Photos and Phrases, Photography by Cheryl Ertelt


International award winning photographer, Cheryl Ertelt, has been capturing life through a camera viewing for over 26 years. Most recently, she placed runner-up in the 'Animals in Their Environment' category of the 2006 Shell Wildlife Nature Photographer of the Year Contest. Cheryl is a moderator in the “Wildlife” forum of She can also be found assisting and co-hosting photography workshops with Charles Glatzer on Shoot The Light Photographic Workshops.

Her main camera system includes Canon EOS 3s (for slides) and a Canon 1D Mark IIN and a Canon 5D (for digital). She uses a variety of lenses up to 500mm IS. Cheryl’s stock collection totals over 75,000 slides and over 50,000 digital images. Her work is represented by stock agencies in the US and abroad. Her photographs have appeared in over 75 different publications. A partial list of credits include: National Geographic Society, Sierra Club, Browntrout Press, Willow Creek Press, Landmark, Dog Fancy, The Iams Company, ASPCA, Barrons Educational, Guidepost, Lake Superior Magazine, The Sporting News and USA Today. One day soon she will quit her day job as a physical therapist and do photography full-time.

She started her photographic career as a college senior, working for the University of Notre Dame's student newspaper and yearbook. Cheryl has continued to shoot Notre Dame Football for the University since 1982; many of these images are published in national newspapers and magazines, as well as books. In 1994 she took her first wildlife photo workshop and has not taken a non-photo vacation since. In 1998 she began specializing in outdoor dog portraits and action shots for the magazine, book and calendar markets. However, Cheryl’s favorite photo subjects continue to be wildlife. Says Cheryl, "I try to shoot images that will take me back to places I enjoy and animals I have seen, and that allow me to share my impressions and experiences with others.”

Cheryl recalls, “ Two wildlife encounters were very spiritual for me. The first came in 1997 on my last game drive in Kenya. I was shooting from the window of a Land Rover at a leopard who was hunting and walking directly toward our vehicle. When she approached closer than my minimal focusing distance, I looked up and we made eye contact. I felt like I had been placed on the menu then given a reprieve. My second extraordinary experience came in 2003 in the Falkland Islands. I was sitting quietly near the edge of a Rockhopper penguin colony when a group of adolescent penguins decided to get a “close-up” of me. They pulled on my bootlaces and one even jumped up on one boot and 'hopped' to the other. It was incredible to be that accepted by the wildlife.”

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