John Peltier

Freelance documentary photographer & educator. Stock & assignment, based in Lake Tahoe. Veteran.

I’m an Air Force veteran and pilot by trade, having flown the F-15E for nearly ten years, including 114 Close Air Support combat missions in Afghanistan. Towards the end of my career, I realized that I needed a different pace in my life, so I bought a 27-foot sailboat and sailed from North Carolina to the Caribbean. It was a life-changing adventure, one that I still continue on a part-time basis. You can read a little more about this major shift in my life in this article from All At Sea magazine.

Somewhere along the way, I started volunteering more of my time to help people and causes I believe in, and it feels great. I’m an accredited Associate Photographer at Photographers Without Borders, have completed photodocumentary projects for a handful of humanitarian & environmental conservation groups around the world, and volunteer on two search and rescue teams when I’m home. Between photography projects, I also teach photography lessons both in-person and online.

I call Lake Tahoe home and enjoy all of the year-round activities offered in this mountain paradise. These include backpacking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, sailing, and kayaking.


I realize how powerful photography can be and my goal is to use it as a tool to help people. That could be to motivate them to get outdoors more for the health benefits; to help preserve land for that purpose; or to assist with non-profits and NGOs in their missions to bring a better life to others. I am a self-sufficient traveler, often embarking on journeys with just a small backpack and a shoulder bag. I embrace learning new cultures, traditions, and languages. My experiences in Air Force survival training, with alpine search and rescue, and as a wilderness first responder mean I’m ready for any challenge.

Listen to my podcast interview Photography with a Purpose, with Valerie Jardin.


Photographers Without Borders
X-Suba Sport4Development Uganda
The Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti
The Giving Lens
Unlocking Silent Histories
El Fenn Maroc
Truckee Donner Land Trust
Eno River Association
Triangle Land Conservancy

New York Magazine
San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
London Daily Telegraph
Tahoe Quarterly
Nevada Magazine
Tahoe Daily Tribune
Air Force Magazine
Air Force Times