James Holkko, photographer

Based in Victoria, B.C., Canada.  The love I have for photography has been passed down through generations.  My Grandfather was a professional photographer who owned and operated a photofinishing business, my Father provided professional photography services and I’ve been framing photography in thirds for as long as I can remember.  Since the mid 90’s, I’ve been working with several Adobe products, including Photoshop.  The experience in digital editing and design has been an exciting and rewarding evolution.

In 2003 my wife and I began a more serious pursuit of naturalist studies and field work.  To document species, I purchased my first higher end digital camera in 2003, capable of producing excellent diagnostic and macro photography.  Over the last seven years, I’ve logged over 350 days in the field documenting species throughout the domain Eukarya, primarily focused on fungi, intertidal, lichen and bird species.  During this pursuit, I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to  provide event photography for several naturalist events over the last decade.  I’m currently expanding my services to include portrait, commercial and performing arts photography.  My appreciation for landscapes and architectural photography creates well structured compositions in all areas of my photography.  Having an innate  preference towards a photojournalist style of photography has shaped my approach to event coverage.  There is certainly a time and place for structured or posed photography in the traditional sense, but I prefer an unobtrusive point of view, encapsulating moments into a rich descriptive story.

Over the last 25 years I have planned, organized and participated in a range of events.  This includes producing press releases, sponsor packages, promotional materials and t-shirt designs. This experience allows me to be at ease in a hectic event environment and has fine tuned my understanding of the type of photography event organizers are hoping to obtain for various promotional purposes.

Event coverage:

Victoria Classic Boat Festival, 2018-2019.  Victoria Fringe Festival, Aug 2019. Parks Canada, Hometown Heroes at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, May 2019.  Maritime Museum of British Columbia exhibit launch, The great pacific garbage patch, May 2019.  Maritime Museum of British Columbia exhibit launch, Lost Fleet, Jan. 2019.  Metchosin BioBlitz, 2013-2019.  Maritime Museum of B.C. Nautical Nights Speaker series, 2018-2019.  TLC Fund for Kids golf charity, at Olympic View, Nov. 2018.  Whistler BioBlitz, 2013-2018.  Whistler Fungus Among Us, 2011-2018.  Strathcona Sub-alpine and Alpine Mycology Workshop, Sept. 2018.  Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Aug 2018.  Walbran Convergence, 2018.  Bamfield Mushroom Festival, 2015 & 2016.  South Vancouver Island Mycological Society’s 20th annual event coverage,  20 different events, 2014.  Horticulture Centre of the Pacific Arts & Music in the Gardens, 2014.   


Chimera Theatre, The Robber Bridegroom: A Grimm Fairy Tale, Aug. 2019.  Sunday Funday, Atomic Vaudeville, Aug 2019.  Nyla Carpentier, Dissection of a…Mixed Heritage Woman, Aug 2019.  Hapax Theatre, Nevermore, Aug 2019.  Hapax Theatre, Cast photography for Nevermore, Aug 2019.  Mountain Dream Productions, Musicville, July 2019.  Hapax Theatre, Constellations, July 2019.  Mountain Dream Productions, The Wicked Witch of The West, Kansas or Bust, June 2019.  Ensemble Laude, Seekers and Seers, June 2018.

Field research:

Galiano/Mayne Island BioBlitz, May 2019.  Wildwood BioBlitz, April 2019.    Walbran BioBlitz, 2018-2019.  Metchosin BioBlitz, 2013-2019.  Walbran MycoBlitz, Oct. 2018. Strathcona Sub-alpine and Alpine Mycology Workshop, Sept. 2018.  Whistler BioBlitz, 2013-2018.  Whistler Fungus Among Us 2011-2018.  Government House BioBlitz, 2017.  Parks Canada BioBlitzes:  Fort Rodd 2015, Sidney Island 2016 and Pender Island 2017.  Bamfield Mushroom Festival, 2015 & 2016.  SVIMS, iBOL DNA barcoding project, 2014.  VMS & Environment Canada five-year Manning Park fungi survey project, 2004-2008. 

Published photography:

In Nature’s Realm, Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island, by Michael Layland, 2019.  Victoria Camera Club monthly publication, Close-up.  Article “Photographing Fungi” Nov. 2018.  UBC edible and poisonous mushroom ID web application, 2018.  Metchosin Biodiversity Project, Nature Cards, 2017.  Cover of BC Nature, winter edition 2017.  The Outer Spores, Mushrooms of Haida Gwaii, 2012.  Parks and Nature Places around Vancouver, 2009.  Wilderness on the Doorstep, Discovering Nature in Stanly Park, 2006. 


Victoria Camera Club, “Focus Stacking” Mar. 2019.  Victoria Camera Club, “Photographing Fungi” Oct. 2018.  Strathcona Sub-alpine and Alpine Mycology Workshop, “Photographing Fungi” Sept. 2018.  Whistler’s Fungus Among Us, “Edible Mushrooms” Oct. 2012.  Vancouver Mycological Society, “2012 Fungal Photography” Dec. 2012. 

Contest awards:

Victoria Natural History Society, 1st place Invertebrate and 1st place Mammal/Herptile, 2017.  Nature Vancouver, 1st place entomology, 2015.