Nature and Conservation Photography

Lesson 1/2 - Conservation Photography 101


Nature and Conservation Photography


Lesson Info

Conservation Photography 101

Well, it's, amazing to be in seattle today, it's a beautiful city. I love being here and as documentary photographers, we usually try to be invisible. So being in from such a large global audience, it's a little intimidating three hour workshop is ah, long time to be up here. But we're going to get through this and it's going to be fun. So what better way to us start the day than to say it was earth day yesterday? S so happy earth day, everybody on earth, they should be every day. So here we are, and one of the things that makes me passionate is that I love nature. I feel thes pull this connection toe the natural world on what I'd like to do is show how beautiful it is, but also how threaten it isthe on. We know that our planet is under tremendous stress, a lot of threats, but we want to keep it hopeful, because we could still turn the page. And so that's, why we're here, you know, our job as photographers is to communicate, to inspire, to let people know that there are things that are...

valuable and worth saving on that's what we're going to do, so before we go any further, I'd like to thank sony, not only for bringing us here today, but the incredible support that they've given me I never imagined that a big corporation was going toe adopt a green photographer andre have been amazing to me they supported on my crazy ideas, my expeditions, everything that I need to say or do they've been right behind me and for that I'm grateful so we're here to talk about shooting what you love on this is a picture of me twenty some years ago it was nineteen, ninety one on this a picture of me a couple years ago I've been shooting what I love for a long, long time on if there's nothing else that you learn from me today is stick to what you love because they will help you get out of bed and go shoot and edit and will the war in this post production that we have to do every day really shooting what you love it's what makes a difference in a career as a photographer? The other thing that you need to decide is what kind of photographer you want to be. I was telling you, jean you know that I dabbled in wedding photography where that way back then I started my career taking portrait's off my neighbors in great falls, virginia you know these families they would all come out with her cute little sweater so looking like, you know I would think their picture and sell that all of this you know the steps that you take what's finding out who you really want to be a photographer on ari you're a commercial photographer you know there's so many paths in photography that take you in all these directions you can do so much I mean, you can dabble in photography your entire life and never reach the bottom. So for me it was fascinating forward at the fall into portrait photography that was the first thing that I really fell in love with on I often teaching my course is that when you arrive at a scene the first thing that attracts you it's usually what's going to be the most important part of a photograph. Well, for me it was portraiture. You know, these intense attraction to human features you know, the evocative portrait is perhaps one of the most compelling generous in photography and is one of the most difficult once too. So over my career I've made thousands of portrait on as I tried to become a conservation photographer. I thought, you know, I need to be more of a documentary photographer annie to pull away from the portrait which is fairly static and I need to engage in more dynamic, candid stuff funny enough, you know, I keep falling back into the portrait throughout my career it's a theme a thread, you know, I stopped fighting it now, it's, just what I love. But the other thing I love is just indigenous cultures. You know, for me the fascination of these human tapestry off knowledge that goes back thousands of years. And just to think, I mean what we're seeing here, there's people out there that still live connected to the land, living their traditional lifestyles, so dependent on natural resource is and they're the ones who are stores of biodiversity, but who are also the ones who feel the loss of biodiversity first, when rivers go polluted or when the forest has cut down, these are the people that become poor the first. So for me, it's important not just to show them a specimens that are so fantastically dressed with feathers and their customs, but also with dignity and compassion, you know they are human beings, their parents, their children on day have a story to tell. So, as photographers, we have that commitment as well to tell truthful stories about these people. And when we talk about the portrait, you know, one of the most important things. This, of course. The gesture and I hope that there will be a lot of questions you know I know this is one of the things that people struggle with the most you know how do you approach people how do you get them to relax how do you get permission to take their picture on you know, over twenty year career I've learned a lot of tricks but I would love to share is one of the most challenging things that you do because you often feel like you're including somebody space waiting for the moment when that gesture switches from a smirk or a smile or a high five into a more pensive emotional moment it's what makes a portrait great and it takes a lot of time and a lot of discipline you know when I started my career as a photographer you approach somebody and you feel so uncomfortable you know you're wasting somebody's time you're intruding in their space they feel so awkward in front of the camera just like I do now on to intrude even further you know you just want to get it over with but you have to learn how to wait and you have to learn how to kill time and you have to learn how to make that person relax whether you get that moment when they go and you get a great portrait these pictures of past two pictures I made in the highlands of papua new guinea it's one of the most fantastic places to travel it's also a little dangerous you know it's it was not discovered that there were people in the highlands of new guinea until the nineteen forties and when the first explorers went there they were living in this stone each and so they still run around dressed like this because this is how they how they live their life and it's pretty amazing and remarkable and um as a photographer, one of the things you want to do is follow your instinct and follow your intuition on let your boot lead you you know, directions that photography might you know take you that we're not expected but when you're traveling in these cultures you know you're also a little worried you know there's so many variants that you have no control over and so you have to keep an eye out and it's a very delicate balancing act you can never never let your guard down anyway ethiopia another portrait that I love I dabbled in what black and white photography many, many, many years I went to school at the corcoran college for the arts I tell people that it was because I wanted to learn photography this is nineteen, ninety six but the truth is I just wanted to get out of the house I have three kids and so washington dc afforded me this opportunity of this amazing art school and I thought they were going to teach me how to use a camera, but no, you know, this was an art school, and so I was surrounded by all these young young people. Sixteen. Seventeen, you know, wonderfully creative and fearless. And I learned a lot from them. So black and white, one of the was one of the things that I learned a two corcoran and it's something that keeps coming back to my career. I love it. This is a girl from an effort community in ethiopia. Offer man, carry a big, big knife and their camel herders. They're dramatic on the knife ist toe caught off the genitalia off their enemy, so you don't want to make them angry. Um, but where does inspiration come from? For me? You know, when I arrive at one of these villages, is just to try to understand the tapestry of society who is related to who, you know, how do these people live their language? I mean, you come in this a stranger, it's, a foreigner on you, thrown into a society that you have no understanding off, but you sense it, you can feel it. You know, where are the threats of this community, the pull of the shame, and, you know all of these things, and for twenty years I've been going back to these villages and trying to know these people and you realize you don't know anything you know, and that's as we go through the presentation this morning, I'll tell you stories about, you know, so many opportunities have missed just because I had no idea that things were happening around me, you know, culturally, you're just not aware. So the bigger lesson is that returning to a subject over and over and over again gives you that knowledge and that understanding and that may be grizzly bears or indigenous people or landscapes like jared shoots, but you just have to keep going back, so you really get an in depth understanding off what you're photographing. Um as I might remove my career forward, I also evolved in my in my portrait photography I started becoming a little more loose in my porch. It's this is the kayapo girl in in the village tell you lots stories about the kaya because that's been my main subject photography, this is a woman I photographed in madagascar, and on that day we were both sick. I had come down with some kind of flu and she had malaria, you know, so we met outside of her house. It was incredibly hot, so we moved into her little tiny might have just to get out of the son on I know you know that I was going to be back in my hotel that night I knew that she had no recourse so how do you make a portrait that that gives her a little bit of dignity and