Sebastian Copeland was born on April 3, 1964, into a family of a French conductor Jean-Claude Casadesus. After graduating from the University of California Film School (UCLA Film School) and moving to New York in the 1980s, he began working as a director of music videos and commercials, as well as photography for fashion magazines and portraits of celebrities. His portraits and film posters still appear in hundreds of publications around the world. Yet, as a photographer, he is mainly well known for his series in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Copeland began to deal with nature conservation issues in 1999 when he started to cooperate with the American branch of Green Cross International, an environmental organization founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev. Possessing excellent physical fitness and climbing skills, which he has been fond of for many years, Copeland decided to take up polar exploration and subsequently led more than one expedition to the polar regions.
In 2005, the photographer tried to draw media attention to the problems of the Inuit — the indigenous population of North America, and in 2006-2007 he spent on board a research icebreaker on the Antarctic Peninsula. In 2008, together with Luke Hardy, he led an international expedition, which included 9 children; as the Young Ambassadors of the Arctic, they travelled to the northernmost part of the Canadian Arctic.
The photographer has set several world records. In 2010, he and his partner Eric McNair-Landry set the world record for the longest distance kite and air-skiing in a single 20-hour crossing over Greenland, which covered 595 kilometres. During the 2011-2012 season, Copeland led the first transcontinental crossing of Antarctica (from east to west) also using kites and skis. During this 4100-kilometre journey, which took 82 days, 3 world records were set at once.
Sebastian Copeland’s photographs are kept in many private collections and museums around the world.