For the past several years, I’ve been photographing various species on black and white seamless backgrounds for the Photo Ark—everything from flies to camels. Here’s more about why I’m doing it.

Why studio portraits?

Well, first, some of the species in the project simply can’t be found in the wild any more. Another reason for this portrait style is that it gives equal weight to creatures big and small. Some of the frogs I’ve photographed are the size of a thumbnail, and this is a way for me to put them on equal footing with bigger animals like lions.

Which species do you photograph?

Though I started with amphibians, as I went from place to place, I’d hear about other species in trouble—primates, reptiles, migratory birds, and more. So now I photograph anything that will hold still on a background long enough for me to take a picture.

Which is more challenging/rewarding?

Both are equally challenging. I like working on studio portraits because I’ll at least see the animals, something I’m not guaranteed in the wild. The results of the studio work is often surprising, and when viewed together as a body of work I hope the Photo Ark raises as much awareness of the plight of endangered species as much or more than fieldwork.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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