compassion? One of things that I tried to do is I try to get to know the people I photograph just to ask a few questions so that you don't just grab something without at least understanding her name was yolanda and she was very sick, you know? But she gave me these beautiful portrait and I'll never forget that brief moment because the kind of work that I do the most valuable thing is that shared humanity you know, just that understanding that we were both mothers that we were both not feeling one hundred percent but the u there together I mean this close and that's something else you know, the intimate portrait invading somebody space you really have to get close to create that intimacy on the reason for that is quite simple, you know? We're trying to save the world we're trying to convince people that that the planet is beautiful, that these people are valuable on we're competing with britney spears and justin bieber you know people are sitting in the doctor's office browsing through magazines and you have to grab him with your stories you know, when they open the magazine where you put publisher pictures you need to hook him with something that really really grabs their attention so that's what I try to do um all the things that I'm passionate about this biodiversity I've worked a lot in third world countries one of the countries where I've spent the most time is madagascar, which is the fourth largest island in the world just east of africa incredible island you know the biodiversity is magnificent and a lot of photographers go to photograph the chameleon's have the photograph, the levers and it's all really beautiful and fascinating but for me the people again is what attracts me this is a place called the alley of the bail box is one of those incredible world heritage sites where you have these trees that looked like somebody pluck them out of the ground and flip them upside down there's little fat bail bus and their magnificent their incredible but these very, very poor people are coming in and they're starting to plant rice around the bail baps and to plan right they need to flood the area baobab czar desert plants so they're driving and it's sad you know when you take pictures like this because it's not the people's fault they really have no records, you know but we are going to lose an incredible sight and finding that balance is always really, really difficult and making these pictures without losing hope it's also difficult chore are listening to jim naturally give his ted talk the other day and he spoke about photographing in war zones and bringing by pictures that make war immediate so that you can really change policy one of the wonderful things about photography and this kind of photography that it can really change the course of history if you make pictures that are compelling enough that tell good stories then those pictures can really influence the way law is written the legislation is written on I have found over many, many years that it's not that people don't care it's just that they don't know so we make an effort to show them white matters and how easy it would be to change you often find that you can make little conservation winds and that feels really good if there's any question guys if you want to interrupt me you please feel free I know we have a q and a afterwards but I want to keep it fairly interactive so feel free to ask and if you want me to elaborate on anything I'm happy to do that the other thing I care about cannon mentioned I'm a marine biologist I was trained in mexico on one of the things that I thought back then is that the ocean was going to feed the world you know that's what we were hearing he was boundless infinite abundance of fish well now we know it's not true on we've not only mind all the fish in the ocean, a lot of people that depend on fish for their daily protein are going poor, so for me photographing fishing communities and their dependence on healthy ecosystems, it's really important that picture was made in a broad is in brazil, where conservation international invited me to come on with the photographs they created a new marine protected area that will all the people are not allowed to fish inside, the fish could really fat and big and they reproduce and then they leave on the fishermen can catch them. And so everybody's happy it's a win win win I call them fish banks you know it's investing in capital for the future this girl I photographed in madagascar and I'm always amazed and surprise you know, I have three children now a little older and eighteen years, but this girl must have been eight or nine, and when you travel around the world you find his children, you know, fishing and hunting and gathering food for their families. I find that so remarkable, you know, because you never see kids throwing tantrums begging attached to the digital devices this story is a great story. I did this for a new organization called the center for marine conservation in honduras on this is a honduran fisherman, he's catching lobsters and these guys go in and they died without any dive training. So they get the bends. You know, they just I have to catch us many lobsters as they can. So they keep going down. You know, with only attack, they do ten packs a day for divers. I think when you were saying you're a diver, it's a tremendous thing to do. So they get the bands, they get paralyzed. And through this conservation project, we were ableto help center for marine conservation band this type of diving. So they're switching now to a more sustainable type of collecting lobsters. They call it casita as they put a shade on the lobster's. Go underneath and then they just go grab him. So the fishermen are benefiting. The lobsters are happy and we get to eat. Are lobsters guilt free? I also love biodiversity. Somebody was asking me in a blogger yesterday. Why on it's? Because it's lost it's irreversible and what we lose it's irreplaceable. So everything else you know pollution organization, oil drilling all of that we can remedy. But once we lose a species, it's gone forever, so we need to pay attention and we were on the verge of losing the big ones the charismatic once lions, polar bears, elephants you know, we've already lost thousands of the little one, so we need to keep reminding people that it's this fabric of life that holds the whole ecosystem together think people forget that clean air, clean water pollination. All of this comes from a healthy fabric on the minute you start pulling the threats, you know, it all comes from ravel's for me. Photographing biodiversity, biodiversity loss, it's, super important. So if you're looking for a career and something that matters, it won't feed you, but it will make you feel good every day. I'm finally, you know, conservation issues, just downright documentary. See, this was a photograph I made from a helicopter in florida. The story was about the abuse of fresh water in florida, the little line that you see the top of the frame that's, the boundary between the everglades national park and where development is going in florida as they pulled the fresh water out of the ecosystem, they're getting an invasion of saltwater, which is called last year, we had six hundred manatees die off hypothermia, I mean, there's, real consequences to all of this. And again, you know, it's, not that people don't care is that they don't know, so if you present your story in hopeful way with solutions, it often helps and at the end of my next segment I'm going to show a time lapse that we did that we were able to hand to the fish and wildlife service and hopefully it will change legislation on this issue so you might be wondering, you know, how do I get started? This is exciting we're going to save the earth and I really truly believe that we can you know, I think that there's an army of photographers out there who cares so deeply and are so passionate uh I mean I know hundreds off them working on tiger poaching or elephant ivory or climate change you know, there's people that are dedicated really toe communicating this so I think we're going to make a difference but how do you get started in your name nature photographer your landscape photographer I have found that one of the best and easiest way is to won't hear you know that's how I started my career I didn't set out to be a photographer I wanted to save the world on dh I volunteered for conservation international I was very very lucky what they gave me was access you know, to all these incredible communities and places around the world it would have been pretty much impossible for me to just, you know, buy a plane ticket and arrive in the middle of the amazon but by volunteering and lending them my skills as a photographer I was able to travel with them bring back pictures pretty soon I found that I had a line in the budget pretty soon I was getting paid so that was awesome um system the photographers I do it to this day I am absolutely humble about it you know, I have no problem putting my own dear down to help somebody else with their shoot on being an assistant that's a pretty important thing to do you learn a lot from the way other photographers work you learn how they use the gear you learned the tricks of the trade how I mean where do they pull patients from? You know, when you're a nature photographer you spend a lot of time in a blind alone so you learn a lot of things from other photographers and I actually have enjoyed that quite a bit but for me the most important thing is creating a self assigned project you know? You don't wait for somebody to hand it to you you just come up with something you're passionate about and that inspires you and you make yourself assignment that tomorrow you're going to hear matthew jordan smith, another sony artisan talk about self itself a temperate projects he's a master at that so don't miss out a few things on the letters had a little small I want to turn