Bill Lea – Nature Photographer & Bear Advocate

Capturing the wonder of wildlife, wildflowers, landscapes, and a variety of other natural subjects in "just the right light" has long been a passion for Bill Lea. However, he may be best known for his portrayal of black bears, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Florida Everglades.

Bill has authored three coffee-table books and co-authored others. His most popular book Cades Cove – Window to a Secret World is in its fourth printing and his newest book The Everglades – Where Wonders Only Whisper is now available. He also produces an annual Cades Cove Wall Calendar. Bill has been leading photo workshops since 1992. More than 7,000 of his photos have been published. Photographing black bears for more two decades has provided Bill with extraordinary opportunities to learn about bears. For nearly 20 years he has been presenting educational programs throughout western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee in an effort to dispel the many myths and un-truths about bears. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, Midwest Outdoors, Animal Planet, local radio stations, news stations, and a variety of other programs. Bill lived among bears for two to three months per year for nearly a decade. He currently posts a bear photo and educational message every day on his Facebook Page ( Bill spends most of his time advocating on behalf of black bears. The enjoyment of sharing the wonder of bears and nature with others is second only to his desire for promoting a better understanding and appreciation for wildlife, the natural world, and most of all, our Creator.

And finally, Bill says he would be amiss if he failed to mention how truly blessed he is to have such a wonderful and supportive wife - Klari. Her patience and understanding always endures. He is forever grateful.