We are fast approaching 5 years since the inception of SnakeBuddies. We have come a long way, since having the vision of creating a site to highlight our passion for snakes and other reptiles, while educating others about these amazing animals. Although our fan-base and audience is larger than ever, we recently realized that we have perhaps done too good a job of hiding our true identities. Lots of snake fans are now familiar with the name “SnakeBuddies”, but very few people could pick any one of us out of a line-up.
At the risk of losing followers when they realize we are not the “underwear models” they were imagining, we want to finally “unveil” the men behind the scenes. We are not seeking recognition or notoriety (it has never been about that), but want to allow our audience to better connect with us, and to help illustrate that you don’t have to have an internationally syndicated television show, to have a positive impact on the reptile community. We are just 3 surpisingly normal guys with very busy and fulfilling family lives, who work full-time, while trying hard to find a spare moment to participate in, and document our hobby.
The official SnakeBuddies crew, is made up of Jamison Hensley, Gavin Beck and Shaun Vought. All of us live in Utah, located in the Western United States, and have a deep appreciation for all wildlife. We each bring a unique set of talents and experience to the table, and our cooperative efforts, enable us to create original content that is both interesting and educational. We hope you enjoy the following biographies and photos, and that you will now have a better idea of who those crazy SnakeBuddies really are.
Jamison is “The Bookworm” and founder of SnakeBuddies. To the librarian’s horror (she even called his parents), he started reading almost exclusively about snakes – usually venomous ones, as soon as he could check out library books. When he wasn’t outside catching critters, he was busy ignoring his homework, and reading everything snake-related he could find in books and on-line. Studying the snakes of the world for 35 years helped Jamison develop a passion for educating others. 5 years ago, with a desire to share his appreciation for snakes, he bought the SnakeBuddies domain name, and with virtually no technological skill, he clumsily created our blog and Facebook page. Jamison is primarily responsible for coming up with and writing our articles, creating copy for our custom graphics, and publishing content to our blog and various social media sites.
Shaun Vought is “The Expert”, and co-founder of SnakeBuddies. He is inhumanly skilled at just about everything, and is a legendary (though he’ll never admit it) field-herpetologist. Shaun has spent many years in the field, finding, photographing, and learning about snakes in their natural habitat – and sometimes taking them to church in his pocket. He possesses a sixth sense for finding snakes in the wild, and his knack for always finding more snakes than anyone else, is a constant source of frustration for all who accompany him on his excursions. Shaun is a very experienced reptile keeper and breeder, and helped pioneer the husbandry of several difficult species. Shaun is SnakeBuddies’ official field guide, consistently putting us in touch with the animals we wish to find in the wild. His photography is top-notch, and is the source for much of our image-based content.
Gavin Beck is “The Guru”. He is our most recent addition to the SnakeBuddies team, but has actually helped us behind the scenes since our inception. Gavin’s talent, artistic eye and creativity are limitless. He is an amazing videographer (his profession), photographer and graphic artist – and his work is involved in virtually everything we now produce. Although he is newer to field-herpetology, he shares our passion for reptiles and wildlife in general, and has proven to be a very quick study in the field. He has also become our invertebrate expert, teaching us as much about arachnids, insects and other bugs, as we teach him about snakes. Gavin creates all of our custom graphics and videos, as well as providing us with lots of fanstastic photography.
In a nutshell, the three of us love snakes, and this mutual fascination is what originally fueled our ambition to work together in the creation of all things “SnakeBuddies”. However, we also share many other common interests that have ultimately led to our long-lasting friendship, and turned SnakeBuddies into what it has become. As much as we love finding and photographing snakes, there is nothing better than doing so with great friends that you admire and trust. Our excursions are as gut-bustingly hilarious as they are exciting, and our many shared memories of herping and hi-jinks will last a lifetime. As amazing as the last five years have been, we look forward to seeing what the next five will bring, and sharing all of the highlights with you.
Lastly, we must acknowledge that although we have an official membership of just three guys, we feel honored and privileged to say that we now have thousands of honorary SnakeBuddies all over the world. Our sincere appreciation and gratitude go out to the many people who have hosted us, befriended us, shared their expertise with us, and supported us in our endeavors. There is a long list of people who have been integral in our success, and we thank them all. We are painfully aware that without our families, friends, and fans, we would still just be three guys playing with snakes.
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Thanks for helping us… Educate. Inspire. Conserve.
Shaun, Gavin and Jamison