How I Got the Shot
I photographed Grizzly 399 crossing the highway with a horde of photographers watching in the background as part of a project involving ecotourism and the pressure that it puts on wildlife. I had envisioned this image for some time now and, while I was in Wyoming for the NANPA Nature Celebration, I got the opportunity I was looking for. Grizzly 399 is famous for spending much of her time close to the road. I knew she would make for the perfect subject for this project. I created the image by making sure I was on the opposite side of the road as the rest of the crowd and then when the moment she crossed I lined myself up in the middle of the road to focus on the crowd.
What I Used
When I photographed this image I was borrowing a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV from the Canon vendor during the NANPA Nature Celebration. My settings were 1/1250 sec. f/8 226mm. I used f/8 so that I could get both the bear and the crowd in focus at the same time.
I am a California-based full-time wildlife conservation photographer. I started working as a nature photographer in 2005 after I graduated college with a B.A. in Communications. I started working full time in nature photography in 2017. I spend most of my time working on projects involving nature photography ethics and human-wildlife conflicts. I really enjoy photographing megafauna such as bears and big cats and find myself spending much of my time in places like Wyoming, where I can see the grand landscapes with the iconic wildlife that call this place home.
My Photographic Journey
I have been passionate about nature photography since I was about 8 years old. What keeps me interested is my passion for making a difference in the lives of wild animals and wild places. I believe that photography plays a critical role in getting people to care about preserving these animals and the places that they live. When I was first starting out, I attended a workshop called Photography at the Summit. Since then, I attended the same workshop five more times and was asked to join the staff during the 2018 season. Through this workshop I met some of my most influential mentors such as Melissa Groo, Morgan Heim, Michael Forsberg, and Dave Showalter. As I have progressed in my career other mentors emerged such as Sebastian Kennerknecht, Suzi Eszterhas, and Steve Winter.
NANPA and Me
I joined NANPA in 2016 and, shortly after joining, was asked to serve as a member of the Ethics Committee. In 2018 I became the Ethics Committee Chair. In 2017 I was a Lightning Talk presenter and in 2018 I was a presenter for the NANPA Nature Celebration in Jackson Hole. In 2019 I was again a presenter for the NANPA Summit Conference in Las Vegas. I will be co-leading a Regional Event in Grand Teton National Park in fall of 2020. In 2017 one of my images made top 100 in the NANPA Showcase, in 2019 one of my images made top 250 and this year, in addition to my Judges Choice Conservation image, I had another photo make top 250 in the Landscape category.