Photographer Steve Simonsen creator of the award-winning coffee table book “Living Art, St. John” and regular contributor to Caribbean Travel & Life, Scuba Diving and Sport Diver magazine, has built a career out of being an underwater, nature and travel photographer. Born in Michigan in 1959 and schooled in Boulder, Colorado, Steve is a self-taught photographer and publisher.
Steve has been so fortunate to carve his niche in nature, travel and fine art photography by residing in the Virgin Islands, crafting a style that showcases the spectacle of nature in the Caribbean. Steve is well on his way to visiting and photographing all of the islands in the Caribbean, with a life-long ambition of becoming a cinematographer. Steve is beginning his ninth year of teaching photography and video production classes at The Gift Hill School here on St. John. Steve, his wife Janet and son Jesse have lived on St. John for the past 20 years and are proud to call the island home.
Steve completed his first documentary December 2006 in collaboration with Bruce Schoonover, The Establishment of the Virgin Islands National Park. An investigation that reveals a fascinating story of a legendary West Indian leader, a gifted artist, and a visionary philanthropist who came together for one common purpose; to preserve and protect the unparalleled beauty of the island of St. John and its people for generations to come. This DVD is available for sale at the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park Store.
Steve is currently working on two projects. A documentary on the historic Tektite underwater habitat that took place in Lameshur Bay, St. John during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the first scientists-inthe- sea program sponsored nationally. The project was an effort to link oceanic and space exploration, aptly named after space borne matter that falls into the sea. This documentary is another collaboration with Bruce Schoonover.
Currently, Steve has completed filming the second part of a documentary on the Leatherback Turtles at Sandy Point Wildlife Refuge in St. Croix which is due to be released in 2011. This began as a collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and it involves the work of the West Indies Marine Animal Research and Conservation Service. These two organizations work together to protect, recover and sustain the threatened and endangered Leatherback Turtles in the West Indies.