Starting a career in conservation and science photography

March 26, 28, April 2 & 4, 2024

Four 2 hour sessions at 8pm EST (*March 26 will be 90 mins). Each session will be recorded and made available to registered participants for 60 days. 

There is a growing demand for conservation and science photography, but how do you get started as a professional in this field? Join Samantha Stephens and Brooke McDonough, two photographers, National Geographic Explorers, and iLCP members, as they share their career paths and break down the steps to crafting your own. From creating your first photo story to setting rates, Sam and Brooke cover the essentials of a strong foundation to reach your goals. If you’re getting started in conservation photography and want to move forward purposefully and confidently in your career, this workshop is for you.

Workshop Tuition: $249.00

Four online sessions     |     small group settings     |     personalized feedback

Course outline

Session one

Planning your career path

  • Group introductions
  • Brooke & Sam’s photography journeys
  • What are your goals in conservation photography?
  • Setting goals & planning ahead to craft the career you want

Session two

Building a body of work

  • Building your photography skills
  • Creating your first photo story
  • How to make connections (with subjects & editors) without a history of work
  • Building a portfolio of work
  • Early career opportunities

Session Three

Presenting Yourself

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Networking
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • Online & In Person Events 
  • Competition

Session Four

The Business

  • Setting rates
  • Project budgeting
  • Diversifying income streams (e.g. public speaking, teaching, sponsorship, publishing, etc.)
  • Conclusion: putting it all together and next steps

Meet your instructors

Brooke McDonough

Brooke McDonough is a conservation photographer, filmmaker, and writer based in Richmond, VA. She is passionate about telling stories through multimedia to engage people with the natural world and inspire action. Brooke is a 2022 National Geographic Explorer. She is also a member of the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) and a team member at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Portland Eco Film Festival, and Yale Environment 360. Brooke graduated with a master’s degree in new media photojournalism at GWU’s Corcoran School of Arts and Design in May 2020.

In addition to her own photography work, Brooke has an extensive background in photo marketing. She spent four years running the social media accounts for the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), where she more than doubled the audience and engagement rate. She also manages the social media for Summit Workshops and advises photographers on enhancing their marketing.

Samantha Stephens

Samantha is a biologist turned photographer for science and conservation. She uses visual storytelling to communicate scientific research, especially when that research is relevant to conservation issues. Samantha is a National Geographic Explorer, an Emerging League member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and an Ambassador for Girls Who Click. For the past few years, she has lived and worked at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station documenting various wildlife research projects and serving as the Communication Manager. Her work has been published by bioGraphic, National Wildlife Magazine, and National Geographic, among others.
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