Newsletter Signup | Subscribe to Magazine

Julie Rogers: A good eye for photography

No matter where she travels, Julie is always eager to return to her home on Hilton Head Island.

The helicopter pilot took this photo. It’s one of the only pictures of myself that I like. It made me so happy to be in the middle of the ocean on an iceberg petting a baby harp seal.

Growing up in the Lowcountry made it easy for Julie Rogers to develop a passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. Going off to college to earn a degree in business and marketing interrupted her years near the sea but spawned another creative interest — photography. This interest later would become more than just a hobby.

A chance meeting in 1992 during a trip to Hawaii gave her the break she needed. Wyland, the world’s leading marine life artist, was about to embark on a tour of the East Coast, during which he would paint 17 of his massive “Whaling Wall” murals. It was after volunteering to work at one of these walls that the artist took notice of Julie’s “good eye” for photography. Since then, she has traveled the world as Wyland’s tour photographer, documenting the journey as he works to complete 100 of these marine masterpieces.

Shot from a 7-foot kayak in Alaska, the humpback whale was about 50 feet long and its tail was 15 feet across. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Over the years, this experience has served her well during her own worldwide expeditions. Whether swimming with a 90,000-pound humpback whale off the Dominican coast or petting baby harp seals on a Canadian glacier, she always seems to capture her subjects without being considered an intruder. “I’m in their world and I always respect that,” she says. “The goal of my photography is to allow people to view animals in their natural environment and thereby instill the need for protection of these areas.”

LOCAL Life asked Julie to share details with some of her favorite shots. See more of her stunning images on display at Endangered Arts Gallery on Hilton Head Island, a gallery she has owned and operated for the past 26 years.

No matter where she travels, Julie is always eager to return to her home on Hilton Head Island. Living near the ocean provides a constant source of material and inspiration. The dolphins, turtles, and other wildlife of her island sanctuary are always willing subjects when she shows up with camera in hand.

“There is still so much I want to see and photograph — polar bears, lions, orcas, pandas,” she said. “I can hardly wait for the next adventure!”