around here this actually comes from howard chap nick who was the creator off the blackstar agency way back in the nineteen twenties, nineteen thirties and this is how they were instructing their photographers to do their little stories for life magazine back then. Hey, it still works, you know, you start with an idea on the first question you ask is, can it be done visually, you know, don't talk to me about, you know, the impact of oil drilling on the arctic floor, you know, we're never going to get pictures about that, but come up with something that you can really translate visually, and then you need to come up with a whole bunch of pictures that have left and diversity that are different from each other. And later we're going to talk about the narrative arc that'll elaborate a little, giving yourself time, no assignment last two days, you know, mine has been going on for twenty years. You really need time to explore, so make sure that's built into your project gaining access to a community torn area is the most important thing. And so how you're going to do that and there's a number of ways we can talk more about that? Um I'll talk about this again later on but there's many photographers who have said hey if I was a writer I would need to carry this camera around but the truth of the matters in this day of blogging it's more important than ever to be a good writer and so it's a skilled I encourage you to develop um allow the essay to become a voyage of discovery you know when I started my photo essays in the amazon I have no idea where they were going to take me but you know I just kept following the path and it's been an interesting one so one of the magical things about documentary photography is that a picture should never be a finished product you know you need to let the viewer interpret what you trying to say and it's the same for an essay there's always room toe elaborate a little more follow the story pay attention to detail in structure you mean this is basic story telling you know have a little story board know which pictures you need to tell the story and then follow your structure of other ways you get lost you know so many path you can follow and then remember that your essay is a very personal thing but having a second set of eyes look at your picture is also very important I've found that I benefited enormously from having somebody else look at my work and he and I just have to develop a thick skin any questions so far? Gosh, we have so many questions coming here illegally can you tell me when you want me to answer them but well let's start again? I was just wondering for a lot of conservation projects particularly since you are traveling since you are either writing grants or getting funding from someone um do you expect like building in two years? Do you expect does it kind of depends on what project that you're working on because I know revisiting a place is pretty important so how do you know when you've completed something? How do you know when you've completed something for a publication and need to go back? What what is that like? This is a great question kalen come on haven't had enough coffee now this is a great question this is a great question you know when you write a proposal for a story you really need to have an end product in mind on you know the one thing that happens every time you should've story is that you find that there are other threats that should be explored you need to know when to stop I mean, I have been in so many shoots where you down to the wire helicopters coming to pick you up and you know there's one more shot you can get it's never ending but you in in order to be a successful published photographer, you really need to storyboard and know which are the end pictures and you know, sometimes the first pictures that one lets you take we're going to talk a lot more about twelve shots you know, there publication narrative arc on we're going to talk about writing grant proposals uh so hopefully we can engage in a little more detail christina, we have a question from the internet nature love asks have you ever given any of the portrait that you shoot to the person you photograph and if so, what is their reaction? Yes, I have I've actually done this a number of times way in the beginning I was actually carrying a polaroid camera and I would snap a shot and, you know, give people gift as I have become more acutely aware off my own time and how easy I can break my concentration I don't do that anymore, but I used to and so I went to madagascar it's not the picture of a little boy and then I went back four years later you know, in the same community I walked in and he saw me he ran to me and he took his hat off often and he had this tattoo rel polaroid picture in there so it was great, you know he'd been carrying it around this a precious object people in places like this don't get a lot of access to having their own portrait to keep eso yes on location I have I'm also very careful to never promise I'm going to send the picture if I don't intend to now with internet, especially in the third world everybody has an email address, so if you promise that you're going to send the picture, police send it on people love getting their portrait so yes, I do this a lot, but you know, concentrating and focusing on the work is very important and you can easily lose your focus if you start losing your invincibility cloak it mean it's important to stay focused. So anyway, we'll talk about more of those strategies, all right? I hope that answers the question absolutely maybe one more question before we let you keep going, you talked about, um, about connecting with the people you're subject matters and how important that is to actually get in the patients and et cetera that it takes to get there to get that connection. What are some of the questions that you start to ask people as you build that connection like what are some of the first questions that people can take away? You know, if you're lucky enough to speak the same language, right, there can be questions and people often they want to know who you are what you're doing there, you know, when they will ask you again and again tell me again why you taking my picture right? We're not related I mean, what are you going to do with this picture? A lot of people don't like being photographed at all in some parts of the world, but my experience is that almost everybody loves having their picture taken and so if you present yourself with a genuine interest and you explain why you're there and for me often it is to say I'm here to help I'm here to bring your story out uh, people usually eventually forget that you're there on that moment when you become in this invisible we have become part of the community it's critical ana it's a gift when you have the time to actually develop that kind of relationship for most of us, you know, you're traveling quickly through acute town and you're there for lunch and you grab what you can but if at all possible given yourself the time is critical how long would you say it's taking you for particular communities to I mean, are we talking one day? Are we talking a week two weeks no, you know, I think as human beings we're hardwired to tow except people in their communities fairly quickly I think if you spend the day anywhere, you know, people immediately start like oh, there she is again with her camera. You know, harmless. They forget you're there fairly quickly. Yeah, but you should not expect, you know, walking anywhere and start shooting right away. I mean, people are suspicious. Absolutely. Yeah. On dh this is again when volunteering is really good. You can volunteer for conservation group who already has access. They already know people they come in, they introduce you and it becomes so much easier. Oh, yeah, I was attached to conservation international because I was married to the president. You know, that was kind of like the way it happened, but I also met this scientist. Her name is barbara zimmerman she's a canadian scientists and she's a herpetologist. So she was studying big snakes in her work in the amazon. She came upon this people in the kayapo people and she fell in love with him. So she's become part of their community. She's now an elder among the viable. She speaks the language and they treat her with a lot of respect. So barbara and I have become really good friends, and I've taken advantage of her access to gain access myself come back many, many years when we first were going, this is the xingu river, a tributary of the amazon is one of the most magical places in the world we were working to stop logging and, you know, cattle ranching from coming in soybean plantations. Those were big threats that we were, you know, fairly intimidated by. But somehow, you know, we were winning small conservation bottles, making friends. The indians are very politically aware, so it was easy to work with them. This is a political can jam. It means standing rock. And you can stand on top of that rock and look three hundred sixty degrees. And all you see is on broken amazonian rainforest, this magical place. And the people have a very simple life. There's about twenty thousand hectors of size of the state of new york. About five thousand people live there, it's just nobody there, you know, there's little twenty communities and they're scattered there's no roads to get from one place to another. You have to fly on. I've had the opportunity to go back and see these children grow up. Photographed this girl with her parents in two thousand five. And then I went and photographed her with her. How in two thousand nine you know, that's, how you gain access. You people know you. They remember you. You have to remember that we come from a society where you see millions of people every day. At the airport you know you'll never see them again but in these communities, you know there's one hundred fifty people