Nature has stories to tell.
Tales of love and loss.
Tales of belonging and individuality.
Tales of whimsey and badassery.
I'm here to capture them all.
Learn about my background & unique take on wildlife photography.
I’m Johnny Hayward, a retired Canadian national photojournalist with more than 25 years of experience. My approach to wildlife photography is similar to how I cover major news or sporting events—I watch for the subtle moments that tell the story behind the story.
I travel to the farthest reaches of North America and beyond to bring you up close and personal with creatures that reveal the humanity in nature, and the nature of our humanity—a polar bear mom “scolding” her young cub, a defiant bear’s will to survive against all odds, the impact of human encroachment and climate change on the wild. My aim is simply to bear witness and bring you nature’s most captivating stories as they unfold.
Besides photographing wildlife I have focused my camera on professional sports such as, NHL, CFL, MLS, Olympics, as well as national and international news stories for Canada’s wire service as one of 8 national staff photographers. Other photographic pursuits include photographing professional towed watersports around the globe. When I don't have my camera in hand as an avid water skier, you can find me gliding across the waters of British Columbia, searching for fresh powder to ski in the winter or racing through the old growth rainforest on my mountain bike. Love hanging out with my wife, daughter, and dogs while enjoying all that North Vancouver has to offer.
Follow along on my next adventure...
Work With Me
If you are a hospitality or design professional who would like to learn about my wholesale and volume purchase solutions for your next project, I’d love to hear from you.
You can hire me to photograph your personal project which extents far beyond wildlife photography. I have been a nationally and internationally celebrated news and sports photographer for over a quarter century. If you have a news or sporting event that you would like covered please reach out.
If you are interested in licensing my work to be featured in a publication or on a product, contact me to inquire about images available for editorial and licensing sales.
Many photographers can take a pretty picture, but few can capture an entire story in one frame.
“When choosing art for my client projects I look for beautifully composed statement pieces that add soul to a room and I seek to partner with a passionate artist whose work embodies something special that resonates. Johnny Hayward and his compelling wildlife photography meet all of those criteria.” — Lori Steeves, Creative Director, Simply Home Decorating, North Vancouver, British Columbia
“Every image from Johnny Hayward’s polar bear collection takes my breath away, but when I saw this image of a momma bear and her two cubs, I knew it was meant for my mom...The composition and colour are simply spectacular, but ultimately it was the strong image of the momma bear guiding her cubs through the expansive landscape that resonated with my sister and I. Our mom is our guide and strength, and she knew immediately when she opened it on Christmas morning what it symbolized.” — Tiffany Edgecombe, Edmonton, Alberta
"Our family was given a large framed Johnny Hayward grizzly bear print. It has been a lovely addition to our home. If it’s a gift for yourself or someone else, look no further than Hayward’s striking nature photos." — Sean Kilpatrick, Ottawa, Ontario
"I had a wonderful time with Johnny Hayward Photo in Churchill. We saw around 20 bears and several foxes, the photographic experience was amazing. Thank you Johnny for your constant good mood, your endless help in all situations and photographic matters. Johnny is always at the right position at the right moment with the perfect angle! All was very well organized , comfortable and spacious truck, nice and cosy B&B with amazing food (thanks to Jennafor and Gerald from BlueSky Bed & Sled). Hope to come back one day for a new unforgettable experience!" Sophie Rapp, Morocco (Nov. 2022)
-2018, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) Spot News Photograph of the Year.
-2018, Canadian Association of Journalism (CAJ) Outstanding Journalism, Daily Excellence.
-2018, National Newspaper Awards (NNA) winner Breaking News, Humboldt Broncos.
-2018, National Newspaper Awards (NNA) citation of merit for News Photo of the Year.
-2016, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), General News Photograph of the Year, 1st Place.
-2016, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), Feature Photograph of the Year, 3rd Place.
-2014, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) Sports Action Picture of the Year.
-2014, Sports Media Canada, the George Gross Award for Outstanding Sports Photography.
-2014, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), Feature Photograph of the Year, 3rd Place.
-2013, Canadian Online Publishing Award nomination.
-2013, Canadian Association of Journalism (CAJ), Photojournalist of the Year for portfolio.
-2013, National Newspaper Awards (NNA) citation of merit for Sports Photo of the Year.
-2013, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), Sports Action Photograph of the Year, 1st Place.
-2012, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), Multimedia Project of the Year, 2nd Place.
