About Our Team
This is where you get to know our founders and all of our incredibly helpful moderators, writers, and other contributors. We would be nothing without all of the hard work and contributions of each and every one of these people.
So spend a little time getting to know our team members and visit their personal web sites and social media pages. You can get to know quite a bit about a person by what he or she posts online.
WAyne Moran - Co-founder - Admin
As a Minnesota-based photographer and artist, Wayne focuses his skills and energies on landscapes, cityscapes, architectural, nature, and portrait photography.
His best work comes from images first painted in his mind. He mulls over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture, he takes action. The result is images that deeply touch a person’s emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams.
His images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary. The images are used to communicate their shared vision and values. Book, magazine, and calendar publishers have featured his images in their publications and on their covers. His photographs also grace and enhance the décor of many fine homes.
All of these images and many more are available for purchase at the Online Store. There are frequent deals and discounts there. These prints are prefect for home and office decoration and for gifts. Online Store
Contact him if you have any questions or want to license any of his images. Contact Now
Michael dockham - Admin
Michael is a Minnesota-based photographer who loves to capture the world in various poses during life's experiences. His passion is to share those captured images as a way to give back to those around him. Michael works as an Enterprise Architect at Thrivent Financial. He has enjoyed photography since his early days and purchased his first book on photography when he was eight years old as he dreamed of becoming a National Geographic photographers and adventuring around the world. Michael loves travel photography, backpacking / hiking and all around hanging out.
Contact him if you have any questions or want to license any of his images.
Marlen Sibum - Admin
Travel addict, passionate singer on a semi-professional level, passionate author, NGO member for human rights and nature reserve and recently freelance art director with a passion for design of all kinds. I like to immerse myself in foreign cultures, people and their motivations based on their cultural roots to understand and to learn ... to make the world smaller and more tangible for me … and for others.
I like to show this in my photos and their little background stories - whether history, people or nature. The main thing is that the world opens up a bit better day by day. As an art director in advertising, traveling is a strong source of inspiration for me, helping me to look at things from different angles and to dare to think differently.
I also like to share it with like-minded people and am grateful for any exchange of ideas.
Traci Passero - Moderator
Capturing beauty in the rhythms of nature, travel and flamenco
Traci’s thoughtful, artful images mirror her exploratory personality and honor her Mediterranean heritage. From local dance studio to global destination, she is eager to share the beauty she discovers in the everyday – and in the far-and-away. A keen eye for style always shines through in her photography, each shot telling a story and exuding the rich colors of the cultures that so deeply inspire her.
Her fondness of travel, nature, music and dance first blossomed when Traci was a toddler. The family didn’t stay in one place very long. “We led a bit of a gypsy lifestyle,” she says. Summers were spent exploring the Adirondacks. She studied Argentine tango around the time she learned to walk in high heels. One of her first jobs as a grownup was an international flight attendant. The stint was brief but the wanderlust it launched has never landed.
Turns out those early adventures would also ignite an everlasting passion for flamenco – the spirited, Spanish musical style based on folkloric traditions. Traci has danced in several flamenco shows in the Bay Area and has traveled to Spain and other countries to immerse in dance studies, culture and language.
Traci has choreographed a career that aligns with her passions. She earned a degree in fashion design and marketing and works as a creative marketer in the beauty and fashion industry. “My creative background in design, music and dance is tied to the colors, the rhythm, and the movement in nature. This has been a theme throughout my life.”
Karla Chavez - Moderator
Karla is a Calgary based adventure and travel addict. At a young age her family moved from El Salvador to Canada and she remembers clearly seeing snow for the first time, wide eyed and filled with excitement. There the seeds for exploring the world were born. She has traveled to 23 countries and photographing new places only serves to fuel her wanderlust.
She focuses her energy on her new love of photography, art, writing and exploring the Rocky Mountains.
Betsy Armour - moderator
Betsy is the photographer's daughter. She grew up in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, with her mom, working in her in-home studio. Betsy will never forget the way her mom's Hassleblad sounded when she would hit the shutter and wind the film. Betsy’s dad also loves photography; he is more the journalistic-hobby type. It’s apparent that Betsy picked up the shutterbug from her parents.
Betsy received a B.S. in mass communications concentrating in public relations at Minnesota State University Moorhead. During her college years, she took film photography as an elective with a very well-known, local photographer. She believes that this is when her interest in photography truly was piqued and when she fully started to enjoy film photography and developing.
When Betsy started her career in various marketing, communications and public relations roles, she received numerous projects that required digital photography. She was fortunate to work at an engineering firm in Fargo, North Dakota, that required architectural photographs for its marketing and proposals. This is where Betsy quickly learned digital photography and easily transitioned from film photography to digital. She no longer works with film photography; now digital is the love of her life.
She currently owns Betsy Armour Images, LLC, and Betsy also does business as Betsy Bee Photography, a small studio at her home in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she mainly photographs newborns and children. She is also quite busy photographing on location for families, maternity, seniors and weddings. When she’s not working in the studio, she is busy exploring her own "backyard." Betsy’s family and she take a number of day trips to different picturesque locations in the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Most of her personal work reflects the beauty of nature and agriculture in these regions.
Abby Shepard - Moderator
Abby is a Delaware-based outdoor enthusiast, photographer, and adventure-seeker. She works in the marketing department for Delaware State Parks, and is passionate about connecting people with the outdoors. Abby is also a wedding photographer specializing in intimate weddings for those who love adventure. Traveling is a slight obsession, and she's visited 24 countries and counting. Most days you'll find her by the ocean with a camera, tie-dye shirt, and an ice cream cone. She believes that horseshoe crab spawning season is the best time of the year.