so they remember everybody that comes in on but they want to know you know where you come from. So anyway, the couple they live in fairly isolated communities they rely completely on the forest there just some of the most beautiful and amazing welcoming warm people until you piss him off on their not so much but they love this whole art off beating on we'll talk about the beach later. The women are unbelievably funny and charming and even though they don't speak the same language, you know we find a way to laugh together when you finally have access to the community. The children stop being scared of you so you stop taking pictures of all these crying baby terrified of off the white lady on it really becomes a charming experience to be part of a community like that. Some of the questions people ask me, you know, where do you go to the bathroom? What do you eat? And the answer is you live with them, you know you you I have two popped off skin and you get one of the makeup on the skirt and be willing to share the environment with people that are so different from us at the same time so similar they are incredible hunters, you know, they depend on the forest fully on more than once have had the opportunity to go into the forest with a man and they're just scaled shooters you know anything they should they kill and then they bring back the food and they shared with a community it's a very open sharing society. The's gentlemen has carrying a wild pig I tried to follow them to the forest, you know, I could not keep up. I heard the shots in the distance, you know her three and then, you know, finally I caught up to them when they were coming back already with a pig's guess how many they've killed three? He was unbelievable. Like, wow, they bring it back and they shared with everybody there's no choice in places like this you know, they don't have anything they really own. Everything is shared, but the thing that they really rely on is the river you know it's not only the way that they find transportation it's also where most of the food and water comes from in twenty years ago the government of brazil proposed the idea of a hydroelectric dam on environmental community has been fighting in system he's twenty years well now they've approved it so the third largest time in the world is going to build be built on the shingle river just outside of where the indians territory ins but it's going to have an enormous impact on on them so for the last three or four years you know we've been talking to them about organizing themselves politically to talk to the government and because they have no understanding of what a damn looks like or what it's going to do to them it's been slow coming you know, I've tried to make pictures that connect the people to the river, you know that show that what happens? You know, in abstraction you know what that is going to be built it's an idea in your head that even off you know, I have a hard time imagining but what's going to happen to them is going to happen on a one by one basis he was gonna have an impact on all of these people. So those are the pictures I've tried to make pictures that have a little emotion that show that what it's going to be lost? You know, it's not just the river, you know it's home for for these people you know the river is everything these children learned to swim when they're babies and you see a seven year old taking care of a three year old for those of you who are parents, you ask yourself how and yet you know there's the's incredible attachment to the river so conservation international, the wild foundation and the international conservation fund of canada or some of the groups that I volunteered for to take these pictures and I've tried to make iconic pictures, you know, these are images that become really, I can't you know that. But then I remembered that capture your attention that burn into your consciousness, you know, images that coax you out of comfort say all this is happening to somebody else, they spark some, I don't know divine moment off, you know, have to take action, I have to do something, and those are the images that I want to take. So eventually I am, you know, came up with one such image, and this is one of my favorites, like everything else in photography, it's all about patients and luck, you know, I was there to photograph the waterfall because there was nothing else to shoot at the end of the day when these little girls walked into my frame and, you know, I happen to have a tripod, so things worked out and it became such an iconic image it's been projected outside of the white house, you're trying to bring awareness to the fact that this hydroelectric dam is going to have real implications because people keep talking about the nine million people that are going to get electricity but what's going to happen to the forty thousand that are going to lose their home so that's my job you know to give a voice to the voiceless and some power to the powerless that's where I find my passion so what's gonna happen next thieves are the chiefs of the kayapo nation they live in these twenty scattered communities fairly difficult for them to travel to meet with each other and when they do me that such an emotional thing you know they have these ritual crying it's almost funny you know to see these big warriors cry but they are able you know tow harness some political strength and opposed you know in a serious way what the government is imposing on them this was taken I think two thousand seven they had this first meeting and now barbara zimmerman like my friend who works for the international conservation fund of canada has just raised enough funds for them to have a second meeting the proposal now from the government of brazil is they're going to open up mining indigenous territory you know this is when when photography is really key you know because we can shine a light on greed and ignorance you know to say no and if you make pictures that are iconic and beautiful and emotional you can stare the debate on debate leads into action so I encourage you you know, to take those kinds of pictures because they're really important do I want to go back and photograph the conflict? You know, these guys are being put in jail, and I don't know, you know, it's, not my kind of photography. I struggle with the idea to find the courage to go on, make pictures that are not in my league, but, hey, you know, maybe I have to find it in myself. So where do we go from here? Ten tips on how do you make this work? Number one is be passionate, you know, you can pick any subject you want there's so many homeless children or the local homeless shelter, your local park or girl's rights or rape victims? I mean there's so much need on her planet that you can pick almost anything and be passionate about it. Become a good writer. We talked about that research funding. Did you know that in this country, there's two hundred seventy billion dollars in charitable donations every year? Now, our money, you know, for a lot of people, if you don't get rid of your money at the end of the year through a charity donation, you have to pay pact isis, so people want to give money. The bad news is that seventy percent of that money is going to religious organizations. We better start praying, I think, but there's a good chunk of that money that's donated by individuals and people care and if somebody believes in your work they will fund your work so research was out there funding the kinds of things that you care about, um become a good public's public speaker once you pick up that subject on a topic on an issue, you have the duty to become an ambassador for that issue, so you have to speak in public about it and part of being a good photographer is being a good communicator I really encourage you to do it it's painful, but you can tell, but it really pays off. It's really important learn multimedia? I think in this younger community everybody knows about, you know, the power of music and video on being able to slice a little story that short and compelling network, you know, attend events where the kinds of projects that you're interested in are being discussed that's one of the most important things you'll meet the people that give you access, you'll meet the people that give you money. More importantly, you'll meet your audience will meet the people that really need to hear, you know, there was a time in my career when I thought my audience was the public in general it's not you know, it really is a handful of government officials that are making the decisions how do I get to them and so these are the questions that you ask yourself through your networking play nice you know being nice to other photographers to the people you work with your funders it's incredibly important I think that's almost not necessary anymore because I think most photographers get it these days I think the base of the prima donna are gone but for me continues to be really good advice being a nice person really pays off understand traditional media you know, just because we're communicating digitally doesn't mean that television and print media is not important so understand how to get your stories to them the environment in general is almost never a story you have to find how to make make it a story and we'll talk about ravens on how we did it at the aisles hippie ah master social media I think most of us understand how to do that there's entire books now about how to harness social media for your costs and then called about your donors you know if somebody gives you money, you make sure that you think that person I've seen so many photographers you know who forget to thank their funders and it's really important I mean people who give you money want to be recognized for their legacy so all of these air just tips that I've learned through my career that I have found useful questions so far yeah, when you're in an area as