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Bill spends most of his time advocating on behalf of black bears.  As a black bear expert he has been presenting bear education programs for nearly 20 years, has appeared on National Public Radio, has written a monthly bear column for a Minnesota newspaper (The Timberjay) and has been featured on Dateline NBC, Midwest Outdoors, Rock the Park, the Animal Planet channel, and a variety of television programs.  In an attempt to share what he has learned about bears, Bill post’s a daily photo and message about black bears on his Facebook Page at:

When asked what he would like most to achieve through his photography, Bill replies, “I hope my images will promote a better understanding and appreciation for black bears, the natural world, and most of all, our Creator.” 

Bill Lea 

Capturing intimate images of wildlife, scenery, wildflowers, and a variety of other natural subjects in “just the right light” has long been the trademark of Bill’s photography.  He may best be known for his artistic documentation of black bear behavior, the various moods of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Florida Everglades, and southern ecosystems. 

Photographing in the Smokies since 1975 has afforded this photographer limitless opportunities to observe and record the flora, fauna, and scenery of the region.  More than 7,000 of Bill’s photos have been published.   His three front covers in a row was a first in Field & Stream’s more than 100-year history.  He has been leading photo tours and workshops since 1992.  Bill authored a coffee-table book titled "Great Smoky Mountains Wildlife". 

Portfolio and co-authored Great Smoky Mountains Wonder & Light and The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography.  His most popular book, Cades Cove – Window to a Secret World is in its fourth printing.  Bill spent six years photographing, researching, writing and designing his latest book titled The Everglades – Where Wonders Only Whisper.