About Us
                               Chris is a “do-it-all” and his list of interests is long. Along with being
                               a Fire Captain as well as Naturalist specializing in the fauna of North
                               America, he enjoys motorcycle riding, SCUBA diving,
                               and bird-watching among other things. With over 30
                               years of experience as a photographer, he has studied
                               zoology and ecology just as long, where he specializes
                               in the knowledge of whales and dolphins, sharks, birds,
                               and snakes. He has spent more than 25 years working
                               in many aspects of the fire/rescue business, from 9-1-1 dispatching to
                               Sheriffs SAR to the fire department and with a specialty in water and
                               rope rescue, he naturally enjoys taking a jetski out on the ocean (even
during rough seas) and whitewater rafting, where I am personally thankful for his
ability to rescue people overboard!

                               Chris began his artwork at a very young age. Being
                               mostly interested in marine life and military and
                               rescue vehicles, Chris used mostly pen and pencil
                               with occasional water color as he became older.

                     While wearing his fire boots to 1st grade class every day,
                     he became intently interested in whales and sharks and
                     began to actively study them. On his tenth birthday, Chris’ grandmother
                     took him on a bird watching field trip. At the time he had no interest in
                     birds, but after spending about 45 minutes that day trying to identify an
unusual bird, Chris was hooked. The bright red and yellow bill of the Common
Moorehen caught Chris’ eye, thus began a lifelong love affair with nature and all things
bird. A few years later, Chris’ dad gave him a Canon AE-1 and 3 or 4 lenses that were
collecting dust. Chris went out and photographed everything he could, from air shows
to birds. While most kids in school were reading such things as the Jungle Book, Chris
was instead stealing the teacher’s edition to Marine Biology and reading them in his
spare time. He became so knowledgeable about whales, sharks, and birds that by his
high school years he was correcting his science and biology teachers with new and
updated findings. One of his teachers even had him teach the portion on sharks as he
knew more than the teacher did. The ‘80’s found him attending the second program
offered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for becoming a Volunteer Guide where he
enjoyed interpreting exhibits to the visitors for the next few years. During this time he
was active in environmental causes, playing a tremendous part in the fight against
offshore oil drilling along the California Coast among other critical issues.

Just after graduating high school, Chris’ endeavor to become a Marine Biologist was
halted after UC Santa Cruz lost their permit to house dolphins, eliminating his main
reason for pursuing that college. With 300 rolls of shot, but undeveloped film sitting
                             around due to lack of funds, Chris was suddenly without a life’s
                             direction. He essentially gave up on both photography and the
                             immediate goal of becoming a Marine Biologist. Several months later,
                             while living with his grandparents in their Carmel Highlands home,
                             the Fire Department stopped by to do an inspection and asked if Chris
                             was interested in becoming a volunteer. Chris decided to sit in on a
                             training night and was immediately hooked and wasted no time in
                             becoming a volunteer firefighter. Over the next few years, it had
                             become clear that being a Firefighter was a natural career for Chris
                             and he transitioned to a permanent position where he now works as a
                             Fire Captain for California State.

Chris bought his first digital camera in the late 90’s.  It didn’t get a lot of use.  It wasn't
until 3-4 years later did Chris’s interest in photography become rekindled and he began
to upgrade his equipment. But it was in 2003 when Chris and I met that he truly began
to cultivate this interest. It was that year he captured our trademark Great White Shark
image during his life dream trip to Guadalupe Island. Within our first year together, we
had discovered the world of digital photography and invested in digital SLR’s. Chris
found himself picking up where he had left off years before.
                                   Chris was again inspired and would not be without his camera,
                                   either at work or on adventures. Chris enjoys researching the
                                   digital photography world and staying up-to-date on the
                                   technology. He chose carefully which equipment would
                                   become a part of our collection. Soon after he discovered how
                                   digital effects can be manipulated by software, he progressed
                                   from cutting out the heads of people and pasting them on other
                                   people and animals to now mastering how to make our
                                   photography unique.

Chris' life has become a full circle, with his career in the fire service
helping fund his photographic adventures, which in turn has inspired
his renewed interest in preserving the environmental world. Along
with being Vice President of Monterey Audubon, he uses his images
and video talents in many ways to help spread the word of
conservation and has been actively involved in efforts to save the
Rhinos, stop shark finning, and stopping the Serengeti Highway
among many other subjects. In addition, his desire to help other
unique and gifted artists is strong, and it can be seen often by his
sharing their work among his growing network. Chris lives by very genuine ethics and
his honesty and integrity are unwavered and it can be seen in all his work.
                                                                                                     -Ame M. Wells-Hartzell
About Chris
(Click on any image to enlarge)
Want to see more of our pictures? See our
Personal Photo Album
Follow us on Facebook
About Ame
                        Ame (said Amy) was born in Redlands California, but soon moved to
                        Monterey where as a little girl she spent much of her time
                        reading and exploring the Marine Biology found on the
                        shores and tide pools of the Monterey Bay. After serving
                        in the US Navy as a Corpsman, Ame returned to the
                        Peninsula to pursue Nursing in her community where she
                        works as a Nurse and instructor in different fields. She
                        enjoys SCUBA diving and riding motorcycles and can
                        often be found alongside me in the field with her camera.

As a young girl, Ame spent her time playing her clarinet, singing in the choir, and
winning county awards for her creative writing while always dreaming of travelling
throughout the world. At 15 Ame became interested in the medical field after working in
a doctor’s office and by 16, Ame took a giant step in this direction by joining the Navy
and becoming a Navy Corpsman. She was active in her military
career going from field medical training school with the Marines at
Camp Pendleton to being a critical care Corpsman at the Naval
Medical Center San Diego. After 3 years Ame came home to practice
nursing in her home community where a few years later she and I
met. With a BA in Social Work, Masters in Nursing Education,
certifications as a Multiple Sclerosis Nurse Specialist, Lactation
Counselor, and Massage Therapist, Ame continues to use a variety
of experiences and skills by practicing as a pediatric nurse for the
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, a local Massage
Instructor specializing in anatomy and physiology, and continues to be very passionate
about health education. In 2005, she used her skills and travelled to Thailand to help the
children who suffered from the Tsunami. She helped as part of a team to rebuild a
village, treat victims, and prepare an orphanage and played a positive role in affecting
the lives of dozens of children.

                                  Ame has used the opportunity of my instruction and experience to
                                  help her pursue fulfilling many of her dreams. She learned to ride a
                                  motorcycle and now enjoys it as a hobby. In 2006 she was certified
                                  as a SCUBA diver and has actively explored the undersea world. I
                                  (unintentionally) hooked her on
bird-watching and helped her pursue an interest in
photography. Ame’s greatest lifelong dream came true in
2007 when she successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro
in Africa. The event was further enhanced with our
marriage on the summit at 19,340 feet.

Ame’s photographic interests range from landscapes to wildlife to nature settings and
she enjoys both color and black-and- white. Unlike me, she has no real focus when
                                        we go out, but rather lets the energy of her surroundings
                                        inspire her. She may be amongst beautiful birds, but only
                                        be inspired by the flowers that day. Her inspiration can be
                                        random as it is driven by her creativity and imagination
                                        and her eye catches unique shots that translate into a
                                        broad diversity of subjects found in her pictures.
Now we enjoy traveling together both local and afar, as a husband and wife team taking
colorful and creative story-telling pictures, creating educational and informative travel
movies, pass on our travel and photographic knowledge through lessons and tours,
promoting the conservation of our environment, and turn some of our pictures into
PhotoStrokes...unique one of a kind artwork.
(At a Glance)
(More about Chris)
(At a Glance)
(More about Ame)