between nature and humanity: how we depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material and spiritual lives, how we adapt to and modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world we live in. He works where the biosphere and the ethnosphere come together.
Raised overseas, educated in a foreign language, at an early age Stephen developed a deep longing to explore and understand his native land and people. As a result of this life long quest he offers a unique perspective on the conservation issues of our time. Stephen holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University, where he studied biophilia - nature's role in human health, productivity, and wellbeing - with his advisor and mentor Stephen Kellert - and helped found the program in environmental communications; and a Bachelor's Degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University, where he studied American environmental history and the history of the North American Frontier with his advisor Richard Slotkin.
Working in the tradition of artist-explorers such as George Catlin, Frederic Church, Thomas Moran, William Bradford, Rockwell Kent, Lawren Harris, and William Henry Jackson, Steve sets off into the outback for days, weeks and sometimes even months at a time in search of striking images and compelling stories of the natural world and the men and women who live and work upon the land. To portray the spirit of these special and endangered wildlife populations, landscapes, and traditional cultures, Steve uses his sharply honed photography, writing, interpersonal, and wilderness travel skills, journeying deep into remote regions, returning from each expedition with photographs and stories that can only be crafted in our planet’s last truly wild and historic landscapes.
Able to undertake the most demanding wilderness assignment, Stephen is a trained Wilderness EMT, a former Registered Maine Guide, and a long-time Outward Bound Wilderness Instructor.
In the summer and fall of 2015 Stephen was the co-leader of a self-supported 350-mile canoe expedition in arctic Alaska photographing for an upcoming exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. (Encountering 23 grizzly bears along the way!)
In the summer of 2016, Stephen co-led another expedition on Canada's Missinaibi River for the upcoming Smithsonian Institution exhibit Visions of the Boreal Forest. This expedition combining art, exploration, and discovery travelled a major free-flowing river across the world's largest and most intact wilderness ecosystem through the taiga to James Bay.
Stephen's powerful connection to his subject matter results in the most evocative images. According to The Washington Times "the result is always the same: a masterful, some might even say seductive, introduction to his chosen destination."
Bestselling novelist and nature writer Rick Bass says "Steve Gorman's photographs come as close as is possible, other than actually being in the woods, to giving us glimpses, tastes, odors, sounds, and touches of the spirit and being of these places."
Bestselling author Dan Brown says, "Steve Gorman's masterful images offer tantalizing clues into the nature of our national character and our capricious relationship to the natural world. His work deftly inscribes our beliefs, our dreams, and our American story in an accessible and eye opening way."
America's preeminent science writer David Quammen says "Stephen Gorman's American Wilderness is a collection of vividly particular locales in which history itself adds to the meaning, the genius loci, and the charm."
Audubon Magazine editor-in-chief Lisa Gosselin agrees, saying, "Stephen Gorman is an explorer who delves into the natural and social histories of the lands he visits, uncovering the soul of wilderness that drew our first pioneers and reinforcing the ethic of conservation that has kept America wild."
Stephen is the author and photographer of many books, including The American Wilderness: Journeys into Distant and Historic Landscapes; Thoreau's New England; Wild New England; Northeastern Wilds - Journeys of Discovery in the Northern Forest, which was a finalist for the IPPY Award in 2003; and Arctic Visions - Encounters at the Top of the World, which was commissioned by the Inuit of Nunavik and which won the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award. Stephen has been featured on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) and NBC, and he and has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio (NPR) programs about both his books and humans and the environment.
Stephen has written and photographed several other books on traditional wilderness survival skills, including The Winter Camping Handbook, originally published as Winter Camping - Wilderness Travel and Adventure in the Cold Weather Months, which has sold tens of thousands of copies and is currently in its fourth edition.
Throughout his career Stephen has worked on cultural and environmental assignments for leading periodicals and organizations such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, Sierra, Audubon, Outside, Backpacker, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Washington Times Magazine, Ski, Skiing, Powder, Wildlife Conservation, Yankee, The Boston Phoenix, Down East, Canoe & Kayak, and The Boston Herald Magazine. He has served as a member of the editorial boards of Appalachia and AMC Outdoors, and he has been a Contributing Editor and a Field Editor for both Sports Afield Magazine and Summit Magazine, which also featured his monthly column Mountaincraft. He has provided photography for a wide range of organizations and companies such as The Wilderness Society, The Earthwatch Institute, The Natural Resources Defense Council, Eastern Mountain Sports, The Mad River Canoe Company, Sierra Designs, and Patagonia.
Steve lives in Vermont with his wife Mary and their dog Josie, where he is an avid downhill, backcountry, and cross country skier, a long distance trail runner, a road cyclist, a whitewater kayaker and expedition canoeist, and a competitive ice hockey player.