If you believe that things can only be truly beautiful if they were made with care and compassion for the planet we live on and the other people and species we share it with, we’re on the same page.
My goal is to create images & jewellery that are truly beautiful and make a positive difference. All Beasts & Blossoms purchases support nature conservation (see Supporting Conservation for details of nonprofits & charities supported), and I actively work to minimise the environmental and social impacts of Beasts & Blossoms as much as possible (see Ethical & Eco-conscious for details).
The short version: I’m a biologist, photographer & metalsmith / jewellery-maker currently living in Perth in Western Australia.
The long version: I was born in the US, but my parents are Australian and we moved to Australia when I was a teenager. I’ve spent 20+ years working as a conservation & small population biologist (mostly with frogs, but I’ve also worked with reptiles & mammals), and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible species in places like north Queensland, southwest Western Australia, NZ, the eastern US, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, the Seychelles & the British Channel Islands. I’ve worked in unis, conservation agencies & zoos, so I’ve got experience with field work (think late nights walking up streams & negotiating waterfalls in the pouring rain, and hours spent loitering around ponds, dams, roadside ditches & in swamps :)), research, education & conservation breeding programs. If you’d like to know a bit more about my work in conservation biology, this article in the Amphibian Ark newsletter talks about my experience working with frogs in more detail.
Given my fascination with plants & animals, it’s not surprising that they’re my favourite photographic subjects. I honestly can’t remember when I first picked up a camera, but my interest was (& still is) very much fostered by my dad. I do remember getting a small point & shoot and several rolls of film for Christmas when I was 9 or 10 – I was so excited to finally have a camera of my own… While those first photos were hardly works of art, they really showed me the power of photography to capture moments in time & every little detail.
In particular, I love that ability to focus in on the little things and all the fine details that are often missed and turn them into the centre of attention. A quote by the fabulous American painter Georgia O’Keeffe that I read years ago really resonated with me: “Nobody sees a flower, really – it is so small – we haven’t time, and to see takes times…”. There are so many incredible plants and animals all around us and they all deserve to be truly seen and appreciated – I hope I can help raise awareness about some of them & contribute to conservation efforts.
Beasts & Blossoms grew out of my desire to use my images as a platform to create stronger connections between people and nature, and to highlight and help raise awareness of the diversity, beauty and value of the plants & animals we share this planet with, as well as the threats facing many of them. Ultimately, I want to promote stewardship & help support conservation efforts in as many ways as possible.
I’m particularly passionate about introducing people to the smaller plants & animals that are easy to miss entirely, or to glance at without really seeing. Because when you take the time to really see them, to learn about what they do and how they do it, you begin to appreciate them in their own right, to value them, to care about them. And caring about them is the key to conserving them.
I set Beasts & Blossoms up as a nature photography website up in 2012, but life got in the way a bit and I didn’t make much progress over the next few years. While this was frustrating, it gave me time to think about exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I realised that I wanted to do something more with the images I was creating than just prints and cards. Don’t get me wrong, I love my favourite prints, paintings and other artworks – they add beauty to my world and create connections to the places & things I love. But it’s a bit difficult to carry them around with me.
I have a bit of a love affair with accessories, particularly jewellery. I think that the best jewellery not only expresses our own individual style & personality, but also has meaning. It creates connections to the people, places & ideas that we care about, it expresses what’s important to us & makes a public statement about our values. So, when I started thinking about what else I could do with my images, the idea of making jewellery really took hold. The aim of Beasts & Blossoms jewellery is to keep you connected to nature no matter where you are, & to spread the message about the beauty & value of the plants & animals we share the planet with to as many people as possible!
For me, the combination of photography & jewellery is perfect because I get to do not just one but two things I love, and support positive conservation outcomes by raising awareness, creating and strengthening connections with nature & generating funds to support nature conservation. Given my focus on nature & conservation, it’s important to me that my prints & jewellery are as ethical & eco-friendly as possible. I’m always looking for ways to reduce my impact even further, so if you have any suggestions, please get in touch!