Bio - George Dern Photography
Sitting atop and rock in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, ND.

From my early days inhaling fixer in the darkroom, learning zone systems and processing 5x7 prints - to recent trips photographing Kentucky’s thoroughbred racehorses, America’s graffiti-sprayed alleyways, an odyssey through the Dakota Badlands, touring Europe, and road-tripping North America.

      “Pursuing new experiences pushes me to continually evolve my artwork, while
      reminding me of the importance of carrying my camera with humor,
      compassion and curiosity...”

I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on my projects, traveling and collaborating with some amazing people. I reside in Delray Beach, FL and always carry my cameras to record the wonders of life wherever I have the opportunity to explore.

When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, George likes to go hiking and on new adventures with his wife Cheryl, summering with family and friends in Wisconsin, and zipping about town on his beloved Vespa scooter.


There is no rhyme or reason to my passion for artistic photography based upon professional education in the fields of art and photography, for I have none. Simply put, If I like it, and the light is right, I shoot it. That philosophy has worked for me thus far and I see no purpose for changing it.

My passion for photography began in the early 1950s when my mother handed me her old Rolleiflex camera that she used as a freelance fashion photographer for Vogue Magazine in the 1940s. I continued to play and experiment with her equipment and watched her work in her darkroom during my formative years. I fondly remember receiving my first Kodak Instamatic camera in 1963 wondering why she gave me that simple camera while she had many different SLR cameras. She saw my disappointment and said, “You need to keep it simple until you find your natural eye for photography and understand the importance of using natural light, so go outside and enjoy yourself.” To this day, I am still venturing outside in the everlasting development of a natural photographic eye and understanding of the complexities of attempting to find the perfect natural light.

Photography had always fascinated me and was an evolving hobby, until the fateful day in 2001, when I met, Art NeJame and his wife Fatima, owners of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and The Pro Shop for Photographers, which at the time, was located in my hometown of Delray Beach. I was investigating their annual FotoFusion event and cautiously showed Art some of my work in the viewfinder of my point and shoot digital camera. After being mildly surprised that I had absolutely no formal education in the arts and photography, he told me that I possessed the rare gift of an outstanding “natural eye” and that I should pursue my talent to the next level and beyond. I knew I had met my “Yoda”. I immediately went out and bought my first of countless Nikon DSLR camera bodies and Nikkor lenses and enrolled in the FotoFusion seminars, lab classes and photo shoots with some of the world’s most renown professional photographers. Art became my photography guru and because of his constant encouragement and insightful support and critiques, has pushed me beyond the limits of casual hobby photography into the realm of becoming a professional landscape and floral photographer. He is my “Shining Inspiration”.

Vincent Versace is one of the foremost and most publicly acclaimed photographers of the photography and fine arts industry. He is also my most revered mentor in my life as a professional photographer. He is one of the original sixteen founding Nikon Ambassadors and recipient of countless awards. He is also a director of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and guest lecturer, teacher and a driving force FotoFusion. I sat in awe, watching his slides during a lecture and instantly knew that I wanted to delve into his realm of artistic photography. Our friendship grew and Vincent eventually become my true mentor as I enrolled in his various lab classes and went on photo shoots with him at the PBPC. He is a truly gifted individual, who has the patience of Job, for no-one else can tolerate my incessant badgering and inquisitive queries with such self-assured calm. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest innovators of the digital photography software industry and has taken my understanding of post production into a different universe. He is a pioneer in the newly popular field of infrared black and white photography. A format that instantly intrigued me and has become the current main focus of my work. I am also a devotee of using what he refers to as thermonuclear radiation (a.k.a. the sun) for his preferred source of light. Because of Vincent, I exclusively use Nikon DSLR camera bodies, Nikkor lenses. The only exception being my convenient Leica V-Lux 4 point and shoot camera that Art NeJame sold me.

My life through a viewfinder is serene and fruitful with abundant opportunities and cherished moments that I value day by day.