The Esteemed Judges of the Global Rescue 2021 Photo Contest

It has been quite a year and a half, where your mettle has been tried, tested and maybe a little too tapped out at moments. That’s why the theme of the Global Rescue 2021 Photo Contest — accepting submissions now until October 31 — is resilience. Think of it as a tip of our hat to you for your admirable adaptability and tenacity during this unprecedented time.

In addition to rounding up a plethora of prizes (including a free Global Rescue membership) for the top travel-inspired image submissions, we’ve also rallied an expert panel of pro photographers to serve as contest judges. No matter how raw or how refined your own talent may be, these visual artists know how to spot a sensational snap.

Mark Edward Harris: From Talk Show to Travel Documentarian


Remember the Merv Griffin Show? Los Angeles-based Mark Edward Harris certainly does: He started his professional photography career doing stills for the iconic talk show, as well as other television and movie companies.

But it wasn’t until the show ended in 1986 that he pursued his true love – travel and documentary photography – setting off on a four-month trek across the Pacific and throughout Southeast Asia, China and Japan. The images he captured on that trip kick-started a new career path – one that has garnered dozens of awards for his stunning documentary photography style.

Harris’s assignments have sent him globetrotting to more than 100 countries across six continents, with his editorial work appearing in all the top travel magazines, from Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic Traveler to AFAR and The London Sunday Times Travel Magazine.


  • Why Photography? “I’m fascinated by the concept that a still camera can freeze a moment in time. That magical concept has never left me. It ties in well with my love of history.” (Harris’s master’s degree is in Pictorial/Documentary History, a special major he created.)
  • Favorite Destination Captured? “I have so many favorite places for different reasons. My new book, The People of the Forest, about orangutans brought me deep into the forests of Borneo, which is an incredible place to experience. I’ve also done three editions of a book on onsen (which translates to “hot springs” in Japanese) and always find new ones to add every time I’m in Japan. It’s hard to beat the meditative beauty of a Japanese hot spring.”
  • Next Destination Traveling To? “I came to Japan to cover the Olympics and Paralympics and am going back up to the Tōhoku region to document the tsunami recovery efforts along its eastern coast. It’s an ongoing project I’ve covered since the disaster in 2011.” | @markedwardharrisphoto

Lydia Schrandt: The All-Around Content Creator


Like many, Lydia Schrandt’s love of photography started young. In fact, when it came to family vacations, she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have some sort of camera in her hand.

“When I was in college, I picked up my dad’s old Minolta SLR and started pursuing photography more seriously,” said the Houston-based photographer, writer and editor, who, now, has traveled to more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia and North and South America. “That passion only accelerated when I moved abroad in 2008 and began to travel more frequently.”

Today, she’s a regular contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, among many others.


  • Why Photography? “I love that multiple photographers can shoot the same thing, and each will capture something different and bring a bit of themselves to the image.”
  • Favorite Destination Captured? “The Northwest Passage in Arctic Canada. The landscapes in this part of the world are unbelievably gorgeous, and since the sun never gets very high in the sky, the light is almost always good. Golden hour seems to last for three to four hours.”
  • Next Destination Traveling To? “I had a self-guided walking tour of the Kumano Kodo Trail in Japan planned that got cancelled due to Covid. When I finally get to do it, I’m looking forward to capturing the redwood landscapes and small cultural details of this lesser-known region.” | @lydia_schrandt

Paul Shoul: The Off-The-Beaten-Path Explorer


A road trip with his girlfriend from Boston to Baja, Mexico was all it took to point a then-19-year-old Paul Shoul down the career path of travel photography.

“I brought my father’s old camera and 10 rolls of film, and I photographed the desert and people we met along the way,” said the Northampton, Massachusetts-based photographer. He loved the process of making images so much, once back home, he enrolled in a photography class at the University of Massachusetts. “The professor thought ‘I had something’ and took me under her wing. I never looked back.”

Thirty years later, Shoul still continues to travel – just now it’s on a global scale as a photographer and staff writer for, featuring off-the-beaten-path travel articles from around the world. His work has also been published in hundreds of major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, The Washington Post, Popular Science and National Geographic Traveler, to name just a few.


  • Why Photography? “Photography makes me more aware of the world. In my lectures about travel photography, I often say that ‘it does not matter what camera you are looking through, it matters what you are looking at.’ To make great images, you have to be a student of life: how people interact with each other and the environment, what it feels and sounds like and how the light moves through it.”
  • Favorite Destination Captured? “Overall, I’d have to say my favorite place to photograph was Greenland. It is so different and challenging. There is a stark beauty to the landscape, and the Inuit people are some of the toughest and warmest people I have ever met.”
  • Next Destination Traveling To? “Asturias in northwest Spain, an under-the-radar destination known for its rugged hidden beaches, colorful fishing villages, green landscapes and high mountain peaks. It will be my first trip in the year and a half since the pandemic grounded me. I can’t wait to get back on the road again.” | @paul.shoul  

Chelsea Bakos-Kallgren: The Graphic Designer with a Photographer’s Eye


While photography may be more of a side hobby for Chelsea Bakos-Kallgren, as Global Rescue’s head of design, she certainly knows a thing or two about the visual arts. In fact, prior to her work at Global Rescue, her design talents have contributed to the brands of Simon Pearce, CBRE Group, The National Park Service and many others.

Now, when she’s not sourcing imagery for social content, designing a landing page or various collateral that fuel our company’s marketing machine, you can usually find her hiking up a mountainside – either locally near her home in Sharon, Vermont or beyond, having trekked through the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, the U.K.’s Brecon Beacons National Park and more.

“When we travel, I always take my FM2 film camera with me,” said Bakos-Kallgren. “Having a finite number of exposures makes me slow down and be more thoughtful of each composition.”


  • Why Graphic Design? “I love the way design has a defined goal. At times, I’ve felt directionless with my art and the process of design gives me that direction. Throughout entire process, I need to be conscious of who I’m speaking to and what I want them to take away, then balance that with visual interest and innovation. It’s that intersection of art and psychology I never stop being fascinated by.”
  • Favorite Design Project Ever Worked On? “I really used to love working on a series of illustrations for a property in the Boston Seaport called Fan Pier. Each month, to advertise the venue’s regular events, I would make posters and screen displays in the style of French illustrator, Malika Favre. It was a wonderful opportunity to be creative and spend time drawing.”
  • Next Destination Traveling To? “In January 2020, my wife and I had a grand plan to visit friends in London and then hop over to Italy and stay at a villa in the countryside, shopping at local markets and taking cooking classes during our stay. Obviously, the pandemic threw a wrench into that, but we’re definitely going to resurrect this plan – it’s just a matter of when.”


About the Global Rescue Photo Contest

The Global Rescue photo contest began in 2013. Photo entries spotlight some of the amazing expeditions and journeys Global Rescue members undertake each year.

“Serving as the world’s leading rescue and evacuation provider for mountaineers, explorers, researchers, adventure, business and leisure travelers since 2004, Global Rescue provides peace of mind as they travel the world,” said Dan Richards, CEO at Global Rescue.

Learn more about Global Rescue’s 2021 Photo Contest



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