Colby decided to become a guide while through-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2000. Since then, he has led hundreds of expeditions across the globe, including wildlife safaris, photography expeditions, backpacking trips, and sailing and kayaking voyages. While Colby has a special affinity for mountain and polar realms, he has guided trips in destinations as diverse as Churchill, Yosemite, Antarctica, Patagonia, Yellowstone, Namibia and the Everglades. Colby is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Polar Tourism Guides Association and is a certified Senior Polar Guide. He is also a brand ambassador for Deuter backpacks, has been featured on National Geographic Weekend Radio, and has worked on- and off-camera for various travel-related television productions.
Colby has long held a passion for photography, dating back to his days in the darkroom while attending high school and university. Today, he is a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Certified Photography Instructor and loves helping others capture the special moments that define nature expeditions. As an adventure travel photographer, Colby likes to spend most of his time with the camera down. He finds that in order to make compelling images, it pays to be present in the moment. Colby wants a photograph to remind him of a moment that was special for him on a personal level, not simply to be the one of hundreds of snapshots that happened to be better than the rest. By putting his camera down and prioritizing situational awareness, Colby is able to more fully enjoy the trip experience, anticipate interesting wildlife behaviors, notice the changing quality of light, and identify the best photography positions to work from. His preference for prioritizing immersive travel experiences over constant use of his camera translates to a body of work with a more intimate feel, an element he values and believes sets his work apart. His images have been published in the Nat Hab catalog and many other outlets.
Colby is a firm believer that "less is more" when it comes to adventure photography, so he typically brings no more than three lenses when he travels to ensure he stays nimble. View Colby's latest photography portfolio additions on Instagram at @colbyoutdoors.
When he isn't guiding, Colby lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he spends his time rock climbing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, backpacking and birdwatching.
Enjoy this selection of Colby's nature photography:
What’s in Colby's Camera Bag:
Lowepro Whistler 450
Nikon D750 body
Nikkor 20mm f/1.8
Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Micro (for select departures)
Nikkor 80-400mm f/3.5-5.6
Manfrotto carbon-fiber tripod with horizontal column and ball head
Hoya 77mm Circular Polarizer
Post-Processing Software Expertise
Adobe Camera Raw
Upcoming Adventures with Colby:
Praise from Nat Hab Travelers:
"Colby is clearly in a league by himself. We have shared time with literally hundreds of guides all over the world, but this young man is a model all others should aspire to. His communication skills are incredibly polished and effective. His sense of timing, knowing when and how to pose a thought-provoking question, and use of humor are surpassed only by his subject matter knowledge which is amazingly deep and wide. His guiding is unsurpassed—what a joy it has been to know the Churchill region through his trained eyes and what a pleasure it was to have these days with him. We know Churchill in a way few outsiders could every know it, all thanks to Colby."
"We could not have asked for a better guide. Colby was extremely knowledgeable and very well organized, but more than that, he was very thoughtful and sensitive. We all enjoyed one another, but Colby definitely set the tone. He is an exceptional young man, and we all felt safe and comfortable with him and fully trusted his judgment. The trip was outstanding, thanks to Colby."
"We cannot even begin to list how fantastic Colby was as our Expedition Leader. His knowledge and passion for the wildlife, plants, geology and history of the area
"Colby was EXCELLENT. Actually, there are not enough superlatives to describe his knowledge, personality, caring nature and helpfulness. He is THE BEST and a true asset to your organization."
"The way the trip was handled by Colby and Kurt made me feel a part of the wolf watching community. Kudos to them both for a job well done. The photography help was tailored to each individual and was useful and interesting."
"I'm extremely impressed with Colby as an Expedition Leader. His knowledge base is extensive and his presentation skills are exceptional. He was very friendly and approachable and made everyone feel part of the group, making sure each person received the most out of their tour."
"Colby was outstanding—incredibly knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. He made the trip so fun and was great at spotting wildlife!"
"Colby is one of the most knowledgeable and professional guides we have had on a trip (we have been to over 150 countries). His knowledge of the bears assisted us greatly in locating them and having them walk by the Tundra Buggy. Colby was an excellent guide who can position you to maximize bear viewing."