African Safaris and Nature Photo Safaris in the American Southwest
Tucson, AZ | 520-444-9080 |
Tom Whetten - Photo Instructor

Tom Whetten – Photo Instructor

Being a native of Arizona makes me a rare and maybe endangered species. I grew up in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains with its legend of The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. My not-so-productive youth was spent chasing lizards, snakes, and other critters all over the state.  Additionally, I spent a great deal of time traveling the back country of the western US learning where and when to photograph nature and photograph wildlife.

I served in Law Enforcement for 32 years, retiring from the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2007.  Working for the Arizona Game & Fish Department gave me the opportunity to travel much of the back country in Arizona especially southeastern Arizona where I was stationed. Additionally I gained great knowledge of nature and wildlife including their habits and how to approach wildlife without them becoming alarmed.

I have been an avid nature photographer and wildlife photographer since 1985. I present photography workshops and lead photography tours for three nature and birding festivals in Arizona.

  • Wings Over Willcox (“WOW”) is a winter birding festival featuring migratory birds such as eagles and Sandhill cranes;
  • Southwest Wings is a summer birding festival highlighting neo-tropical migratory birds such as Elegant Trogons and Humming Birds;
  • Verde Valley Birding Festival “Birdy Verdy” is a spring festival highlighting neo-tropical migratory and local birds.

I am a member of several professional organizations including:

  1. North American Nature Photography Association “NANPA”
  2. Outdoor Writers of America Association “OWAA”
  3. Photographic Society of America “PSA”
  4. Arizona Game Ranger Association “AGRA”
  5. Fraternal Order of Police “FOP”
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