I retired after 36 years of teaching, started a photography business. After a battle with breast cancer, i found healing through nature. I spent three years being with the mute swans, on an almost daily basis. I became obsessed with learning about swans. I contacted the DNR and became involved with their swan restoration program. I am now the Education Coordinator for a nonprofit, The Willows Waterfowl Sanctuary in Boone, Iowa. I have spoken at many conferences, releases, and schools. My photography is no longer of people, but animals. I have received my Masters’ degree from Professional Photographers of America, as well as many awards, nationally, and regionally.
I was a portrait photographer for many years before my focus shifted to wildlife photography. I spend a lot of time in Florida’s state and national parks, and along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. I love sharing my love of nature with others through my photography, to help spread awareness that we all need to work together to pass this wonderful planet’s natural treasures on to our children.
By Kristie Burns
February 7, 2019
Cameras for Conservancy Members Brett Stewart (with our official press pass created by Terry Landers with an amazing photo by John Ryan) and Kristie Burns were invited to take photos at the Hope for the Wild speaker series featuring Doug Tallamy on February 7th. His talk was amazing.
There is a lot of talk being done about growing gardens that attract pollinators but he talks about how we need to also attract caterpillars to support our local bird populations. The statistics he provided were amazing and at one time in his talk he entertained us all by rattling off the names of caterpillars like a professional rapper.
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and has authored 92 research publications and taught for 37 years. His book, Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association.
It was an honor to meet him and be able to supply photos for this event!
By Kristie Burns
Cameras for Conservancy members had an amazing time at their February meet-up at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Conservation Park near Omaha, Nebraska. Members Tammi Howell, John Ryan, and Kristie Burns all attended. Holly Felsen Welch, who also attended, joined us as a member this week!
We were allowed IN the enclosure with the sandhill cranes and rescued eagles which allowed us to get photos we would never have been able to get in the wild. I’ve only been this close to an eagle once before – and that time was a surprise within itself.
The weather was cold but it allowed for some special photo opportunities like this one of an eagle’s breath by Kristie Burns.
We were also allowed to visit the wolves and take photos of them playing in the snow – their favorite game was to play hide-in-seek with us.
Afterwards some of us visited the Omaha Zoo, which was only 20 minutes away and the cheetahs were in rare display this day – playing with children on the outside their enclosure and posing for us in the snow.
We look forward to planning a meet-up again at this wonderful facility. Below are some photos from our experience – a close encounter with a sandhill crane, a cheetah in the snow, Tammi Howell listening to the keeper tell us about the cranes and eagles, Kristie Burns bundled up for the weather as ninja snowman, and John Ryan just before a sandhill crane decided to give his camera lens a good hard tap…
By Kristie Burns
February 26, 2019
Cameras for Conservancy joined up with Blank Park Zoo last week to donate some photography prints to their amazing Art for the Wild Event. Brett Stewart, Tammi Howell, John Ryan, Terry Landers, Barb Ashton, and Kristie Burns – all members of Cameras for Conservancy – donated prints to this event as a great example of teamwork!
All we had to do was post the invitation on our private member list and these wonderful members were eager to help. Thank you to all of them!
Besides the great feeling of helping conservation with photography the event itself was also a lot of fun. Tammi Howell, Brett Stewart, and Kristie Burns all attended. Each of us were given a complimentary ticket to the event, a name tag that designated us as an artist, and a small gift at our table. We also got to enjoy visiting with some of the animal ambassadors like my favorite – the prehensile porcupine.
Tammi’s photo of an elephant was one of the first pieces of art to be claimed for the evening with everyone’s photos getting claimed by the end of the event.
The speaker was inspiring as she talked about the efforts her group has gone to in saving lions in Africa. Her group actually spent two years getting to know the local population and work WITH them in their conservation efforts in a very respectful way. It was encouraging to hear her speak.
We missed the other members who could not attend the event itself but we did take photos of their art on display.
We look forward to helping out as a group again next year!. The event was a great success with a big crowd, beautiful table displays, a fun MC who seemed to know something about everyone, and a great speech by Jessie Lowry of Blank Park Zoo about all their conservation efforts around the world – she even ended her show with a shoutout to Tammi and Kristie who donated photos for her slide show presentation.
Photography is such a wonderful way to express oneself. It has also become such an import visual voice for many organizations around the world. A photo touches people in different ways, provokes different feelings and most of all can send
Such a huge and important message. I am an amateur photographer and have lived in Iowa my whole life. I love photographing landscapes, Birds, animals, butterflies, flowers and everything in between. I am a proud wife, mother of two grown boys and a very proud grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren who at 2yrs. and 5 yrs both have the photography bug already. For me working with Cameras for Conservancy and the organizations involved brings even more meaning to my work. To be able to be one of those visual voices is such an honor.
The world is big and constantly changing. Humans and wildlife are closer to each other more than ever. In some good ways and In other ways not so good. Which means we have a responsibility to protect what nature and wildlife we have left and that we also have a responsibility to do what we can to bring awareness to as many people in as many ways as we can to help the conservancy efforts..
I look forward to working with everyone involved.
I have had the honor of having some of my work displayed at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon in 2016-17. I took second place in the Silos and Smokestacks Photography contest in 2016.
And have also had my photo Published on the Cover of Iowa Bird Life Magazine for the Fall issue of 2016.