Joe and Mary Ann McDonald, Olympus Educators

Specialty: Birding, Wildlife, and Nature Workshops


Joe and Mary Ann are professional wildlife photographers living in McClure, Pennsylvania.

Joe and his wife Mary Ann lead photographic tours and safaris around the world. Joe has been a full-time professional wildlife photographer since 1983, and has authored 15 books on photography and wildlife. Mary has been photographing since 1989 and has authored 29 children’s books on natural history. Their work is represented by stock agencies worldwide. They lead photography safaris and trips an average of 25-30 weeks out of each year, traveling to Africa, South America, and India on a regular basis. They have photographed all seven of the world’s big cats in a single year four different times, and have the unofficial ‘world record’ for mountain gorilla treks in Rwanda, at 106 each, with more to come. Both Joe and Mary Ann have had the honor of naming a baby gorilla at Rwanda’s Kwitza Inza ceremony, the highest honor one can achieve in mountain gorilla conservation.

At home they teach an in-depth nature photography, flash, and video editing courses at their studio in Hoot Hollow.

“Travel is an important part of our life and the smaller size of the Olympus system has made this so much easier. We’re capturing images like never before as we’re no longer worried about how much weight we’re carrying as we sometimes follow our subjects for miles, and the Zuiko lenses are the sharpest I’ve ever used.”

Joe and Mary Ann have been keynote speakers at multiple nature photography events and regularly post how-to videos and articles on their website. Both have won top honors in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and as a photography team they have placed more frequently than any other husband/wife photography team. Joe is perhaps best known for his high speed flash work using camera triggers, capturing flying bats and owls and striking rattlesnakes. Joe and Mary Ann are Contributing Editors for Nature Photographer magazine and regularly write articles for Texas Photographer and other publications.


Website:  McDonald Wildlife Photography

Instagram:  @mcdonaldwildlife1