The Teton Photography Club is holding Shoot Like A Girl, a symposium at the National Museum of Wildlife Art on Sept. 28 that will celebrate female photographers and conservation photojournalism, and the club hopes to attract young women to the event by offering scholarships to high school aged girls on both sides of the Tetons.
The Jackson-based club periodically offers educational programs, and with this year being the “Year of the Wyoming Woman,” the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming, the time was ripe for a symposium devoted to female photographers, explained the chair of the symposium and valley resident Christine Paige.
Shoot Like A Girl runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and features women who are professional or semi-professional photographers, mostly based in the Greater Yellowstone region. They’ll present on the more technical aspects of photography as well as the power of wildlife photography as both art and story. While the symposium celebrates women, everyone is invited to attend.
“It’ll be a wonderful day to build a sense of camaraderie and be inspired, to talk about challenges and different approaches, whether you’re an amateur who just wants to post better photos on Instagram or Facebook, or interested in pursuing a career,” Paige said.
There are five scholarships available to high school girls in Teton Valley and Jackson. The funds, provided by Soroptomists International of Jackson, cover registration and lunch for each student and registration for a chaperone if necessary. Applicants should have a serious interest in photography and are asked to provide a few examples of their work. The application deadline is Sept. 11.
The speakers and panelists include Kerry Singleton, a wildlife rehabilitator from Thayne who is able to capture special moments with small animals like pika and fishers; Jantina Tuthill, whose work is international in scope; Fereshte Faustini, a computer engineer with an excellent grasp on the technical aspects of shooting and editing; Tenley Thompson, a guide and biologist who will discuss the ethics of finding and photographing wildlife; and Jaymi Heimbuch, who teaches classes and workshops on technique and photojournalism. Paige is particularly excited to hear from the keynote speaker, Morgan Heim, whose conservation photojournalism and film work has appeared in National Geographic, BBC, the Banff Film Festival, and Smithsonian.
“She’s very talented and is building a brilliant career,” Paige said of Heim.
Paige, a wildlife biologist, sees extraordinary value in photography and photojournalism.
“Scientists don’t do a good job of telling our own story,” she said. “We write papers full of jargon that sit on shelves and no one reads them except our peers. But now the field of science communication is breaking wide open, with people blending their abilities across communication disciplines to tell science stories through photography, video, and writing. There’s a tremendous opportunity and a huge need for it, because there’s nothing more fascinating than the story of the living planet.”
Paige added that it’s important to offer diverse perspectives in every endeavor, especially male-dominated fields like photography and biology. When she was growing up, she didn’t have female role models in her career field.
“We want young women to be inspired, and to see themselves represented,” she said. “Art, science, politics, everything needs diversity to reflect the entire beautiful spectrum of humanity.”
For more information, registration, and scholarship applications, visit tetonphotographyclub.org/women-in-wildlife-photography-shoot-like-a-girl.