I posted this image on (my now defunct) Instagram today and even though I have written about his story in the past, I felt like revisiting it again.
This particular coyote impacted my world in a somewhat strange way. I didn’t change careers and suddenly leap into a field of wildlife biology and I’m not traveling the world documenting wild animals and conservation failures and successes around the globe (though I’d love to!); the impact was on a much smaller scale. So how did it impact my world exactly? It influenced the way I think about wildlife and the impact we have on their daily live, including their habitat, and ultimately, their existence. I was already on the right train of thinking when it came to wildlife conservation – that was nothing new to me as I have been a lifelong wildlife enthusiast, but what changed is how I talk about this subject with others. I made it a point to become more informed and ready to share their stories, continue to learn from others and engage in healthy debate about wildlife conservation, management, hunting, captivity, etc. This heightened awareness also led me to start making changes towards living a cruelty free life. I’m not 100% there, but I’m well on my way and feel better for it. Wildlife and all animals continue to have a positive impact on me and it makes me want to make more images of them and continue to learn and lend my voice when I can.
Back to the Instagram image – is this a powerful photograph to others? Possibly, but probably not. Would you notice the wound on his nose or his mangled ears? Would you read the look in his eyes as a wild animal who had no fear of humans and was overly acclimated to our presence? Perhaps. Or not. Here’s the thing … I think as photographers we are often so concerned and even pressured to make a powerful image and share the story with others. At times our quest falls flat, but sometimes we end up being the ones most affected by the image and when that happens, I’d call it a success. Especially in the photography landscape of today.
The power of a photograph. Something I never take for granted.
See you in the field!