Michele Benoy-Westmorland

MICHELE BENOY-WESTMORLAND is a freelance photographer represented by Getty, Corbis, and other major agencies. She is a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and The Explorers Club. In 2001 she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the NANPA Fellows Award. She has won several awards, including the Environmental Photography Invitational, Photo District News, and the PNG Underwater Photo Competition. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Outdoor Photographer, Scuba Diving, and many other conservation, outdoor, and underwater magazines. She is currently directing her first documentary “Headhunt Revisited”, the story of Caroline Mytinger, an American portrait painter best known for her paintings of indigenous people in the South Seas during the late 1920s.

3 words to describe Nature?

Awakening, spiritual, renewing

3 things Nature taught you?

Humbleness, respect, patience

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea; Cape Nelson, Papua New Guinea; the mountains & forests of the Pacific Northwest

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

You now are asking the right person!  Peaceful, joyful and sometimes sadness in respect to the condition of our ocean environment

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

I feel much the same about the forests as I do the oceans.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe, amazement, admiration

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful, thankful, restful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Amazement, wonderment, sometime surprised with a touch of fear

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel?

Since I lived in Miami during Hurricane Andrew, howling winds always make me feel a little stressed and careful about being outdoors.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Spending time camping in beautiful forests with my family