Debbie travels the globe to bear witness to and record the strength, fragility, beauty, and rhythm of wildlife and nature. A Colorado-based winter wildlife and nature fine art photographer and budding conservationist, McCulliss journeys to learn about the history, environmental threats, and conservation efforts of the places that she visits. She believes that showcasing her work and writing for publication helps to increase the public’s awareness of ongoing needs: respect for nature and protection of wildlife, the marine environment, and endangered species.
McCulliss holds master’s degrees in nursing, science-medical writing, and non-fiction writing. She is also a certified applied poetry facilitator.
A few years back, on most weekend evenings, she was taking photos of what became much-anticipated sunsets in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She noticed two bald eagles perched on a pinion tree about 1500 feet away from her house and remembers the first day that she saw and tried to capture the eagles flying off of that pinion tree. McCulliss made it her goal to capture a sharp image of the eagles’ amazing eyes. Her passion for wildlife photography grew from this singular challenge.
Along with photographing and doing schoolwork each day, she started to read about animal behavior and migration, not only for the eagles, but for other animals, such as elk and hawks. Like the eagles, the animals were drawing her further and further into their world. The more she learned, the bigger her photographic world became.
Fearless, she started driving on mountain passes she had never explored before on the lookout for possibilities and unique perspectives and feeling more alive than she had in years. She also sought out different environments, such as Montana and Alaska, where she could observe a variety of animals surviving in difficult conditions. With every change of season, she found inspiration in unexpected places.
McCulliss continues mastering her photographic skills and trying to capture “the shot.” Being in nature provides her the opportunity to observe and intimately connect with the world. While she treasures creating stories that teach and art that pleases the senses, she also believes her photographic expeditions speak to freedom of mind and imagination. Her goal is to create memorable art that inspires conversation, evokes action, or leaves a lasting impression.