big as the state of new york that's a personal question just that I have when you're in an area that's his biggest soon in new york and you're looking for a tiny community that only has twenty people in it are you looking? Where are you working with local governments? Are you working with local organizations? You have a guy that you work with how are you finding these tiny communities to make such impactful photography? Yes, that's a great question eri anda I've often asked myself, but the way you find this community's is through the organizations that you're working with it would be nearly impossible for anybody to just book an airplane and landing one of these villages it's they're so remote than if they're not expecting you they're not really happy to see you so by working with a local conservation group locally especially it's important but international works well a cz well it's a little more difficult to work with government, so I encourage you to work with a nonprofit community they have the access they've already made, the connections they've been working, they've been offering solutions, they have a conversation that's going on and you can just become part of that conversation yeah that's the easiest way and then there's ah great question from the internet diana and photography from puerto rico says photo of photojournalism cultures is my dream but as a woman it's scary I know from photo journalism is never really safe and more than common security sense is needed but how do you overcome out wall of the resistance and the fear resistance can be paralyzing fear can help you stay alive but too much too much consult a kate your dreams yeah this is an interesting question because that's a woman I've often struggle with it I find it it's really dangerous to travel alone you know I have such admiration and respect for women who go to these very remote places on their own and I've heard a lot off scary stories so the way I do it a sigh I have an assistant or a friend who wants to travel with me and just having that second person your body somebody that's going to keep an eye on your stuff for your shooting somebody is keeping an eye on your back while you were focusing on when the photography is really important just having somebody to spend the night with next to you to keep an eye out you want to think that the world is a great beautiful place but it's actually fairly dangerous so you travel with a body yeah I'm the smart yeah just keep your eyes open but one more question before we go on with so many but from photo in a torah do you have any tips for photographers on how to tell an authentic story telling authentic traditional community or nature situation from a tourist pseudo traditional one, especially when you are totally new tow and in an unknown area and not a great question. My goodness, people, people are paying attention. That's a great question can I think there's a tremendous temptation for people to try to photograph the traditional way take off your shirt because it's dirty can you put on your paint for me? It's been really important to photograph it just the cities you know and I have encountered you're like, oh my god, they're wearing sneakers. This how they look now on people around the world are changing so quickly it is almost impossible to find the naked culture, so just shoot it s it s you know and shoot it with honesty and remember that it's not about you it's about them, so finding that compassion and investing your photographs with dignity is really important. Otherwise we're not doing a favorite twenty one that's beautiful it's not about, you know, yeah, that's your troubles with journalists, I'm told right, do you want to take a quick question from the audience, or should we let christina keep going if we've got one? Yeah, um, this piggy backs a little bit off of the question we had earlier, but uh what kind of support do you normally have when you're on the ground, at least in an ideal situation? You had talked a moment ago about having at least one other person with you, but especially in situations where you might get sick, my, my sister's been in uganda for two years and got malaria three times, so you know, in situations where you can't necessarily cope, do you pull out or do you, you know, stay embedded in whatever project that you're working on? It's a great question, jared and it's, a very important one because it happens all the time I find, you know, when you're traveling, do as the locals too, you know, if they're not going in the river there's a reason, and I don't, you know, follow your instance, but if you do end up in a bad situation and you're sick, you just have to ask yourself how second my and sometimes the solution lies within the community, and you'll be amazed and pleased that you've been gifted with help on the care off the community that you're photographing it's happened to me many, many times, you know, when I thought I was going on die in somewhere in this bathroom on dh somebody took me to the doctor, and within hours, you're ok because they know what the curious if your second I'll find the way out you know I've also known people who have been very close to dying because they failed to recognize when things were serious enough having somebody with you jenny nichols who's worked with me for many many years she's my assistant she's been great at you know, getting me or getting off to the doctor what has been needed you need somebody with common sense you know it's not it's not about proving how courageous you are, how much pain you can take yeah it's it's and so know your limits no you're limiting exactly carry on please do so the best idea you ever had was the international league of conservation photographers and this was born just out of my recognition that there was a lot of nature photographers out there and there was no platform that would allow them to speak with a common voice or to share an agenda that we all cared about and to be recognized by the international community as a powerful force for conservation. So I created the organization and we're going to talk about the mechanics of how you do that more than what the I'll see what like cannon said, you know we ended up with one hundred photographers all passionate about their projects you know all capable of raising their own money all capable of harnessing their own communications resource is time to share their work with the world the most important thing that I did for the aisle cpi and this is a gift that was given to me early on by a friend marty maxwell she came to me she said you need a business plan and I have no idea what that meant but she taught me you know first you have your mission and that is your driving force that's your elevator spiel you know you have to own it and repeat it to yourself and you can have a personal mission and then you can have your organizational miss mission then you have objectives you know big objectives we're going to save the world we're going to save the whales were going to help the viable and then you need to have goals and goals are very specific their time oriented so you need to say bye march we're going to have three donors by october we're going to have our website we're going to have a thousand followers I mean these are goals that really drive your day to day activities if you don't achieve your goals by the time you can roll them over you know and say ok we can achieve this by december I'm doing your due diligence is so important who else is doing something similar and they help you find a partner with you do they pose competition for you all of these things you need to be aware of what are your problems and deliverables you know, carrying about something it's not enough what are you going to do and of course the cliches we're all going to do a book we're going to do an article we're going to do a movie you know know exactly what your turnkey communications tool is going to be because it depends on who your audience is and so these are important questions that you need to ask you when I'm talking about the kayapo my audience is not the united states, you know, I need to talk to the brazilian government so maybe we need to do in portuguese a budget every organization, every effort need to budget and then every project needs to watch it and if you're smart and if you're good at raising money, the first salary that you're going to pay is going to be your own because it's very hard to get up and work tomorrow if you're not getting paid at least something you know and the things you said the president that your work is valuable too but your budget needs to cover everything and you need to be detailed about it. You know, I just saw what's reading sebastiao salgado shared with me his budget for genesis, which is a ten year increible project, and I was just going through it and he's listing every roll of film you know, he's assistant there we helicopter right so that's, the way you have to do it very realistically and then you need to have a timeline. You know, when are these things going to happen? When? When the web toe review when do I talk to my donors? All of these is a map that guides your everyday activities and it keeps you on the path of success. So business plan was the most important thing that I ever did for ill cpi and I do it today. Today I call it goal setting. You know, I do it personally from my own work, but it's super important, I encourage you to do it. Rave. This is another great idea. You know, how do you communicate these environmental issues? And how do you harness political will to create laws that change the path of where things are going? So we at the aisles happy had a hundred photographers, some of the best in the world, very passionate. They dedicated. The best way to use them would be to deploy them, you know, to set them out to get there before the bulldozers got there, you know, to try to stop environmental damage. And so