Work with environmental organizations to envision and produce meaningful projects

© Bridget Besaw

Photographers need stories to tell. Environmental organizations have stories that need telling. Together they can create powerful imagery that reminds the viewer of the importance of protecting the planet. This workshop is for photographers with a strong interest in environmental issues and a desire to develop stories that reveal the human connection to nature and the planet’s natural resources. Group discussions will examine the genre of environmental advocacy photography and it’s role in shaping public opinion and adapting environmental practices.

Participants learn how to conceptualize, plan, implement and produce conservation photography projects. In the process, a strong portfolio of images is also created with which each photographer can leverage their next photo project.

Workshop attendees work directly with communications staff at either the conservation organization of their choice, or with this workshop’s partner organizations: The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Farmland Trust or Coastal Mountains Land Trust. During this collaborative partnership they develop the story and photograph it during the week. Each of these organizations has several great conservation projects happening in the Midcoast region, and have offered to work with our students to envision the photography and then to help them gain access to these sites throughout the week. A portion of each day is spent working in the field and with the organization to create a body of work that sharpens photographic skills within the context of an environmental story. Students work with Bridget each day to evaluate their experiences working with the organization, and to guide their photographic coverage. Final portfolios are donated to the partner organizations to help raise awareness about their work.

Daily lectures and discussions encompass all aspects of the process, from finding the right story and matching it with an organization to developing a relationship and pitching an idea to the organization. Participants discover not only how to work within the confines of an NGO’s needs to expand creative limits but also how to help NGO’s see the project to fruition as an effective outreach tool. The end result is imagery that participants can be proud of on a multitude of levels. 

Students are required to work digitally.

Leica, a strong sponsor of the workshops' will be providing gear that will be exclusively available for the course participants to test drive during the week.



"Your workshop really has planted some interesting seeds for me. I have so many thoughts exploding - fountain style - from my head in terms of this work. From project research to self-branding to everything in between. Your workshop has prepared me to approach my photographic ideas confidently - with thoughtfulness and thoroughness."

—Megan Mallory from Maine, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2011

“I just wanted to say thanks so much for all of the work you did teaching the workshop. It was better than I ever imagined it could be. I had wanted to take a workshop for years and I’m so glad I waited for this. I came home with such a sense of purpose, and so joyful that what I love has a name, and now I have all of this insight into how to go about doing it.” 

—Cristina Rutter, from Chicago, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2010

“I just can’t say enough about how much I appreciate all time and spirit you put into the workshop and connecting with each of us. I’m still in awe over all that you were able to convey and transfer to me/others over the course of the week.”

—Brian Peters from Maryland, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2010

“Bridget’s workshop was everything I had hoped it would be. Bridget is a wonderful teacher who generously shares her knowledge and experience in Conservation Photojournalism. You will not only gain experience working with an organization, but will learn how to approach an organization and execute a project. You will leave the week with the knowledge and support to move forward professionally in photography.”

—Collin Howell from Texas, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2012

“Thank you for the amazing dedication that you brought to this wonderful week and to each and every one of the students. It was so nice to be so well “taken care of” photographically by someone who really wanted us to do well and who did all of the gymnastics required to make sure that we got as much as possible from the course.” 

—Diane Arjoon from Toronto, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2010

“Left Maine yesterday — felt like I was leaving a piece of me behind! I can’t wait for my next (conservation) workshop (I’m crossing my fingers it happens sooner rather than later). The whole thing was so wonderful I can’t stop talking about the experience.”

—Sarah Craig from California, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2012

“At the airport in JFK to jet off to foreign lands again. I had a really great time in the course and was so happy to meet you all. I have been telling everyone I have met since about how cool you all were and how I am thinking of projects I can do in CPJ.”

—Erin van der Wyk from Austrailia, MMW Conservation Photojournalism 2012


© Bridget Besaw

Course Dates

This course is not offered at this time.
Check our full workshop listing for other alternatives.

Please email us or call 1-877-577-7700 with any questions.




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