Making Mindful Nature Photos - Interview with Kim Free

Kim Free

Kim, tell us why you love photography...

Ansel Adams said "you don't take a photograph, you make it." this really sums up how I feel and why I love photography.

When I'm looking at a subject or a scene, I can see in my mind how I want the photo to appear and then I set about doing my best to achieve that. The pursuit of that great shot really makes it fun. I love too that         photography gets me out amongst nature and it really lets me see the world in a whole different way, I love the surprising details you see when looking at a photo that you otherwise would have never known were there.

I find this all to be an extremely mindful experience, nowadays with stress levels running high for many people including myself, we are seeking out enjoyment and activities that give us a chance to relax and unwind, and for me this is definitely photography. It's truly a time when I am completely in the moment and thinking of nothing else other than what I'm shooting, I'm fully present, in that one moment, for me its meditative. 

You're a keen wildlife conservationist, how does photography help you combine your 2 passions?

Sharing my images gives me a platform to raise awareness of conservation. Photos can be powerful motivators that help make people care.

Its also a great way for me to be able to contribute to conservation causes. For the last two years I have taken photos of endangered animals and produced calendars which were sold with all the proceeds going towards the construction of a new native bird breeding centre at Orana Wildlife Park.  This centre will focus on breeding native birds like Kiwi, Whio and Pateke for release into the wild. Because of photography I have been able to contribute several thousand dollars towards this new centre which I'm really excited about.