Michelle Guillermin Photography: Blog https://www.guillermin.com/blog en-us (C) Michelle Guillermin Photography [email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) Fri, 01 Apr 2022 13:30:00 GMT Fri, 01 Apr 2022 13:30:00 GMT https://www.guillermin.com/img/s/v-12/u781592345-o346643635-50.jpg Michelle Guillermin Photography: Blog https://www.guillermin.com/blog 120 114 Western Workshop Turns Deep https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2016/10/western-workshop-turns-deep

On Monday, I walked in with an empty pad of paper, prepared to talk about f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO.  On Friday, I left with a full heart, ready to capture images that told a story and made a difference.

For a week, I rubbed shoulders with the best in the business, able to ask any question, whether it be technical, or about how they lived their lives, how they met the unique challenges that professional photographers face.  I made friends with people with similar hopes and dreams for a hobby that might shift to a profession – and if not, would occupy a significant part of our lives.  Sleep was pushed to the side, as the opportunities were endless and interesting and packed into every minute of every day.

Every evening, the lights dimmed and I was captivated by personal and emotional stories of lives spent capturing iconic moments in time.    The sports photographer who became a part of an Olympic athlete’s family.  The woman who spent time studying elephant vocalizations and who now finds a quiet place to watch and wait for smaller animals to frolic for her camera.  The reporter who followed his heart, and now follows water in his quest to solve planet-level problems.  The quirky otter-loving photographer who splashed about in the viscera of animals to get the perfect shot of an unloved scavenger.  Each night, I hoped the lights would not come up before the tears that had welled up in my eyes dried.

Reviews of my portfolio included the expected constructive recommendations, and less-expected genuine appreciation and praise.  Surprisingly, the reviews also shifted to conversations about hope and beauty – and how to tap these basic human values through photography to raise awareness and solve problems that resonate deeply.

I joined the workshop in search of images of a majestic mountain range and the wildlife that inhabits it.   Instead, the workshop fed a sense of purpose, sparked a renewed energy to make a difference, and showed me the most amazing examples to follow to make the world a better place.

Should you be interested in attending one of these workshops, the information can be found here:

The Summit Series of Workshops 

Nature Workshop


[email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) Jackson Hole Summit Workshops Wyoming Yellowstone make a difference nature photograph with purpose https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2016/10/western-workshop-turns-deep Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:24:37 GMT
Photograph with a purpose https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2016/9/photograph-with-a-purpose As an American, I was drawn to yesterday’s stories and photographs remembering 9/11 fifteen years later.  It was impossible to stop the tears when reading tributes to the heroes in uniform and ordinary people impacted by this day in our history.  On 9/11/01, I missed the relentless television news feed as the story unfolded.  I was at a client’s office in Atlanta, and spent the entire day driving north on a nearly deserted I-95, following an irresistible urge to make it to my safe place, my farm outside DC.  The radio news painted a picture in words - and I sobbed as they described the members of Congress singing “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps.  But, its only been after the fact that I have come to have a visual memory of that terrible day.

As a photographer, I was struck by the photographers who shot iconic images of that day — and almost to a person when interviewed, said they had put the photos away and never looked at them again.  So deeply were they impacted by being a witness to the events, that they didn’t dare to open their hearts to the horror again.  Some were just now beginning to find the stomach to open their files and review work that they wish they had never made.

In this era of cell phones and snapchat, we are inundated with images.  Seemingly nothing is exempt from being captured.  But even as we are saturated with photographs, the professional photographers continue to make an impact on they way we view and remember our lives.  Their images, more carefully tuned and curated than in the past, rise above the noise and do more than capture a “share of eyeball”.  They continue to give us hope, enrage us, move us to action or make us fall in love.  

I have a purpose and am focusing my photography on supporting that purpose.  Are you?

[email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) 11 9/11 September make a difference photograph with purpose https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2016/9/photograph-with-a-purpose Mon, 12 Sep 2016 18:16:42 GMT
Anticipation https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/11/anticipation I'm clearly a terrible blogger. Months have gone by since my last post.  In part, that is because very little is going on from a photographic perspective.  I've never been one of those photograph-every-day kind of artists.  Instead, I have long intense bursts of activity, which sate me for months on end.