we that I think something like ten of thes rapid assessment visual expeditions, everything from creating marine protected areas to protecting why life to protecting landscapes on the thing that we discovered is that it only works if there's a political process if there's some debate that's already happening and you can use your photographs to help tip the agenda you know to help create that little bit of a bus that consciousness in the community you can stir the debate, you could be devil's advocate and all of a sudden, you know, it's a lot harder for politicians for corporations to get away with business as usual. So a rave was one of those incredible things, but every rave also had its own business plan. I'm going to share with you this one, the latest one, the last one I participated in the great bear rainforest in british columbia and this is for that one of those pipelines that alberta wants to send throughout the continent. There's one going to houston, the keystone pipeline there's a lot of opposition to that. This one is called the northern gateway and it's going through the most pristine ecosystem in canada. This is it. You know they're going to put these supertankers that are going to be navigating through these fjords. Every supertanker carries a million barrels of oil. You know, the exxon valdez on ly carried seven hundred thousand so it's just a matter of when there's going to be an accident so I wanted with my photographs to show you know how dangerous this really is andi, I wanted my photographs to show, you know, a little bit of the foot for now. The flora, some of the animals that live there. But in this rave, we have ten other photographers. So we had somebody specializing on underwater, somebody specializing on bears, only somebody doing aerial photography. My job really was to try to give the indigenous people the first nations of voice and to try to again portray them with some dignity. You know, there's this perception that there's a lot of alcohol abuse and, you know, you name it, it happens in every indigenous community. I wanted to show them as real people, you know, with real consequences, and they're really scared him. But I also wanted to show that they depend on a clean, healthy ocean to survive. So I spent. I don't know how month living with them and one of the fishing camps and just trying to make beautiful pictures that capture people's attention. Here, this man is catching halibut, it's, one of the most important fish that they but they face. And I also wanted to show a little bit of the emotion and just how fearful and desperate they are about this pipeline, but more than anything, you know, just the bounty that the ocean gives him it's really, truly it's a magical place. There's whales, there's bears they have these white bear, the spirit bear on so pull nicklin photographer from national geographic did a beautiful photo essay for the magazine on dh that's how we started sharing this particular issue. You know, when when the first nations asked the aisle cpi to come, they said nobody's listening to us, you know, we're opposing these pipeline, and yet we find that our voices not being heard so through the rave and through the photographs on through the film that we did way partner with that because of the films, and they did a beautiful film called spoil, we were able to give them the tools that they needed to start a movement. So now we have seventy first nations, you know, gather together in opposition on a movement that's really building momentum, so it started with national geographic. They published the spirit bear story that pull beautifully photographed, but they also published, you know, they were going to do on an essay on canadian national parks, and the editor of the magazine said, no, this is more important. They published a whole essay on the rave, and so that was amazing. You know, when you do compelling important work, you will find somebody to publish it now we're doing a book with national geographic its polls pictures off bears but I wrote the text and its conservation based text on of course we keep the beating off the drum you know this is an important area we don't want a pipeline the movie spoil I just spoke the day before yesterday the new spain vancouver island people want to hear about this you know it's not because they don't care it's because they don't know and once they know you can never go back to not carrying again you know once you understand something the only course forward is to care and to take action so all right so when you're when you have these big idea this project you're going to save whatever you know whales or whatever there's so much that we need to be working on first question need to ask yourself is um I going to do this as a business where I am for profit and then selling a product or um I going to do it for non for profit on this is an important question because there has a lot of tax implications has a lot of charity donation implications but also being a nonprofit almost gives you these powerful cloak of goodness you know so so it's an important question and you know the only you know the answer I know photographers that are doing amazing work photographers like gregory cold eric with his ashes and snow he's a business he doesn't shy away from making a very good living with his work, but at same time he's shamed changing the way that people perceive the natural world and he's inspiring millions with his pictures or to be a non profit, you know, and we talked about this two hundred seventy a billion dollars out there every year up for grabs. You know, this is charitable money that people are giving away on seventy percent of that is given away by individuals, you know, let's not focus on lee on corporations and foundations. There are a lot of inspired people out there who are trying to get rid of some of their money. You're a lawyer, right? Eric? Yeah. So maybe you can tell us more about your not tax lawyer, your inmate immigration lawyer, but but this is true. You know, I'm people really need to deal with their taxes at the end of the year in a great way to offset some of your texas is by giving your money away. So how do you get somebody to give it to you? You go through the steps, you know, you you come up with a good proposal with a doable plan with something that really has an end product, something that's going to be positive and you have a winning argument, I think that's in my next yeah. So when you write that proposal, you know, there's a million templates out there in the internet, use them. They're a good place to start, but remember, you know, come up with a big idea. You know, I'm going to save the whales. It's not enough. You know, I'm going to find a way to inspire the care and appreciation of the largest marine mammal by that sounds a little better now, but at the same time, it needs to be true. Alan needs to be success. It needs to be very specific, and it needs to be inspiring. Just because you care is not enough. Why should the rest of us care on dso? Try to find those words. If you can read a book by howard chap nick it's called truth needs no ally. I have found a book to be so incredibly inspiring for all of this. Think about winning. You know, you're going to do these incredible photography project. How are you gonna win the battle on again? You know, you're going to influence politicians. Are you going to start a grassroots movement or you're going to raise money? You have to have a winning strategy, um, be eloquent. You know, being boring doesn't get anything done. So so get your friends, get people to look at your proposal, get people to look at your ideas. I listened to a lot of ted talks. You know, I find that people in ted are forced to be eloquent on. You can learn a lot from the way they communicate. Um, I'm finally at those details, you know, how is this gonna happen? Where you going to go? How much money are you going to spend? Who's? Helping you? One of the most important things. And people forget it. The power ofthe partnership, you know, going at it alone. It's. Almost never a good option. You know who else is in it with you? Conservation group, a local corporation. A local business. The local mom has been raising money and making takes. You know, there's a lot of people out there that could benefit from having a photographer embedded in their costs. So all of that will help. More important than anything is to pitch for a big dream. You know, we have big problems. I believe that photography can really change the course of history. So I encourage you to shoot for big on to shoot, you know, not just a big dream, but a big solution. Should I will say it again it's not because people don't care it's because they don't know on our jobs for a journalist documentary photographers is to show them how to do it in an eloquent, positive, inspiring, hopeful way so that's how I wrap up this section I love to get some questions there's lots coming in from the internet let's see if we have any from our studio audience because any anybody have any great questions right now? Yeah, one of the I have a question you mentioned your daughters you have three readout puts on time a daughter, two sons and daughter how did they come along this journey with you? How were they involved that's a great question their older now twenty seven twenty one seventeen but when they were little they traveled with me often when they were in grade school and it was easy to pluck them out. They opened all sorts of doors for me. I found that in any community to show up with a kid immediately opens the doors. You know you will notice in my photography that I have tons of pictures of women and children because that's why in the pan nina you know and having the kids it's almost like he's having these little ambassador diplomat you know that almost always got me into somebody's dining room or you know you can sleep here you can it's amazing