Photographer Jay Fleming hopes to combine two of his loves, photography and conservation – to help a greater cause. For Fleming, the son of a photographer, picture making can help foster an appreciation of the natural world that he has loved his entire life.
“I hope to promote conservation through photos,” he said. “I would love to combine my passion for conservation and photography.”
Fleming got his start as a shutterbug with a hand-me-down Nikon when he was only 13, accompanying his father, Kevin, on assignments.
“That eventually led to me taking my own trips to remote locations at odd times to catch the right light,” says Fleming, who garnered a grand prize in the Environmental Protection Agency’s photography contest when he was just 14.
“That sparked my interest and I have been pursuing wildlife photography ever since, “says Fleming. “Finding aspects of our natural world that few have seen inspires me to keep searching for the right subject in the right light.”
It is Fleming’s love of the outdoor world combined with his desire to capture images of nature in new ones that push him to continuously grow as a photographer.
“The thing about photography that I love most is that it keeps me motivated to continue exploring and to get out. Photography allows me to see many different subjects,” says Fleming. “For my fans and those unfamiliar with my work I hope to be able to show them something different, whether it is a completely unfamiliar subject or a familiar subject that I saw from a different angle.”
Fleming’s passion and talent have quickly made the young photographer a Festival favorite. He was named the Waterfowl Festival’s 2011 Best in Show award, an honor determined via a voting process by fellow photographers
A graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2009, Fleming hopes to pursue a graduate degree in resource management or fisheries economics. He has worked in Yellowstone National Park and with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. As a photographer who regularly donates his work to non-profit groups, Fleming looks forward to returning to the Photography Exhibit.
“I am very proud to be involved with a organization that donates proceeds to conservation efforts,” he said. “Without conservation efforts many of our natural areas and resources would not be what they are or will degrade even more.”
Stop by the Photography Exhibit at Easton Middle School to see Fleming’s latest work. Visit him online at www.jayflemingphotography.com.