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 and photographer for SNAP Guelph, the newspaper he co-founded in 2005. He has been a volunteer instructor with Focus On Nature since 2011 and as Executive Director he continues to inspire young photographers to get out and explore their local environment with their cameras.
Maya Ewert, Operations Manager
Maya has been connecting to nature since her childhood in the Pacific Northwest where she grew up exploring forests, mountains, and oceans. She has a love of all things outdoors and prefers to spend her days gardening, hiking, and bird watching.
She is an administration and operations professional with experience in tech, sales, and management. Maya’s academic background is in Peace & Conflict Studies and Disaster & Emergency Management. She loves volunteering for local organizations that focus on engaging and building community.
Trina Koster and Shirley Hunt, Co-Founders
Meet the ladies who started it all!
As owner of 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.
After serving for 6 years on the FON Board, Trina’s term was up but she continues to support Focus on Nature in endless ways!
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. Today Shirley is project director of Up and Running, a running program for women in Guelph.