Reflections from a JMG Grant Recipient

Story and Photography by Michelle A. Butler

© Michelle A. Butler

© Michelle A. Butler

It is with excitement and a bit of trepidation that I approach the presentation of my final thesis for a Masters of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University.  It seems like not that long ago I was a nature lover taking snapshots with a point-and-shoot, and now I’ve created a photo documentary series titled “Flight Path” which highlights challenges migrating and nesting birds face as they try to thrive across the Americas.  What a tremendous boost it was (as you can imagine) to be selected as the 2015 recipient of the Janie Moore Greene Grant!

When I began this academic journey several years ago, my goal was to be able to use my educational experience within the realm of conservation photography to educate, create empathy and spawn action.  Not only do I feel like I have accomplished this goal in small ways as I’ve progressed, but now I have an even stronger conviction and deeper commitment to this passion and purpose.  I plan to continue photographing and creating video within the genre of nature photography, with a focus on endangered plants, animals and birds.  If you would like to check out my most recent video work about cactus research and conservation in the Sonoran Desert, you will find a link at my website here.

I’m very excited about my future and am so grateful for the wisdom I’ve gleaned from my studies, professors and students, as well as through the wealth of resources NANPA has to offer.  This has been an invaluable experience and a path of joyful discovery! www.butler-photo.net  www.feathersandfauna.com

Learn more about the 2016 Janie Moore Greene Grant (submission deadline is October 31) and the NANPA Foundation.