I first started taking photos in my bedroom when I was 13. Like any other 13 year old, I began breeding salamanders and sharing images of them online. I was shocked (but thrilled) to find that people loved finding out more about these animals through my images, and I realised a single image could transform someone's perspective in an instant. I soon reached the conclusion that powerful imagery and storytelling can ultimately influence conservation as a whole, and I stand by that statement today. Ten years have passed since I first started sharing images of salamanders from my bedroom, and I feel very lucky to be at a stage with my work where I am able to start operating as a freelance photographer, filmmaker, and science communicator.
Before I started my degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, I was acutely aware that communication was very important to me and the causes I care about. I noticed a troubling mismatch where the animals and systems that needed help often weren't the ones that typically fell into public favour. I've always had a 'thing' for underdog species or habitats; I'm a lover of pigeons, worms, dogfish, and spiders. I feel a sense of duty to wave the flag for animals less likely to receive attention due to their looks, inaccessibility, or nuisance. I believe that in the face of rapid and accelerating biodiversity loss across the world's terrestrial, marine, and freshwater habitats, we must embrace nature in all of its forms, and recognise where our own biases may prevent effective conservation strategies.
I hope that by engaging with my work, you can build connections to animals or habitats that you might have overlooked before. If I can make you feel something positive towards a local species or habitat, especially those you may not have the chance to encounter yourself, then I've achieved my goal. There is beauty in the everyday species around us, and I think we would enjoy our lives more if we learnt to appreciate the striking colours of an intertidal worm or the pre-historic origins of the jellyfish.