Professor and photographer Bel Kambach was born and raised in the Caribbean. Having explored over 100 countries, she developed an early love for the ocean while growing up near the seashore and exploring beaches of the region. Her addiction to adventure and love for animals sent her exploring around globe. Pursuing dolphins, manatees, stingrays, elephant seals, penguins, sharks and whales around the world have become her silent obsession.
These beautiful experiences whetted her sense of adventure and inspired her to always seek, photograph, lecture and write about destinations brimming with wildlife. This love also laid the foundation for her position as Assistant Professor of Tourism/Cruise Line Industry within the Department of Geography at St. Cloud State University and and within the Maritime Tourism Program at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
For the past two decades, she has dedicated herself to lecturing both on campus and on the world’s oceans, writing, researching and photographing distant lands, wildlife and cultures as her career propels her around our planet.
How would you describe your style of photography?
With my travel photography which focuses mainly on the cruising industry, my aim is to capture and share with my students and travelers the excitement of this segment of the travel industry. My primary role as a professor and cruise lecturer is to entice and educate students/cruisers through my destination photography. I know I am successful when they tell me that they’ve learned “to see the world through a new lens.”
Can you share the backstories behind these two photos?
My 111th UNESCO WHL site WooHoo! – Painted Churches in the Troodos Region in Cyprus. This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of ten monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural styles are in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis. Cyprus has three UNESCO WHL sites: Paphos, Painted Churches in the Troodos Region, and Choirokoitia.
The second picture is of two docked ships during “rush hour” in Grand Turk: The World by ResidenSea (Residences for millionaires; the ship was built in Norway) and Semester at Sea (American University’s cruise ship).
What are your dreams as a photographer?
At the moment, I’d like to complete my personal project of photographing all modern cruise ships currently in service and use these images in my first geography textbook which focuses on the cruise line industry for my students.
The “Snapshot” series are mini interviews with fellow black travel photographers to inspire others and myself. As I’ve navigated the world of travel photography over the last few years, I’ve found very few fellow photographers of color who are also doing this professionally with a heavy focus on travel documentary. So this inspirational resource of professional travel photographers of color is a way for people to always find us. Please get in touch if you’d like to be featured or know of others to feature.