In The Beginning...

Late at night, when the campfire burns low, old timers still tell almost unbelievable stories about the days of yore. Once upon a time, the story goes, a nature photographer could make a decent living simply by selling photos to publications and commercial interests. Cathy and I got into this business just as those days were ending. Suddenly there was too much supply and not enough demand as new photographers appeared on the scene, anxious to sell their photos. The old timers probably considered us interlopers, as contributing to the decline of their industry, and we probably viewed the even newer photographers the same way. However, nothing lasts forever, and change is the only constant. All of us must adapt to the changes or step aside.

As we watched the stock photo industry shrink, we asked ourselves why we got into this business. We came to the somewhat surprising conclusion that for us selling photos was not the most important consideration. Neither was winning awards in photo contests. The most important thing was the sheer joy that experiencing and sharing the natural world gave us. We realized most of our favorite photos will never sell, and will never win a photo contest. Granted, we would prefer that they did, but that is not why we made the effort to capture the images. We made the effort because we were compelled to do so. Our cameras opened the door to the mystery and the magic of the universe--who could resist that?

Sandhill cranes, full moon, Bosque del Apache

The more we thought about it, the more we saw that what we were doing was kneeling, often literally, before the altar of creation. It took almost a decade for our philosophy to coalesce, and it turned out that our cameras played a key role in our religion. Not that we worship our cameras, even though it might appear that way to onlookers. It is the natural world and the Creator behind it that are the central figures in our religion. Our cameras are simply intermediaries that give us access to the objects of our devotion, kind of like a deacon opening the doors to a church.

When we understood that we were worshipping with our cameras, we felt we should share this concept. Not just because there was the possibility of making a buck, but because we were sure we were not alone. There are countless photographers who get their primary inspiration from the natural world, who are captivated by the miracle and the majesty of this tapestry we’ve been woven into. Our first ebook,
Worshipping With A Camera, Other Nations; The Creatures Who Share This Planet With Us, is dedicated to you.