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Hello,

Now graduating from the Marine and Natural History Photography Course at Falmouth University, with my camera in hand, I hope to encourage people to see nature as our vital link to peace and happiness. This is my mission: to use my passion for photography to promote a conscientious understanding of the environment.

Economic forces increasingly drive our modern lifestyles and around the world I have seen the impact of humankind’s desire for limitless expansion, which drains the environment and its resources. In 2016 I took part in a Rapid Visual Assessment Expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Referred to by many as the enchanted islands, I was shocked to a see that a location heralded as one of the last untouched wildernesses is still severely threatened by people. On my first day on Santa Cruz, a fishing boat was caught with two hundred sharks illegally captured in the protected waters surrounding the islands. This experience made me realize how important it is that we retain a sense of hope and encourage a growing passion for nature both at home and overseas. It is easy to think nationally, but our actions as individuals have a knock-on effect on far-flung countries throughout the world and, as a conservation photographer, I need to work without borders. In my work I do not wish to focus only on the threats, but rather celebrate our links to the Earth and the beautiful creatures we share our homes with. My images capture the beauty of nature and in turn create a sense of stewardship and care for the world around us.

A love for the natural world and a desire to protect it is deeply rooted in my childhood. During outdoor adventures, my parents taught me to respect the environment, so much so that by the time I was in school I was obsessed with wildlife. Sadly, many children will grow up without these hands-on experiences with wildlife or encouragement from their families. Children today are becoming increasingly alienated from the environment. We are all are born with a sense of amazement about the world around us, but we increasingly lose sight of this as we grow up. Research suggests that this growing disconnection with nature can adversely impact young people’s physical and psychological health. As adults we should promote wildlife and conservation learning and it should be as regularly taught in schools as mathematics or English literature. I believe targeted media will be the best way to encourage children to gain an interest in the natural world regardless of personal or family circumstances.

A special interest in mountain ecosystems led me to write a children’s publication featuring images from the Aiguilles Rouges mountain range for my final university project. The challenges faced by wildlife in my project area demonstrate the environmental significance of my portfolio. Though Alpine animals continue to exist in the wild, many of their populations have dramatically decreased in size and become cut off from one another due to human influences; with increasing tourism, global warming and the growing ski industry, much of the wildlife is under threat. The power of photography to engage and educate is widely recognised and this project aims to inspire others to have a new understanding of the environment, drawing attention to the remarkable diversity of native species that still exist in the mountains.

I have worked as a freelance photographer, undertaking professional commissions for a restoration project at The Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire with Christopher Garrand Consultancy. Created in the 1820s this late Regency garden was an outstanding location to photograph, and I became familiar with documentary and architectural photography while working to tight deadlines. This work was used to illustrate an iPhone application, website, and printed on the front cover of the Society For The Protection Of Ancient Buildings magazine in 2014. Alongside wildlife conservation I am interested in protecting cultural heritage sites, and would be delighted to find work in architectural photography that might help fund my wildlife passion. 

With a proven track record in visual communication, my photographs have already been published in several magazines and I achieved highly commended for one image in the 2016 British Wildlife Photography Awards. What happens next is largely down to perseverance and the first year is always going to be the hardest, but I am confident that with patience, hard work and a little luck, I will find a way to make a difference in the real world. 

Contact Me: stephanie1foote@gmail.com