The Variety in Conservation Photography
Conservation photography can mean a lot of different things. When I first started down this road, I expected it to consist primarily of me and my wife Marcy out in the hills making nature photos – landscapes, flowers, wildlife. I quickly learned however that there would be much more variety than that in what I do – I spend even more time documenting humans and their interaction with our planet. The mountain biking photo above is a great example. Land conservation on a local level often happens because of the recreation opportunities available on a given property. Scientists at work is another subject I encounter regularly, as well as commercial fishing, farming, and forestry. The tools of the trade have changed a lot as well. No more film and completely different cameras, including drones and action cams.
My Hometown Land Trust – The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire
I’m fortunate to have a land trust in my area as prolific as the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT). Southern New Hampshire has been one of the fastest growing population centers in New England for a few decades now, and SELT has stepped up to an amazing job of conserving critical farmland and wildlife habitat in the region. I’ve been fortunate to shoot for them on a regular basis since 2015. And while I love traveling all over New England, it’s a real joy to be able to work on projects lose to home on a regular basis.
Shooting Photos and Video for Clients
Another aspect of my job that has changed since I first started shooting professionally 30 years ago is the amount of video I shoot. Video was not part of my tool box until around 2011 – now it’s about 50% of what I do, and I often shoot both stills and video for clients like the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC). I’ve been making regular photo visits to their part of Connecticut for several years and in 2022 and 2023 filmed fundraising videos for them with my partner at Reel Quest Films, Ryan Smith. Here’s a link to the video we made for NCLC last summer: https://reelquestfilms.com/project/northwest-connecticut-land-conservancy-30-by-30/. The beautiful mix of farms, forests, and hills in northwest Connecticut seems more like northern New England to me, which is probably why I feel so easily connected to the landscape there.
In the city of Brockton
Another video/photo combo project I completed for a land trust last year happened in Brockton, Massachusetts, where The Wildlands Trust is working with the city and other partners to develop a new 10-year plan to upgrade the infrastructure at the 700-acre D.W. Field Park. While the plan is still being developed, Wildlands Trust asked Ryan Smith and I to take some photos and make a video introducing the public to the project and their “Green Team,” a group of Brockton teens who have spent the last two summers working around the city designing and implementing improvements to city parks. We captured them on two days in the summer of 2023 working on waste management and trail improvements.
You can see the video we produced about this project over on the Reel Quest Films website: https://reelquestfilms.com/project/the-wildlands-trust-in-brockton-massachusetts/
Single photos from a few more client shoots in 2023:
Let me know if you have any questions about my land trust photography.