I am Bill Boothe the PhotoNaturalist, an experienced naturalist, lecturer, published wildlife photographer, and ecotourism provider in Florida. I hope that you leave this website with a better appreciation of the natural world after viewing some of my photos.
My wife Marcia and I have traveled extensively throughout Florida to capture these images. We now reside in the Florida Panhandle, an area where wildlife and wildflowers abound. Around every bend of the road, something new and fantastic beckons us to stop and take photographs of Florida’s rare and beautiful plant and animal species. Through the camera lens, we share our vision of the inner beauty of nature that surrounds each of us.
As a youngster, I was always collecting every creepy-crawly that I could lay my hands on, bringing them into the house, often without my mother’s knowledge. I studied these prized catches in detail with the aid of magnifying glasses and the few field guides that were available at that time. I still have many of the original Golden and Peterson guides that I used to delve into the natural world. At age twelve, I purchased with my allowance my first college biology textbook. And I knew I was hooked on nature.
As a college undergraduate, I majored in biology that stressed freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. At every opportunity, I went on excursions into the many terrestrial and freshwater habitats of South Carolina and Florida where I encountered all manner of fauna and flora. During the course of these forays, I was exposed to another habitat I had not previously encountered, the watery realm of the Atlantic Ocean.
As a graduate student, I unexpectedly jumped into the underwater world of coastal South Carolina, specializing in invertebrate physiology and taxonomy. I worked as a taxonomist for over three decades with federal, state, and private organizations including the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1986, I switched gears and began one of the most gratifying adventures of my life, the founding of Natural Encounters. Before ecotourism became popular, my environmental education and ecotourism business specialized in nature excursions, photography workshops, and environmental education classes on everything natural in Florida.
I have lived my second childhood ever since.
I have developed and taught a wide array of popular natural history classes that not only bring the natural world into the classroom, but also brings students into the natural world. Many of my classes were so popular that students from all parts of southwest Florida attended. During the same time period, I also led hundreds of trips to all parts of Florida from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys and the Everglades.
I have been a frequent speaker and trip leader for numerous environmental groups of Florida and Georgia including the Audubon Society, butterfly groups, statewide Native Plant Societies, and Rare Plant Task Forces. I am a Florida Master Naturalist Instructor and have been a keynote speaker for Master Gardener and FWC/NRCS joint programs.
My main purpose is to share my knowledge with those who want to learn more about the natural world. Through my natural history classes and wildlife photography workshops, I have inspired others to become better stewards of our natural world. As an active supporter of environmental causes, I have donated time and images to conservation organizations. I have been a member of the Florida Native Plant Society since its establishment in the early 1980s.
During my natural walkabouts, I became increasingly interested in nature photography and began pursuing a newfound vocation. I soon was photographing every plant and animal I encountered. I have traveled throughout Florida in search of wildflowers that may bloom only a few hours of the day or a few days of the year. Since 1990, I have documented over 1800 of Florida’s plant species. My wife Marcia and I have had the opportunity to travel to other natural areas in the southeast, Texas, New Mexico, and Indiana.
I currently focus my efforts in shooting images and presenting nature photo workshops, but I also present lectures on rare and native plants, butterfly gardening, and plant and animal interactions. I am a professional nature photographer noted for my images of all creatures and plants great and small, especially those that are rare and endangered. My photos have won numerous awards and have been published in nature-oriented books, magazines, and websites.