Simon Bell, Executive Director
Since being given a hand-me-down Box Brownie camera at the age of six, photography has been a thread through Simon’s life that links the many artistic, commercial, and now educational endeavors that he’s been involved with.
After studying at York University, Simon worked as a studio photographer before starting his own audio-visual business in Toronto, creating corporate presentations for over twenty years.
At the same time he was pursuing his passion for nature photography and developing new skills in stereoscopy, the art and science of 3D photography. These two interests came together in a series of children’s nature books, featuring his 3D photos of wildlife, published by Penguin/Ladybird Books and Somerville House Books. The series was very successful, selling over 150, 000 copies in six different countries.
Simon is well known in Guelph as the former publisher, photographer and salesman for SNAP Guelph, the newspaper he co-founded in 2005. He continues to lecture on stereo photography and exhibit his photographic work around the province. He has been a volunteer instructor with Focus On Nature since 2011 and as Executive Director hopes to continue inspiring young photographers to get out and explore their local environment with their cameras.
As owner of Flo Studios and Trina Koster Photography, Trina loves teaching photography to people of all ages, and gets great joy from seeing people connect with their creativity. She’s very excited to be part of a program that uses photography to nurture connections to creativity and to the natural world.
Trina continues her involvement with Focus on Nature as a Board Member, and Facilitator of Training for our Program Volunteers and Lead Instructors.
As a social worker with a background in community development, Shirley loves working on collaborative community projects, particularly if they create opportunities for people from all walks of life to engage in arts education, or nature experiences. She’s always appreciated how photography inspires a new way of seeing, helping people to slow down and focus on the beauty of things they might normally pass by. Understanding this power of photography to motivate people to get outside,and rediscover nature inspired her to create Focus on Nature with Trina in 2008.
Shirley maintains an active involvement in Focus on Nature as a Board Member, Chair of the Board’s Program Committee, volunteer instructor, and consultant for grant writing and volunteer training. She looks forward to working with Simon and the Board as Focus on Nature grows and evolves in exciting, new directions.