Having a mother who is a veterinarian, a young Max Seigal was always exposed to and captivated by the beauty of animals. Having also grown up and lived in Boulder his entire life, he was robust in appreciating the beauty found in nature. “I grew up doing all the fun outdoor things—backpacking, hiking, climbing and mountain biking,” Max says. “As a kid, I just really loved the outdoors and knew growing up that I wanted to create a lifestyle and a profession built around that. I just didn’t know that photography was going to be the route I would take—especially because I studied biology and spent a lot of time doing science research in my adult life.”
Now known to be renowned for catching the beauty of the natural world, Max travels around the globe working on conservation projects and portraying imagery through his own eyes. Rather than taking photos with the intent of earning a buck or for the purpose of the final view, he looks at his photography work more as a hobby and a joy for blending science and art together and juxtaposing his love for wildlife.
“My photography went from something that was spontaneous to something that has evolved into something that requires a great deal of planning and energy,” Max says. “It can be quite a bit of work—a lot of hiking, a lot of camping, late nights and early mornings. No matter how much planning goes into this, it never comes out the way you expect it to—and that is what makes my work a creative and painstaking process.” With the approach of aiming to always be in the background and non-disruptive to the environment, Max is able to capture candid shots of wildlife in their natural habitat, as well as the essence that surrounds them. “I like to capture imagery the way that it is without influencing it in any kind of way.”
With his 15-year experience as a wildlife photographer and his adolescent exposure to a surplus of fauna, Max believes that his connection with not only the animals he captures, but the scenery as well, is translated well through his work—and because of this, people are able to connect with what is recorded photographically, whether it’s an adorable photo of a baby penguin or a curious seal, shots of long-standing architecture or panoramic views of the great Colorado outdoors. Having residency at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Max has seen his work resonate with many people, from different walks of life.
“I know many people don’t have the opportunity to go hiking every weekend or may not have the time to go up into the mountains and find such beautiful spots so in my mind, I’m taking these images so that everyone can appreciate this kind of beauty and the magnificence of nature without being there,” he says.
Noticing what kind of visitors often pass by his work at St. Julien, he has built a sense of pride in being able to offer the everyday person the ability to gravitate toward his photos and to be able to be pulled out of their busy day-to-day working lives for even one fleeting moment. “With my work being shown at the hotel, I am able to reach businessmen and women who might have a conference or a meeting there, or maybe it is someone who is traveling in from another state. Even locals are able to see and connect with my work, while still being entirely in their element.”
Max's current work on preview can be found inside local spots, in addition to the St. Julien Hotel & Spa, such as Brewing Market Coffee, and soon-to-be The Laughing Coat Coffee House and Ozo Coffee—allowing spectators to not only recognize a familiar local’s artistic production but to have a familiar recalling of the beautiful world that they live in.