About Aleksei Saunders
Aleksei (Alex) Saunders was born in Port Moody, British Columbia in 1971. Growing up on the coast near the then untamed forests of the Pacific Northwest gave Alex a strong appreciation of nature and of natural beauty. Photography entered Alex’s life with his father’s Ansco Memar 35mm, used to capture unrecognizable, small, brown images of birds. After all, Alex going to be a biologist — perhaps even the next Jacque Cousteau (underwater cameras were a little out of Alex’s price range at the time so birds would have to do).
With mother Rozellen painting and father Ross sculpting and carving the artistic side was well nourished in the Saunder’s household. A passion for writing was realized in early middle school and, for a time, photography seemed to take a backseat to other pursuits. Team sports, specifically Hockey and Box Lacrosse, helped develop Alex’s desire to work in groups and began a lifelong interest in the qualities of good leadership. These qualities would help immensely when Alex founded the Denver Photowalk Group in the fall of 2008.
An interest in nature and animals overpowered any desire to formally study the arts. Leaving Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor’s in Science Alex set forth to study and save fishes (shades of M. Cousteau). Since beginning that long and winding road Alex has worked as a Whale Trainer, Oyster Farmer, Lumberjack, Algae Collector, Snail Egg Counter, Fisheries Consultant, Mechanical Engineer, Bookseller and, finally, Zookeeper.
Alex has swum with Killer whales, Whitesided Dolphins, Sharks, Skates, Eels and Arapaima. He’s probably swum with Nile Crocodiles as well but he really doesn’t like to think about that.
Working on the conservation of Madagascar’s freshwater fishes led Alex back to the camera. Documentation of environmental concerns and of newly discovered species of endemic fishes in Madagascar was the original inspiration for a return to photography. In such work Alex rediscovered his passion for image making and has since begun nurturing his artistic side — long neglected.
His photographic images span a range of subjects from nature and urban to wildlife and humanity. Alex also enjoys photographing live music events because of the energy and passion so readily shown by musicians. In 1996 Alex moved to the United States and now resides in Denver, Colorado with a very patient wife and three patience trying dogs.
And yes – he misses the ocean terribly.