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Shmuel Thaler

Shmuel Thaler has been a staff photographer at the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 1987 and his photographs have been published in leading newspapers across the U.S., including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Christian Science Monitor. His work also has been featured in numerous magazines including Time, Forbes and Business Week, and viewed on the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News. After a 35-year career as a local and international photojournalist, Thaler was named the 2016 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission.

Thaler has won the National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism contest three times, and he has garnered either a first or second place award in the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Associated Press News Executive Council contests in each of the past 15 years.

Thaler collaborated with George Levenson on two children’s books—“Bread Comes to Life,” and the classic “Pumpkin Circle,” which has more than 120,000 copies in print and is held by every major library system in the country. He also has worked as the staff photographer for learning journeys to India and South Africa with Mount Madonna School’s “Values in World Thought” program. During these trips, he has documented conversations with The Dalai Lama and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You can see more of Thaler’s work at

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