MEET OUR TEAM
Seth Hamel - Owner, guide, instructor and explorer
Tenor Hamel - Best dog on planet
Seth moved to Utah from his home state of New Hampshire 12 years ago to pursue his two main passions in life, photography and rock climbing. Utah is world class for both. Over the years his love for this area has turned into a full on obsession. Like new love, but the honeymoon phase only gets stronger with time. Upon first arriving to Zion, Seth was working primarily as an adventure photographer shooting skiing, canyoneering and rock climbing. But through his time spent with visitors coming through the area, he found that his knowledge in regards to shooting landscape images in Zion was something that he wanted to share. Through Seth’s 8 years of guiding and teaching landscape photography full-time in Zion, it is the relationships with his guests, that is by far his favorite part of his career.
In Seth’s words:
“Photography for me is purely about enjoyment. I love the dynamic nature of the activity and I get many of the same sensations as I do through the outdoor adventure sports that I love. Excitement, calculation, personal satisfaction and experimenting with new ideas and approaches. All the while, I’m getting to enjoy and connect with something far greater than myself. Our lives are so short compared to this landscape. This place holds wisdom, and experience. It is a gift that we get to enjoy and learn from it. I’m grateful to the ends of the earth for having the opportunity to live and play in what is my favorite place on the planet. “
Katie Hope - Guide and instructor
Photography, for me, has always been about connecting with people in both familiar and new places. I started shooting seriously when I moved to Alaska after grad school. I worked in Denali National Park and had the great opportunity to learn photography in one the world's most beautiful parks. It was also there that I learned about the importance of preserving and respecting nature. Shooting in Alaska taught me about the wild that still exist. The wild that we came from. I want nothing more than for you to feel connected to the landscape we are in, and connected to the wild within.
Hunter Page - Guide and instructor
Hunter has a seeable love and presence for all natural places. Through photography he hopes to capture natural areas in their pristine state, to help protect them for all future generations, so they can experience it and to feel the deep connection with these areas as he does. Hunter uses photography as a self-expression art form. Showcasing feelings and emotions while felt in nature, captured and represented in the ending resulting image.
Connor Schmidt - Guide and instructor
Over the past decade, photography has grown from a mere hobby to a life-long passion for Connor. Born and raised in Colorado, the mountains are his home but the desert has his heart. Photography is a way for Connor to escape the monotony of day-to-day life and enjoy areas that have taken millions of years to form. Connor's hopes are for his photos to encourage and inspire others to get outside and more often and experience places that most don't even know exist. Through his work with Enlighten Photography Excursions, Connor aims to bring awareness of nature conservancy while teaching students techniques that they will carry on with them and apply to their own work in the future.
Christian Loya - Guide and instructor
Born and raised in California, Christian has always had a love for the great outdoors and exploring the world around him. Growing up, his family regularly engaged in a wide variety of outdoor activities and it was then that Christian first began to explore and connect with the outdoors through photography. This love for the outdoors eventually led Christian to become a Wildland Firefighter. It was during these eight years that he truly began to understand and appreciate these wild, untouched places and the need to protect and preserve them for future generations.
Adventure has always driven Christian but it was photography that allowed him the opportunity to share with others the experiences and places he treasures most. His love and passion for photography and the outdoors has led him to his dream job teaching others his passion. As an instructor at Enlighten, Christian wants to empower his students and give them the confidence to take full control of their camera and their photography.
Christian has a passion for engaging nature and the great outdoors by capturing fleeting moments through the lens of his camera. He invites you to come along, to explore and experience for yourself the photographic opportunities and adventures the southwest holds with him as your friend and guide.