Photographs by Morgan Heim
Interview by David C. Lester
Morgan Heim is a full-time freelance nature and wildlife photographer who brings unparalleled intensity and compassion to her work. The easiest way to appreciate this is to take a look at her website, morganheim.com and go through the projects she has tackled over the past eleven years. From photographing the work of drug trafficking organizations (primarily the dismantling of their work by scientists and law enforcement agents) that run industrial-scale marijuana growing operations in California forests with an estimated value of $31 billion, and that have a terrible impact on the environment, to stopping along the road to memorialize animals that have been killed by motor vehicles, Morgan’s approach to conservation photography leaves a deep and contemplative impression on the viewer that doesn’t pass quickly.
While Morgan feels lucky to get to work steadily on projects, there is still a tremendous amount that she wants to do. “My overarching goal is to have the work that I do provide a meaningful contribution to conservation,” Morgan says. “I’ve gotten a good start on a lot of things, but there’s a lot left to do, both on the projects I’ve already undertaken, as well as new projects in the future. For example, fishing cats are still endangered, and a little money was raised to help them, but my work won’t save the fishing cat,” she says. Morgan says that when she works on a project, she wants to be part of the process and part of the community. She enjoys the journey and the challenge. She’s not only excited about creating images, but how she is able to use them.