as they've grown older they become conservationists in their own right because they've traveled and seen so much I mean when I talked to them I I think they're young still but I'm starting to get these waves of gratitude you know that for what they've seen on I think they're starting to understand what they can contribute on you know, as a mom I couldn't ask for anything better none of them are photographers also maybe they're going to make a living that's great thank you. Great question yeah any others in the audience right now? Looks like we have here in orlando photographer yeah when you're going through the research phase when you're developing your pitch and you're deciding on, you know what information is relevant and how you're going to present that missus inked and concise way do you have a method to that? Do you have any particular resource? Is that air more reliable than others or is it just kind of a case by case you know, of course we all do it through the internet now I remember the last two months in the library and then in the internet you find a lot off junk on a lot of good information and you have to weed through it I find that the stuff that is good and the stuff that isthe sally in't rises to the top on its own I have found, you know, that when I have written and offered my services, I often get, you know, a little bit of pushback in the beginning and then, you know, through a little bit of insistence, I start getting access happened to me recently with amazon watch, I rolled them and I said, you know, I believe in what you're doing, I want to help, uh, you know, it's like, yeah, we don't usually work with photographers, what do you want? You know, we have no money, you have to keep writing back and offering what you can do for them on in the end, you know, I now I feel like I'm really helping their costs, they're auctioning some of my photographs and their fundraising they're using my image is one there website, and a lot of it is for free, some of it they pay me for, uh, finding out who has the resource is the access is the most important part of the research, so you do your due diligence and then phoned, you know, don't just do the internet called him great. Thank you. Yes, when you're when you're beginning a project proposal, I've heard some people say that you should at least have, like, twelve good images from your first visits to there. A little bit of research about how much do you like to have when you're writing a proposal to send off? That was another great question I can tell you, writing a proposal in proposals I find that less is more if you have for amazing pictures, that's better than having twelve mediocre ones you want to show them what you're capable of doing and what you can offer, but you don't want to give it all the way. So show your best, you know, show a variety, andi, just make sure they know that there's a lot more where that came from and that you capable off delivery, the story that you're promising. We have a lot of questions coming in from the internet about not speaking the same language as you're traveling around. You're going to these faraway lands, and how do you communicate with them? Great question, mary, the thing that I have found this gaining access through a local conservation group or through a local environmental group through whoever is working there almost immediately affords you the benefit of having a translator whenever I haven't had that I have found it really difficult. I speak four languages, but it's really hard to communicating by faith, one that you don't know, be candid, be funny, you know, be vulnerable, use your hands, have you dictionary as humans, we can communicate so much with so little and especially as photographers you know we don't need to say much, so just make sure that they know your intentions and smile a lot yeah, just through body language, body language exactly or drawings you know we're going to talk more about drawing some in our next segment but yeah, yeah just further that how important is if you are working with a guide or a fixer, how important is it that that person knows the community or that person speaks the language or is is able to make that connection for you? Or are you just relying on your own ability to make that connection nami whenever possible? If you have a fixture that's from the local community that's better it could work both ways you know, I've hired more than once the guy that nobody likes you know you're like rats, you know by the time you realize that nobody takes them seriously or whatever it might be too late. So I think the most important thing is to take ownership and leadership of your own expedition. You know, the person that you hiring is just there for support, so for sure, you know, if you can hire somebody that can translate that can make arrangements for you to sleep that can introduce you to the community but don't leave the entire job to that purse what's what's the first way I would have no idea how to even go about finding such a person you know what other than if I if I was working with a direct organization what are some other ways that people can think about finding people well, you know if you are if you care about you know lions in africa or about them aside people you look for organizations that are working there you send them an email, you send the proposal you say this is my plan you know I will not be a burden to you I think something that photographers need to understand is that conservation groups environmental groups are having enough of a hard time raising money for their own projects they're not going to pick you up but if you're able to raise your own money for an expedition to go with him you need to let them know that you're paying your own way or that you only require meals or that but you do want that access so you need to ask him is there somebody you trust? Is there somebody I can hire? Can somebody go with me? I have found that often times if you show up alone it could be a very frustrating exercise yes who would be the person say I've identified an organization who would be the person that I would write to what's their role who is who do I look for that's a great question it's usually the communications director okay uh that's the person you want to write first because they're the ones do we know the social media great the ones we use the images they're the ones who are going to speak our language and they're going to understand what we can do for them here's another thing when you start working with a group with any kind of group once I mean a lot of these groups have no access to photographers and so they're using whatever images they can take with their little hand health some of them doing ok job but the minute you start giving them beautifully made emotional compelling pictures they will see that they're able to raise better money they're capturing more attention and there's no going back to the point and shoot so that's how you find your way into an organization you show your value you show that you can be an asset not a pain in the neck to work with your nice you're grateful on before you know it I mean this becomes a lifelong project has for me I think we had one of the question from the audience as well eugene maryland yes what person is on the urban dwellers like us we have no prior knowledge of ted rall countries who are from a total country but um where you from from ghana from gone yeah a so far as that is concerned if you want to do anything on the scale of our documentary documenting the environment in the united states do you have any points you know I think yes, not in total countries like what are you thinking about about maybe a social problem related to the environment may be and that is where I'm going with my street photography so I just want to know if it's also feasible to add the point is you've given maybe sick funds for that too I think there is no more charitable, gracious, generous country than the united states most of the money for the environment comes from americans I think we should all be really proud of that. The other thing that americans have done is we've pioneered the idea of the protected area united state was the first country to protect any landscape on I think we're still leading the way in many ways and there's a lot of money, a lot of interest and a lot of groups here that are working on on conservation environmental issues I think where you're going with your photography is really interesting you know, what are the social impacts of environmental damage? And I think that's something that's been sorely missing and it usually tends to be a pretty dark subject it can be very somber so you're going to be challenged with finding a hopeful message away too, you know propose a solution to get the community engaged but I think you're gonna have no problem finding funding. You know, I think americans are some of the people that care most about their health, their wallet. If you can find a way to attach your story to those two items, uh, you will find somebody who cares enough. And if it's, not the local businesses or the local community, uh, it will be some local funder. Yeah, you go to the banks, he one of the restaurants who I mean, you tell them what you're doing. And hey, now we have kickstarter and all those crowd sourcing is programs. They work really well as well. There's another question that came in from the internet. Drew asks, how do you walk the line between exhibition and exploitation of your subject, namely, human subjects? That's a great question that comes up pretty often, you know, and it is true, just securing a model release, letting people know that you're taking the picture it's often hard enough, you know, but there's a whole group that they preach, compensating people for their time, the energy that they put into posing for your project. And then if they make a cell a part of the proceeds go back, I