twilight snow capped mountain with pine trees reflecting off a lake

Igniting a Passion for Photography

Updated August 5, 2018 . AmFam Team

Scott Pudwell became hooked on nature photography after witnessing the incredible photos captured by a biologist. Learn more about how he continues to be inspired as a nature photographer.

When Scott Pudwell isn’t busy protecting dreams as an American Family Insurance agent in Hartford, Wisconsin, he can be found somewhere off the beaten path capturing the beauty of the great outdoors with his trusty camera.

It all started in 2005 when he lived in the Pacific Northwest. During his first week, he took a tour to see the Killer Whale pods not far from the Seattle shore. The biologist on the boat was capturing photos with an impressive camera that had a big lens. The second Scott saw the incredible whale photos taken with that professional camera, he was hooked. From that day on he’s had his own camera to capture those splendid moments in nature.

The things he’s seen continue to ignite his passion for photography, “I’m amazed at what a camera can catch in just one moment in nature: a lightning bolt in the sky, a glacier calving in the ocean, a magnificent sunrise. Seeing the things I’ve seen ignites my passion to see even more and capture some of it for the rest of the world to see. I’ve been lucky enough to have my photos featured in National Park Service calendars, postcards and a variety of other publications.”

Some of Scott’s best work has happened when he’s been waist-deep in snow in Yosemite Valley, in the middle of a tornadic thunderstorm in the Great Plains, or hiking his way to a tranquil lake in the middle of nowhere. He’s even gone face-to-face with a bear, twice, and is still here to tell the story.

“I often get asked, ‘How do you do all this? How have you seen all of these places?’ I simply respond that I just choose to do it. You only get one shot at life, and I want to experience as much as I can.”

His most recent adventure took him to a rustic camp in Lake Clark National Park in Alaska to photograph the coastal brown bears. Let’s hope he didn’t come face-to-face for a third time. But if he did, you can bet he took some amazing pictures!

To see more of Scott’s work visit his Instagram profile (Opens in a new tab) or his website (Opens in a new tab).

Related Articles

  • D_WomensSmallBiz
    Tips for Women Business Owners — By Women Business Owners

    Are you a woman business owner looking for some inspiration, advice and support from like-minded women? We’ve got you! We interviewed five fierce American Family Insurance agency owners who are dominating their dream.

    Keep in mind, these women didn’t jump into a sea of success right away — it took hard work, determination and a fearless dreamer mindset to get where they are today. And guess what? Just like you, they’re working passionately every day to continue growing, learning and finding ways to stay motivated to reach their bottom line.

    From rationalizing fears and overcoming challenges to staying motivated and having work-life balance, these five women business owners have some advice for you — take a look!

    Never Let Anything Get in Your Way

    If you’ve ever used inexperience as an excuse to not go after a dream, you might have a change of heart after hearing Leticia Guzman’s story, an agency owner who says her career started because of her naivety.

  • IT professional volunteering using keyboard
    IT professional volunteering using keyboard
    How to Volunteer Your IT Skills

    If you’ve got a knack for IT and are seeking to use your personal and professional skills and talents to serve others, consider online IT skills-based volunteering — it’s an opportunity to work with a cause you’re passionate about, while using your best skills.

    Take it from Todd Micholic, an American Family Insurance IT career management advisor and longtime volunteer. Todd shared his experience with skills-based volunteering and how he’s been able to leverage his tech savvy IT skills to help others. Here’s what you need to know about online IT skills-based volunteering and how to get involved.