Linda Wilinski is a freelance photographer focused on the conservation of wild Florida. She is a certified Master Naturalist and Spring Ambassador who attended Crealde School of Art. Leu Gardens in Winter Park, FL exhibited her art Summer of 2018. She has completed a year long photo series for Oakland Nature Preserve, has held highly successful speaking events at organizations such as Florida Trail Association, Native Plant Society, Girl Scouts as well as the Department of Health. She plans to have many more speaker events and exhibits in the near future. Wilinski is deeply passionate about the environment. Locally organized festivals offer her an opportunity to display her work and encourage the public to make a positive impact in the natural world. Her infectious enthusiasm has inspired many to explore the outdoors. Her weekends are filled with many different adventures such as kayaking, camping and immersing herself into Florida’s gems : The Springs. Linda’s mission is to serve as the bridge between people and the outdoors. Her wish is to inspire others to Explore, Experience and Embrace wild Florida.
"......For as long as I can remember nature was part of my life
I was about five years old when I came home with snails crawling all over my jacket one day, proudly showing my parents how many I "saved". A deep sense of compassion for any living organism has followed me throughout the years and hasn't left my side nor have I outgrown the child like fascination with the outdoors. Watching fire flies on a summer night will always remain the most magical thing on earth to me.
A red-eared slider was one of my most valuable possessions when I was a little. I read book after book because I simply couldn't quench my thirst learning about turtles. I drew pictures of them, studied them and tried to share the little I knew with everyone I came across. My biggest wish was to have people see these amazing reptiles through my eyes...because they were simply fascinating to me. Turtles have followed me all my life, however now I get to watch them come ashore during nesting season on Florida's beautiful beaches. Night outings consist of observing loggerhead turtles making their way up the dunes to lay their eggs. The world simply stands still for a moment when one of these sea turtles emerges out of the crashing ocean waves.
Although my friends and family call me "The Photographer" I have never gotten used to this title as it focuses more on the person behind the camera rather than what's in front of it. The places and wildlife I am blessed to be able to capture are the real stars, I'm simply just a tool and see myself as more of a messenger between the natural world and people.
My passion for photography came from my mother. As a family of five, we went on vacations in a small sized RV all through Europe. Although Norway and Sweden were our annual summer destinations, there was always "just one more picture" my mom needed to take of the majestic mountains cradling the deep blue sea, the reindeer grazing on the side of the road, us kids playing in the clear stream or of my dad catching fish. My parents taught me how to embrace wilderness. Away from tourist attractions but up close with humbling solitude. Days were spent exploring our surroundings, ending with nights filled with stargazing while the air was filled with the smell of campfire.
To this day there's no place like the outdoors that makes me feel whole. It brings me peace and cleanses my soul. Nothing excites and soothes me more than having my bare feet in the grass and my face in the sun.
I hope to inspire others to seek the outdoors, to soak up all it's beauty, to rejoice in it's calming energy and most of all: Awaken a sense of responsibility because it is us that will determine the fate of Mother Nature. Whether we see these beautiful places or spend our lives underneath fluorescent light...these wild places exist and they need to be kept alive for the sake of us all. "