-2009, News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), Sports Feature Picture of the Year.
-2009, The Canadian Press Presidents Award, editorial employee of the year.
-1998, National Newspaper Awards (NNA), News Photo of the Year, citation of Merit.
“Johnny beautifully captures touching and powerful photographs of polar bears highlighting the urgency to protect these majestic creatures and their diminishing natural habitats. I purchased two spectacular photos for my sister who is an ecologist and she adores them.” — Veronica Delgiudice, North Vancouver, British Columbia
“One of the most important attributes of a good wildlife photographer is patience. As a National News photographer I expected Johnny to display none of that. I was pleasantly surprised when he was perfectly content simply working with what circumstance provided. When the action inevitably picked up Johnny turned into ‘Johnny on the Spot,’ consistently crushing photo ops. Working with Johnny was an absolute privilege and joy. I would be honoured if he joined us again on tour." — Alex de Vries
"The photo of the Zen bear is so realistic and printed so well its more like a fine piece of art. Everything I have in my home has some kind of personal attachment so I was honoured to purchase it from Johnny who had done some video work for me at the US Masters water ski tournament. The photo arrived perfectly packaged and in a timely fashion. The Zen bear has been placed above my bed to give off similar vibes." - George Athans, 3 time World Water Ski Champion, Member of the Order of Canada (Dec. 2022)
"I just wanted to thank you again for such a spectacular experience and for your patience, guidance and valuable hints and tips to help us improve our photography. It was so exhilarating and awe-inspiring to be amongst those majestic polar bears, and to capture those images." -Tony Trott, of Calgary, Alberta (Nov. 2022)
"Johnny has nailed the ingredients of an amazing tour to Churchill. His experience of over two decades with the polar bears, coupled with his world class photography expertise culminates in a fabulous experience. Each day is wrapped in the warmth of the Bluesky Bed and Sled accommodation. Local, genuine hospitality that is unbeatable. His collaboration with the lifetime local guides results in a wonderful engagement. If you want to truly fill your soul, spend a week with Johnny Hayward Photo. An intimate dive into the ways of Polar Bears." Paul Wright, Whistler, British Columbia (Nov. 2022)
"Jonathan started as a freelance photographer for CP in Ottawa in 1997. For the next decade he covered a host of major events including international travel with the prime minister and coverage of the return of the unknown soldier. In 2007, he joined CP as a full-time staff photographer, moving to Vancouver as part of the preparations for the 2010 Olympics. That Olympic Games is just one of several that Jonathan would go on to cover for CP, along with multiple World Cup sports events, Grey Cups, Stanley Cup finals, not to mention numerous NHL and regular season sports. His travels have taken him to the White House, Athens to follow the Olympic torch, and on royal tours throughout Canada. His coverage from Canada’s high arctic featured unprecedented images of northern wildlife. Jonathan is also a true multimedia journalist, starting to shoot video for CP when we began that service in 2006. He has always captured strong video footage along with incredible still photographs."
"Throughout his career, he has covered several federal and provincial election campaigns. He has extensively documented the issues in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, including a beautiful series of black-and-white portraits of community members in 2013, the homeless situation in the city and the drug overdose crisis. His work on the overdose situation led to an opportunity to shadow B.C. Ambulance workers in 2021 as they responded to 42 overdose calls in the city in a single day. Jonathan has also been on the frontlines for some of the most significant natural disasters in western Canada. He covered the wildfires in Fort McMurray in 2016, several seasons of wildfires across B.C., and the destruction caused by the 2021 flooding throughout the province. He was one of the few to secure aerial photographs of the massive infrastructure damage that year. In 2018, Jonathan was at the scene of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in rural Saskatchewan. He was the only one to gather aerial photos of the crash site. In addition to haunting documentation of the crash itself, Jonathan captured many of the moving images from tributes and memorials in the days that followed."
"Jonathan’s Humboldt photos earned him the National Newspaper Awards for Breaking News and News Photo of the Year. These are just two of the numerous honours his work has earned, including multiple NNA wins, Sports Media Canada’s Outstanding Sports Photography award, several accolades from the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), and the Canadian Association of Journalism’s Photojournalist of the Year prize. Jonathan was the lead photographer on the 2010 CP team NNA nomination for the “One Bomb” project, chronicling the painful aftermath of an explosion in Afghanistan that killed four soldiers and journalist Michelle Lang." Megan Leach, Director-CP News Photos, THE CANADIAN PRESS