Melvin Rutledge is a wildlife photographer that believes photography can be a powerful tool for educating the minds of others through photojournalism. Once a medicinal chemist with a passion for science and nature, he has redirected his efforts as a conservationist to educating people about the wonders of nature and the natural world.

He believes that wildlife photography should be conducted in an ethical manner and to respect nature as best we can. He considers himself a scientist and teacher as much as a wildlife photographer and storyteller. It is his passion to raise awareness, document and educate the people of our world about the unbelievable beauty of animals and nature, in additions to the inherent worth that they have to offer.

In addition to his favorite subject of animals, birds, aquatic creatures and wildlife, traveling and exploring the National Parks, Forests and Preserves, that have been set aside to be a sanctuary for our fragile ecosystem is on his A-list.

Melvin’s most humbling award was this past year, as he was chosen as a category winner for Nature’s Best Photography Magazine. His image, “Where Fairies Come and Fairies Show” was chosen for their Spring/Summer 2019 edition and winner of “2018 Best Backyards” photo contest. The story behind the shot is as follows:

It was Easter Monday, I started the day in my kayak checking up on the Oystercatchers and Brown Boobies in the lagoon, I then paddling by the lazy iguanas in the mangroves. Next to visit were my kestrel friends on the other side of the island, a family that I have visited for the past two years. On my way back I stopped at a favorite spot that has many aloe plants in bloom, a favorite of the local hummingbirds of the British Virgin Islands. Focusing on an anole, I was greeted by this fairy, the Green Throated Carib, such a nice surprise.

“How wonderful is this colorful thing, when I realize that they are here before my eyes, and I long to see you every spring. I believe and that’s why I see, things others won’t for we remain. Invisible to their mind, come, follow me, let’s merry be. She dance, hover and sing a song, the fairy enchantingly, watching my face the whole while long. Amongst the flowers, there is a spot I love to go, where fairies come and fairies show themselves to me, glittering as green purple, blue and gold…”

National Wildlife Federation also awarded “Where Fairies Come and Fairies Show” in 2018 as an honorable mention in their annual “Garden For Wildlife” photo contest

In addition for 2018, Ocean Conservancy awarded Melvin’s ““WELCOME TO MY HOUSE” in their annual photo contest. In addition, the underwater shot was chosen for “First City Juried Show” in Pensacola, Florida. “One of my favorite fish in the sea is the blenny, because he is so hilarious to watch. He’s a very curious fish that loves to watch me watching him and his puzzled, confused facial expression is just hilarious to see. His first time on camera and his first time seeing a camera so he was a bit nervous, but he was quick to get over his camera-shyness. Love it when he gulps because he has such a suspicious look on his face like he’s up to no good.”

Since 2015 many of his avian images have been featured as ‘Editor Picks’ on National Geographic’s Your Shots community. Recent publications and awards have been on the reintroduction of the flamingo in the British Virgin Islands. The variation of this species, sizes, and colors and what this diversity reveals about species’ adaptations to diverse habitats makes them fascinating subjects. They are lively, often secretive in nature. Making them a challenge to shoot. In 2016, his image, “A PORTRAIT IN PINK” was published by National Geographic’s Magazine for their “Photo of the Day” on August 25th. Furthermore, he received a publication on August 30th for National Geographic’s Your Shots “Daily Dozen” selection, “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW” . He has been featured on National Geographic’s Facebook Page with over 16,000 likes for their “Friday Facts” on the July 7th 2017 edition. That Friday Fact was “Flamingos are born gray and white and don’t turn pink for two years, after which they get their rosy color from the shrimplike crustaceans they eat”. “WHY AM I PINK”-FLAMINGO  In addition, his flamingo reintroduction story, “FLOURISHING FLAMINGOS”  was published in 2018 in “Virgin Islands Property and Yachts” magazine.



  • National Audubon Society
  • American Bird Conservancy
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Sierra Club
  • Canon Professional Services
  • VIP Member Outdoor Photographer
  • North American Nature Photography Association

Melvin believes wildlife is the greatest treasure on earth, and he thinks it is a time to rethink their existence. We not only have the power to destroy these beautiful and important creatures, but we have the power and responsibility to protect and preserve them.