Fernando Lessa is a passionate nature image-maker based in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He combines his academic background in Biology (BSc) and Fine Art (MA) with his love for the outdoors to create compelling cinematic narratives.
Fernando is renowned for his work in conservation and natural history documentation, particularly focused on marine and freshwater ecosystems. He's an expert in capturing the delicate relationship between humans and the natural world in still and motion forms. His dedication to highlighting threatened habitats, like the crucial white sturgeon and salmonids in 'The Heart of the Fraser,' and his pioneering underwater series 'Urban Salmon,' showcase the beauty and environmental significance of British Columbia.
With a passion for facilitating film production on the West Coast of Canada, Fernando collaborates with media houses, non-profits, and production companies, both nationally and internationally. His work serves as a powerful call to action, inspiring audiences to engage with and protect the environment through the lens of his camera.
We follow The International League of Conservations Photographers Ethics and Principles.
I always place the welfare of my subjects above all else. Special care must be afforded breeding animals to avoid having a negative impact on reproductive success or add to the risk of predation.
Use of captive animals
In some cases, photographing captive animals can be a valuable source of rare imagery that can be valuable for specific conservation goals.
Images of captive animals will be honestly and accurately captioned and never represented as wild.
The documentary power of a photograph is directly linked to its value as a record of real events.
For this reason, I believe that image manipulation must never alter essential content in such a way that it either misrepresents actual events.
Creative manipulation, when performed, must be fully disclosed to the end user.
Truth in captioning
Photographs deliver information, which should be both accurate and honest. Inaccurate or dishonest captioning reduces the effectiveness of the image as a tool for conservation, subverts its message and undermines public trust.
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Clients & Partners
Rumours of the Death of False Creek Are False: The Tyee, March 2022.
Watch salmon spawning at Spanish Banks - before the raccoons got to them all: Vancouver is Awesome, Nov 2021.
Fishery Closures and the Ghosts of Past Mistake: Hakai Magazine, Oct 2021.
Photographer turns his lens on fish in the Squamish Valley: Squamish Chief, Sep 2021.
B.C.’s vital salmon route is seriously clogged: National Observer, Aug 2021.
Up to 85% of historical salmon habitat lost in Lower Fraser region: Hope Standard, Aug 2021.
Genetic engineering test with mosquitoes ‘may be game changer’ in eliminating malaria: The Guardian, Jun 2021.
Can we stop calling it biodiversity? There’s no word for what we’re losing: Mongabay, Sep 2021.
New documentary highlights the importance of Vancouver’s urban salmon: Global News, March 2021.
‘A lost run’: logging and climate change decimate steelhead in B.C. river": The Narwhal, Nov 2020.
" Nootka Sound rallies to save vanishing ‘qiwah" - The Ha-shit-ha, Sep 2020.
" Does It Make Sense to Build a New Island at the Mouth of the Fraser? - The Tyee, Ago 2020.
" Exploring the Fraser River Estuary " - The Nature Conservancy Blog, Jul 2020.
" The battle to protect the heart of the Fraser River " - The Narwhal Magazine, Feb 2020.
"‘The border is this imaginary line’: why Americans are fighting mining in B.C.’s ‘Doughnut Hole’ - The Narwhal Magazine, Jan 2020.
“ Heart of The Fraser” - Vancouver, March 2019.
“ The Urban Salmon: a Photographic Voyage into the Metro Vancouver watershed.” Vancouver, BC; Feb 2019.
“ Update in the Photography of live fish specimens “ - Brazilian Ichthyology Society Bulletin, Brazil. ; March 2018.
“ Beautiful photos of the salmon run in British Columbia “ - Daily Hive.- http://dailyhive.com/ - Nov. 2017.
“ Photographer chronicles the underwater life of salmon in the city” - Langley Times - https://www.langleytimes.com . Feb. 2018.
“ Capturing the elusive Nooksack dace “ - Burnaby Now, Burnaby; BC. Sep 2017.
“ Canadian Salmon “ - Underwater photography Magazine, UK. May 2017.
“ Serra Bonita Reserve - Hope in the Tropical Atlantic Forest “ National Geographic Brazil website. Sep 2016.
“ A Journey into the Juruena River “ National Geographic Brazil website. Oct 2016.
“ Yes! We have big wall climbing!” - Montanhas Magazine, Sep. 2015, Brazil.
“ Surprise in the Brazilian Savannah “ - Mergulho Magazine, May 2014; Brazil.
Environmental Star Award 2019. City of Burnaby; BC.
Pacific Salmon Stewart Award 2018. Pacific Salmon Foundation, Vancouver; BC.
Get in touch
Have an upcoming project? Looking for some exclusive stock footage? Get in touch with me using my contact form
I'd love to collaborate with you! I'm Available for Photo & Video productions, documentary research and public speaking opportunities.