Ashwani Kumar - Moderator
This is Ashwani Kumar from INDIA. As a College Student on his final Semester. His interest regarding, in Chemistry stream is more fun. Organically, he tries to find the formula for his Success. He actually tries to focus-in on his working portion to achieve success through MBA course.
He love's to inspire and support and creates positivity around the environment. He believes that through self-talk one can generate more positivity & innovative ideas to live a Happy Life. As a simple all-rounder based photographer he never leaves the opportunity of capturing the beauty of this World. Loves to explore, in terms of Architecture & Nature's photography whenever he has the opportunity of traveling. Self-control, Patience and discipline are the three qualities that he always wanted to follow for his Success. His main intention is to focus on his work, what's in-front of him!
Ashwin's interests regarding in Cricket is much more indeed fun. He also loves to listen the Music as well which is a great stress buster for him. He hopes to add many more interesting features through capturing the beauty of this world in the near Future!
Kristi Takens - moderator
Kristi is a professional school counselor located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who enjoys photography as a way to capture moments in time. She loves traveling, adventuring, and photographing beaches, concerts, football, wild animals, and the beauty of nature.
Kristi’s images have been used in the Pure Michigan social media campaign, companies, and a variety of websites.
She received a B.S. in Technical Education from Ferris State University and a M.A. in Counseling Education from Western Michigan University. She has taken some courses in photography and has attended workshops.
Molly Cross - ModErator
Molly is a freelance photographer based in northern Colorado. She enjoys being out in the mountains in Gods creation capturing landscape and nature photography. Mom always said "Go play outside" and it has always stuck with her.
Molly's love and growing passion of photography began in her teenager years with her point-n-shoot, iPod and an app that launched called Instagram. Little did she know that it would change her life. During her senior year of high school came and the life changing time that it was, God directed Molly and planted a seed in her to pursue photography.
Her ultimate dream is to travel and take pictures. She traveled internationally for the first time to Israel fall of 2015. That trip changed her life and opened Molly's eyes and gave her the desire to see much more. Her next adventure was a solo trip to Canada during fall of 2016. She hopes to add many more adventures in the near future.
Molly is eager and ready for growth and opportunities to travel and shoot! Come along with me and "Focus In With Molly."
Website: Coming Soon
Michele Smorgon - Moderator
Michele is a Social Business Communications Strategist
One of Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women Power Influencers and Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.
A Professional Marketer with an MBA, MIB, M’Health
With 15+ years experience helping entrepreneurs, small business leaders and not-for-profits meet business goals and objectives.
A passionate marketing, social media, brand and Internet enthusiast with expertise in developing and executing comprehensive marketing, business and social media strategies that deliver results, drive revenue and positive ROI.
If you want to hire Michele for speaking or training events or are looking for digital, brand or professional marketing services, please visit her website, complete the contact form so she can better understand your needs and how she can help your organization meet your business and marketing goals.
Hannah VelDkamp - Writer/Editor
As a college student on her final semester, Hannah is pursuing a career in producing passionate pieces of written work. Her areas of interest are professional writing and Spanish, both of which are her majors. She has a keen, intelligent eye for grammar and syntax and loves to string words together with clarity, creativity, and conciseness.
During her college years, Hannah studied abroad in Seville, Spain where she traveled a bit, immersed herself in the Spanish culture, and refined her Spanish language acquisition. Studying abroad changed her perspective and ignited a spark for more adventure and more cultural experiences.
Hannah aspires to have a career where she can incorporate her love for writing and the Spanish language. Her areas of skill are in editing and proofreading, grant writing, public relations writing, marketing, producing creative content, and technical writing.
Writers - Contributors
Talor Stone - traveler/writer
As a graduate student at American University’s School of International Service, Talor uses her travel experiences to compliment her academic research. Her research primarily focuses on U.S. foreign policy impacts on Latin American society. Her largest upcoming project is in 2020, driving the Pan American Highway from Mexico to Argentina in support of her PhD research.
Talor enjoys traveling like a local and is always accompanied by her husband Billy who is her partner in every adventure. Their most recent adventures include Cuba, Iceland, and Peru, and they will be traveling in Switzerland in Spring 2017.
Talor’s personal experiences abroad strongly influence her research, and her academic focus brings unique historical and cultural insights to her writing. She hopes to continue to conduct research in the field allowing her travel to enhance her contributions to the field of International Studies.
Tara Smith - Traveler/writer
An avid traveler and risk taker, Tara shares her incredible journeys around the world through her blogs. Her interest and passion for traveling started when her family got involved in mission work through YWAM. Every since then, she’s been following God’s call through the peaks, valleys, and curves of this life.
Tara grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout with a degree in vocational rehabilitation. Not being able to shake the travel bug, Tara worked as a tour guide for Holiday Vacations tour company out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Julie Oliver - traveler/writer
Julie is the owner and photographer of Julie Oliver Photography.
Her style is that of a storyteller capturing authentic moments and details in the lives of people at all ages: casual gatherings and parties, musicians, models, nature, and athletes from runners to hockey players.
Julie obtained a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She was a Vice President with Mayo Health System with senior leadership responsibilities in Strategic Planning, Organizational Learning, Human Resources and Philanthropy.
Photography was a significant career change that she embraces with energy and joy every day. Her work has been featured in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mall of America, conference rooms and marketing materials for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Julie lives in North Oaks, Minnesota. She enjoys travel, hiking, swimming, and her role as a Minnstameets ambassador, coordinating and hosting events for photographers at local venues such as the Minnesota Orchestra Hall and Walker Art Center.