find that very difficult. My own personal preference is not to pay, you know, when I go to the kayapo villages, I don't pay them, but I leave a lot of stuff with him, you know? And I like to leave a donation for the community, you know, they need a lot of stuff, so I try not to pay directly, but I tried to find other ways to give back. Of course, as photographers, one of the things we do is sell our work on we sell it because that's, the only way we can pay to go back, you have to find a way to really make it about them, to really make it about helping. And if you're only there to take portrait's because you're fine art photographer and you're selling the work, there's, nothing wrong with that. Just let's. Be honest about it. You know, ana, you know it's a tough one. I mean, where is the moral high ground on that one? Yeah, and just as a quick follow up because you brought it up, there have been some questions in our chat rooms about model releases when people are speaking, other languages are if you have moderate leases in different languages, and how do you what is that process like? It's a difficult process you know and I don't have model releases for a lot of my work although I do have a lot for the places where I've gone back and I have been able to x explain what it's for when you go to a village and there's a clear leader a chief or ashamed or somebody you can get that person to give you model release that speaks on behalf of the community in some of these remote places people don't know how to speak english or right or they don't even understand why anybody would need a signifying piece of paper um the one thing that I do that I learned from another photographer that works really well if if you have a model release that explains it very simple terms what you're doing and you get a lot of people you know, everybody that you photograph in that community that they to sign underneath each other so you don't need to carry two hundred but you need to be clear and truthful about what you're doing and I wanted to say something I mean, I don't know if there's any technical questions from the internet today I didn't want to speak about the technical aspect of the gear although I do shoot with sony here but we have ah your temple dear friend sony guru and he can answer any technical question saw so if you have any police shoot them being the master in your years step number one so it can help us with that exactly and I wanted to follow up on what you're talking about about model releases when when do you needem when for this type of photography we know so when we're goingto do portrait shoots and we know we're going to put him on our web site, but when do you need them? Whenever you're going to make a profit and it's going to be commercial, you need a model release if it's just editorial and you're just trying to tell a story, then you don't now sometimes you don't know, you know you make the portrait of the year and you want to sell, you know, if you're selling prints you almost always never needed if it's going to be, you know, an ad for rolex rolex may want to release whenever possible if you can, I think people really like signing their name to the fight that they being photographed, you know, even in remote for communities if you do them the courtesy, the honor of asking them for model release I have never had anybody say no it's hard to explain some things, but if you make an effort somebody already since I have, you know they're covered in mud and they've been rained on and been sitting in my back pocket, they've become very good artifacts so do you have the scenario when you when you have somebody to sign the release you said that you do you try not to pay people but you leave things with them do you have people say to you but if you're going to sell this shouldn't I be making money off of it because that happened yeah, I know you know when it happens more when you're shooting in a very touristy area yes people for example in places like mark cash you know where they're assaulted by tourists nobody will let you take the picture unless you pay them as a journalist you know we're supposed to not pay but I don't have a problem you know, compensating somebody like I would compensate a model in the united states right? You know for their time and the courtesy of stopping for a few minutes for me to take the pictures important tip negotiate the price before yeah if you're going to pay them a dollar you know you show them to dollar you put in your pocket you don't hand it to them because in all your pictures will have somebody holding a dollar you know but you know state truth of what you negotiated if you want to spend another hour you say you know what? Thank you for your time can you stay another hour? I'll pay you another dollar it's it's just a courtesy of somebody's time really like like taxicab negotiating the price at a time yeah it's smart really quick another question from the internet a little bit on the technical side nature love asked all your photos look like they're natural light do you carry any speed, lights or any external flash is with you when we wish you know that all the light was magical natural light whenever possible you know I in the places where I work it's hard to get batteries charged so whenever possible rely on the natural light follow the light like can be beautiful if there's no light make your life on you know with the flesh that we have today and sony makes an amazing flash you can actually create beautiful portrait I use some off camera flash I always carrying my little cable with me I connected through my flash and I pointed or get local kid to point it for me came a couple of dollars off camera flashes your friend and learning how to use it. If you don't more important than learning how to use your camera, you'll be amazed at how many photographers have no idea how to use their flesh. Some of them even look down on using flash at all. I think flash can save a shoot and for me it's don't so many kinds that turkey is you never want people to know that you use the flash so so I think that's a perfect opportunity because people asking about what do you bring with you? Christina and I know you brought some of your gear with you, so if you could just actually before we go to break, take us through what you bring with you because I'm sure you have to travel light that would be fantastic it depends on the shoot it depends on how long you're going for for me because I specialize on people you know, having some normal wide angle lenses is oftentimes enough I love shooting with a zoom, so I carry two of everything I've had more than once when things have failed, you know, in the middle of nowhere and there's no sony shop too by an extra charger, so two of everything but I these days I'm shooting with the outfront ninety ninety eight ninety nine they call it it's an incredible camera that also those high definition video, which I'm starting to get into, I bring my any x six well, we're gonna talk about sketching and story telling in the next segment, but ah, lot of times I sketched the shot with the any ex before I should have with the eighteen, ninety nine in many situations there any access to smaller camera uh it's less intimidating for people it produces a very high quality profile so many times it's enough I bring twenty four to seventy that's. What I call my warrior lance. You know it's always on my camera. That's the one I keep on that's the lens I go to first, if I need wider, I go to the sixteen to thirty five. I had a moment in my career when I was fooling around with a fish eye. I don't know what you're doing underwater work. Um, I love normal lenses. I like thirty five. I like the fifty. But I find that the twenty four to seventy really daughter roll and then I carry a telephone. Usually bring with me the seventy two, two hundred. This is an amazing lands. This is a seventy two, four hundred on. I'm going to show you a few pictures that I just made off. Why? Life, which is not my thing, but I did them over this lynch and its sharp and fast and beautiful and a father than that. My flesh. Couple of charges, a couple of cables, flash diffuser, and it all needs to fit in my carry on. Yeah. And if needed, I need to be able to carry it on my back. Try body. You know, even when he's amazing sensors, you never know when you really want a long exposure. Kick myself more than once, from not having my tribe to pain in the neck. I know we're supposed to carry it, carry it and that's about it. And I got really is one thing that I carry, and people make fun of me as I carry my instruction manual. You know, these cameras are incredible computers. They're so complex, they can do so much and more than once I've been. Maybe, you know, like, how do you do? Whatever you have to go back to instruction manual, except we appear in the highlands of ethiopia, might be heart, so carry it was nothing.

Class Description

With a focus on nature and conservation photography, Cristina will provide an overview on photography fundamentals and how to operate in various environments. Plus, she will walk you through the creative process, from conceptualizing to pre-visualization to shooting, this course will set you on the path to Shooting What You Love. This workshop is part of CreativeLive's Shoot What You Love: a 3-day inspirational event sponsored by SONY with fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Ma Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.


a Creativelive Student

WOW, I am feeling so inspired after watching Cristina's course in conservation photography. I have been wanting to do this for years, and have been doing it in my own little way. But now I feel I have so many ideas and examples to help me go down this path. Thank you Cristina and Creative Live.


Wow... Cristina has opened my eyes to story telling. Thank you. Love her approach to story telling.. Enjoyed this class.