Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen


As a young boy Paul Nicklen moved to Baffin Island with his family and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned a love of nature, the understanding of icy ecosystems, and the survival skills that have helped him become one of the most successful wildlife and nature photographers of our generation.


A passionate advocate for polar and marine biodiversity, Nicklen has spent most of his adult life working in the Arctic and Antarctica. As a photojournalist working in some of Earth’s most remote and extreme environments, he faces incredible hardships and personal danger in pursuit of intimate and powerful images of iconic wildlife. His unique style of storytelling blends the ethereal beauty of the icy realm and the mysteries of some of the most elusive polar creatures—both above and underwater—with some of the harsh realities facing these unique and important ecosystems.


Working as a photographer for National Geographic magazine, Nicklen has covered a variety of natural history and conservation issues, from the slaughter of narwhals to the environmental impact of salmon farming to the importance of sea ice and polar ecosystems. Despite the challenges, he travels constantly in search of meaningful stories that touch people’s emotions and help the public at large connect with some of our planet’s most threatened ecosystems.


Nicklen has published 20 stories for National Geographic. His book Polar Obsession is a pictorial celebration of the polar ecosystems where Nicklen has spent his life. His latest book is Bear: Spirit of the Wild. He has received more than 20 international awards, including 2010’s Nature: First Prize Story award from World Press Photo. More recently, he was named the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Highlights & Accomplishments
Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012, BBC Wildlife and Natural History Museum
BioGems Visionary Award for Arctic Photography
15 Prizes, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife
First Prize, Nature Stories, 2013 Photo Contest, World Press Photo
Follow Paul Nicklen:
Portrait of Paul Nicklen


Nicklen TED Talk


TED Talk
e much-feared leopard seal, photographer Paul Nicklen found an extraordinary new friend. Share his hilarious, passionate stories of the polar wonderlands, illustrated by glorious images of the animals who live on and under the ice.
Spirit of the Wild Video Poster


Capturing the Spirit Bear
Photographer Paul Nicklen tests his patience in an effort to capture the rare spirit bear — a potential key to saving a pristine corner of British Columbia.
Willingness to Fail Video Poster


Willingness to Fail
Paul Nicklen talks about the importance of being willing to fail. 

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