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 and bird species.  During this pursuit, I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to  provide event photography for several naturalist events.  I’m currently expanding my services to include portrait  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:

Whistler Fungus Among Us, 2011-2018.  Whistler BioBlitz, 2013-2018.  Metchosin BioBlitz, 2013-2019.  Horticulture Centre of the Pacific Arts & Music in the Gardens, 2014.  South Vancouver Island Mycological Society’s 20th annual event coverage.  20 different events, 2014.  Bamfield Mushroom Festival, 2015 & 2016.  Walbran Convergence, 2018, Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Aug. 01 – Sept. 02, 2018. Strathcona Sub-alpine and Alpine Mycology Workshop, Sept. 2018. Nautical Nights Speaker series for the Maritime Museum 2018-2019. TLC Fund for Kids golf charity, at Olympic View, Nov. 2018. Maritime Museum of British Columbia exhibit launch, Lost Fleet, Jan. 2019.  Maritime Museum of British Columbia exhibit launch, The great pacific garbage patch, May 2019.  Parks Canada, Hometown Heroes at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, May 2019.


Ensemble Laude, Seekers and Seers, June 2018. Mountain Dream Productions, The Wicked Witch of The West, Kansas or Bust, June 2019.  Hapax Theatre, Constellations, July 2019.

Field research:

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

Published photography:

Wilderness on the Doorstep, Discovering Nature in Stanly Park, 2006.  Parks and Nature Places around Vancouver, 2009.  The Outer Spores, Mushrooms of Haida Gwaii, 2012.  SVIMS annual calendar, 2014-present.  Cover of BC Nature, 2017.  Metchosin Biodiversity Project, Nature Cards, 2017.  UBC edible and poisonous mushroom ID web application, 2018.  Victoria Camera Club monthly publication, Close-up.  Article “Photographing Fungi” Nov. 2018.


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

Contest awards:

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