November–December 2022


The Floating Photographer

A water-level view of Minnesota wildlife.

Wildlife photographer Tammy Wolfe is drawn to the water to find solitude and observe wildlife. Inside her homemade blind on two floats in a backyard pond at her home in Lake Elmo, she watches for hours with persistence and patience to find the right moment for shots of wood ducks and beavers and other animals that inhabit the water body. “You never know what you’re going to see, and it’s a challenge,” she says. 

Beyond her backyard, Wolfe gets other wildlife shots from the water in a canoe or kayak.  For the past two years, Wolfe has taken her inflatable kayak to a lake in Washington County to photograph loon families from a vantage close to the water. “If you’re a little higher, your camera is going to point down at them,” she says. “When you’re photographing from a kayak, it allows you to get a different perspective.” Paddling a canoe with a friend on a quiet lake on the Gunflint Trail last fall, she captured multiple photographs of moose swimming and feeding at water’s edge close to sunset. When she’s on the water, whether it’s in a kayak, a canoe, or her floating blind, she’s away from crowds of people and at peace.