Paulo Valerio, a native Costa Rican biologist, photographer, and tourism entrepreneur, and Greg Basco, a resident Costa Rican environmentalist and professional nature photographer, met in 2006 and immediately saw a need for a tourism company that catered specifically to photographers. We jumped right in and have not looked back. After nearly a decade, we've been fortunate to develop our own popular photography workshops and to work with some great photographer friends to lead collaborative workshop tours.
We've also helped to develop great relationships with some of the best eco-lodges in the country. When you see a great toucan photo from Costa Rica, that's from a feeder setup that we developed with our friends at one of our favorite bird photography lodges. Did you see a great bat photo? Yep, that was probably us too. And if you've seen great hummingbird photos from the Pacific highlands, they were very likely taken at the new feeder area we built in conjunction with one of our favorite cloud forest lodges. We're working on more in the future. Stay tuned for new feeder areas in the South Pacific lowlands and even in Ecuador!
Our next phase will be to continue to be the best at what we do in Costa Rica while we expand into other areas of Latin America. Ecuador is already one of our favorite South American destinations, we're starting to work in Peru, and Chile is up next. Another important part of our next phase is to begin to link photography education with conservation and sustainble development in our home base of Costa Rica. Though this project is not a moneymaker, we're very excited to be able to give back to the people and forests we love!
With every workshop that we host, we strive to give you a seamless logistical experience so that you can concentrate on photography. And we work only with leaders, guides, and drivers that put the client first. We're all photographers but we take our own pictures on our own time :-)
Foto Verde Tours is a legally registered Costa Rican limited liability corporation (LLC). We operate according to the rules and regulations of the Costa Rican Tourism Ministry and the Ministry of the Economy, paying our due licensing fees and taxes in Costa Rica. When you book with Foto Verde Tours, you can rest assured that you are dealing with an established and respected company that plays by the rules :-)
Like many nature photographers, Greg started his career doing something else. A political scientist by training, his research focused on the politics of the environment in Latin America. He investigated environmental politics and ecotourism in Costa Rica and worked for a number of years as a conservation professional, having first come to the country in 1992 as a Peace Corps volunteer. He now dedicate himself full-time to his own photography and photography workshops. He works out of his home office in Costa Rica’s central highlands, where he live with my wife, twin boys, dogs and cats, and various hummingbirds and songbirds that visit their backyard feeders.
Greg's images have been published in numerous books, calendars, and magazines, including National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, GEO Germany, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and Newsweek. Canon Europe has used his images in various product brochures, trade show displays, and product packages, and they featured him in a DVD series a few years ago about pro photographers using Canon equipment. He doesn't enter many photo contests but has been fortunate to have had images honored in the world's two most important nature photography competitions — the BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest and the Nature’s Best Windland Rice Smith contest. Greg's most recent project as lead photographer for the coffee table book National Parks of Costa Rica, published in conjunction with Zona Tropical Press and Cornell University Press, is finished, and the book is out on the shelves as of late 2015.
Greg is also co-founder of a new non-profit organization called The Tropical Conservation Photography Group. This group, which is his way of trying to give something back to the forests that have sustained him and his family over the past decade, aims to provide high-quality nature photography in support of conservation and sustainable development projects in Latin America. The project is just getting started, but it's the first step to realizing a long-term dream of Greg's. You can check it out here!
When not out in the field leading a photo workshop, Greg is out shooting for his next coffee table book project or at home working on his popular nature photography e-books and spending time with his family, playing soccer in the hopes of getting signed by Barcelona, and moving the sticks around on his drum set in a quest to replace Glenn Kotche on the next Wilco tour . He's pretty sure these two things will never happen but, in the immortal words of Walt Disney (and Jimmy MacElroy from Blades of Glory), "If you can dream it, you can do it!":-).
Paulo Valerio is an amateur nature and outdoor photographer, very interested in macro and wildlife. He has also started working other photography areas, such as landscape, black and white and studio. www.artnaturephoto.com. Costa Rican born and raised, Paulo graduated as a tropical ecologist from the Biology School of the National University, where he also worked in the Soil and Hydrology Lab. During his graduate studies, he specialized in the development of sampling and research methods for high-flying bats in the rainforest canopy. Involved with ecotourism since 1992, Paulo has worked as a naturalist guide and field instructor for several companies, and developed and directed field study programs for the National Learning Institute (INA) in Costa Rica and universities in the United Sates, including Nassau Community College in New York, Pepperdine University in California (where he was an associate professor) and Auburn University in Alabama. He has taught tropical ecology courses and workshops at the One Earth One People international events, organized by the Woodleaf Outdoor School and Foundation in California, and lectured at several events, such as NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conventions and bird festivals in the U.S. He is also a nature photographer and birdwatcher. Lately, Paulo has been collaborating in group leader training and customer service, not only in Costa Rica, but with leaders from other Latin American countries, includingHonduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Paulo has combined his travels with his photography and also decided to pursue a long time interest and passion, and obtained his PhD in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.