One of those busy times is coming up.  In less than three weeks, I leave for a two week trip to Kenya.  I will be hosting a couple who are celebrating their 10th anniversary.  I was lucky to be with them when they married on the South Pacific island of Palau - alongside Jeff Probst and the cast of Survivor Palau (just by chance, but what a great wedding story).  Back then, I photographed both underwater and on land and presented them with a book to remember the trip.  Don't tell them, but I'll do it again this trip!

I have packed, repacked, cleaned and organized my equipment many times in anticipation of this trip.  I have made a shot list and have studied other photographers' work, as well as brutally assessed my own.  But no matter how much I plan, wildlife photography always presents exciting surprises, and I cannot wait until I find out what those are.

There will be lots of elephants on this trip, so I leave you with a sweet baby.....


AeordynamicAeordynamicA baby elephant in Amboseli pins his ears to his head as he focuses on his meal.

[email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/11/anticipation Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:42:13 GMT
The Northern Herd Beach Walk https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/8/the-northern-herd-beach-walk On the second day of Pony Penning week, the cowboys move to the Northern end of the island to round up the herd that lives there.  At 5AM, the line of cars to enter the reserve is long, and by the 6AM expected arrival time of the Cowboys, thousands of people line the beach.

This is a larger group than the Southern Herd and, when we had a chance to compare the two in the holding pens, they seemed bigger and stronger.  Part of that might be the influence of three (and several more) magnificent stallions:  Surfer's Riptide, Ajax and Ace's Black Tie Affair.


Above you see Riptide (left) and Ajax sorting out how they can co-exist in the small holding pens.  Riptide, born in 2009, is son of the famous Surfer Dude.  He is absolutely breathtaking, and I am convinced that some Saltwater Cowboy secretly sneaks him to the side and grooms his magnificent blond mane.    Ajax is a little older, born in 2007, but is no less imposing and certainly is making his mark on the Northern Herd.


Every little girl loves a black stallion, and Ace will win my heart every time.  Another 2007 baby, he has four white legs and a small white spot behind his left elbow.

The ponies get to chill for a couple days in the holding pens before they are driven into the Assateague Channel and brought to the carnival grounds.  They all seem happy to have lots of fresh water and fresh hay - a nice change after foraging in the salt marshes.


[email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/8/the-northern-herd-beach-walk Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:09:58 GMT
The very first blog post! Chincoteague https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/7/the-very-first-blog-post-chincoteague Sitting here on Chincoteague Island on a cloudy humid day, it just seemed like the best time to make my very first blog post.  I won't be doing this often, and chances are, I'll be linking you to someone else's interesting post most of the time.  Best use I can see for a blog is a platform to help you hear about some of the wonderful things very dedicated people are doing to preserve wildlife.

This week, there may be a few more posts than usual because I am here for a series of events that have been taking place for the last 89 years.  And I'd bet they have changed very little over those 89 years.

Here in Chincoteague, the story is unique, but contains elements of other large scale conservation programs.  First you need to understand this community.  It is a small town in every sense of the word.  There is nothing slick or fancy about Chincoteague, and, if you didn't notice the mopeds and late model SUV's you'd assume you had stepped back in time 50 years.  The local theatre is playing "Misty", a story of a pony that made this island famous. The fireman's carnival is the same as our grandmothers attended.  And, frankly, the house I'm staying in hasn't been renovated in many many years.

This is Pony Penning week.    Two herds of feral ponies are rounded up from Assateague Island each July.  Mid-week, the volunteer fire department's Saltwater Cowboys, a scrappy group of good old boys riding in big western saddles, herd the ponies into the channel where they swim to Chincoteague.  The next day, new foals are auctioned in a fund-raiser for the fire department.   This keeps the number of ponies around 150, which is what the island can support.

Yesterday, the southern herd was rounded up and placed in a corral on Assateague National Wildlife Refuge.  Enjoy a few shots from the roundup, and of the Saltwater Cowboys doing their job!


[email protected] (Michelle Guillermin Photography) Chincoteague Saltwater Cowboys feral horse horse pony https://www.guillermin.com/blog/2014/7/the-very-first-blog-post-chincoteague Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:02:14 GMT