Master Photographer with An Ambassador Heart
Story Janelle Stear Photos Michael Bonocore
For over a decade, Michael Bonocore, a full-time travel photographer, has been traveling the world finding off the beaten path scenes and experiences while capturing timeless moments with his camera. Michael’s photos make you feel like you are there with him, living in the moment, whether it be a vivid landscape over Patagonia’s famous Mt. Fitz Roy or documenting the culture of Cuba while on a thirty-day road trip across the island country.
Born in Philadelphia, Michael moved from the east coast to the west coast before finally settling his nomadic bones in Boise. Through it all, his two passions in life, storytelling through travel photography and working with youth in need around the world, has never changed.
Michael moved to Idaho in 2016 and shared with us that, no matter the places he gets to experience, Idaho will always be home to him. That is quite the statement since his adventures include photographing wild gorillas up close in the jungles of Uganda, seeing the Big 5 game animals in Tanzania and Namibia, riding a camel through a massive sandstorm in Morocco’s Sahara Desert and swimming with sharks in Tahiti. Other countries whose stamps line his passport include iconic locations such as Iceland, Cuba, Jordan, Patagonia, Peru, Norway, Australia, India, and countless others to total almost forty in his life.
With six years of experience leading international photography workshops, Michael teaches people the art of photography right in his own backyard through his business, Idaho Photo Workshops. Michael also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for his online travel magazine, Resource Travel.
Michael’s passion for travel and photography intersect in his commitment to the global initiative to end the cycle of poverty, youth crime, and school dropouts in over 12 countries. He leads photography workshops for The Giving Lens, where his team works with local nonprofits to provide photography education and hands-on experience programs for teens.
In models similar to other photography workshop companies, The Giving Lens sends Michael and a co-leader overseas with 6-12 photographers, where they partner with an existing non-profit organization in the local community. The after-school program of the NGO usually selects up to 20 students, who have to be excelling in both their grades and attendance in school, to participate in the photography adventure. Each center offers teens different activities, such as dance, art, and photography. Michael and his team will take the photography students out on field trips to help them unleash their creativity through a camera lens.
Michael shares two student success stories from Nicaragua: Armando, a successful photographer and graphic designer for the Nicaraguan Tourism Board, and Anielka, who was the first one in her family to go to college and is now a manager at a hotel in Granada. Along with them, countless other children across the world have developed real-life skills that come from the artistic creativity that these workshops provide.
No matter how much Michael enjoys his travels and the people with whom he meets on his adventures, this world traveler appreciates nothing more than coming home to Boise and all the beauty and adventure that Idaho holds.