Her Wild Vision Initiative is Changing Things in a Big Way
Introducing Her Wild Vision Initiative! This is going to be a game-changer…
You know those moments where you're like, “You know, this thing would be so helpful. It should exist,” and then you go make it exist? Well, that happened.
Three weeks ago, Morgan Heim and I had a conversation about the hurdles for women in conservation photography, and how it would be awesome to create something that takes away some of those barriers. And that’s what we did.
Enter Her Wild Vision Initiative, a searchable directory of women-identified conservation photographers and filmmakers that's going to make big waves.
In this episode, Morgan and I sit down and chat about Her Wild Vision Initiative. Why we’ve created it, challenges that we’ve faced as women in photography, and not to mention the amazing perks and collaborations we have inside the project.
It’s a jam-packed episode full of exciting reveals!
- What Her Wild Vision Initiative is all about and how it works
- The whirlwind story of how it came to be
- All the awesome perks Her Wild Vision has for conservation photographers
- How you can apply (it’s free!) and how you can support the project
Resources & Links Mentioned
This episode is sponsored by:
Our episode sponsor is Wild Idea Lab, my membership community where conservation visual storytellers find creativity, community and support for their wildest work. Wild Idea Lab is designed specifically for emerging and established photographers, filmmakers, and artists working in conservation and science communication.
With monthly masterclasses, live events, community engagement and so much more, members from around the world accelerate their growth as creatives and find their place in a network of colleagues and friends. Whether just starting out or you’ve been a pro for years, Wild Idea Lab has the resources you need to do more, and go farther with your work.
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Her Wild Vision Initiative is Changing Things in a Big Way
SEE THE SHOW NOTES AT JaymiH.com/41
You know those moments where you're like, “You know, this thing would be so helpful. It should exist,” and then you go make it exist? Well, that happened and you're gonna find out all the details in this episode.
Welcome to Impact: The Conservation Photography Podcast. I'm your host, Jaymi Heimbuch. And if you are a visual storyteller with a love for all things wild, then you're in the right place. From conservation to creativity, from business to marketing and everything in between, this podcast is for you. The conservation visual storyteller who is ready to make an impact. Let's dive in.
If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, then you know all about Wild Idea Lab, my membership community. Well, I wanna make sure you also know about a special opportunity. See, I believe really strongly that conservation stories need to be told by everyone. We need a diverse group of people, all telling conservation stories, because we all have different perspectives, different understandings and approaches to conservation issues. We can't fully do a good job in conservation, let alone conservation storytelling, without that diversity. And so, to try and help promote that, Wild Idea Lab offers a diversity scholarship. If you're someone who is underrepresented in conservation storytelling as an industry, and you want access to resources and tools, then I invite you to apply. It's a partial scholarship that allows a discounted rate into Wild Idea Lab, where you can access master classes and mentorship and coaching and the tools that you need to do this job really well. You can find the application at wildidealab.com/scholarship. I really hope that you'll apply and I hope to see you inside the lab. Now, let's dig into this episode.
JH: I'm sitting here with Morgan Heim and we each have our glass of whisky, because we are on the verge of making a really big announcement. By the time this episode rolls out, it will have existed for just days. Just before we dive in, I wanna set the stage a little bit. So, women in conservation photography, we have hurdles to leap. We work in a niche that is within a niche, and there's nature and cultural photography and that's already a niche of the photographic profession, and then we focus specifically in conservation, which has even fewer opportunities for getting your work into outlets, no matter who you are, or getting hired by clients. But then you add to that being a woman in a really male-dominated industry. So it becomes really tough to be taken seriously. It's really common to be underestimated, it's really frequent that we're actually passed over, based on assumptions that have nothing to do with our skills, and it's really common to be overlooked. So, Morgan and I have decided to do something that helps to level the playing field, and our big idea has become a reality. So, we wanted to take a moment to just talk about why we created this amazing thing, what is the impetus for creating the project and how it developed, why it exists, what we're doing with it, and who gets to take part.
Morgan Heim: Cool.
MH: Cheers to that.
JH: Cheers to that. [chuckle] So, diving in, what we created is called Her Wild Vision Initiative. And Her Wild Vision Initiative is a searchable directory of women-identified conservation photographers and filmmakers. So, anyone really working inside of this industry as environmental, nature, conservation-oriented. And we wanted to make this thing because it's tough out there. So, Morgan, what are some of the hurdles that you've faced, as a woman in this profession?
MH: Well, I mean, I think it's probably similar to what a lot of women have faced. Just this idea of not having a ton of role models. There were a few and I could probably count them on one hand, when I was getting into this. Actually, when I was getting into this, it was way back in the film days and I didn't know of any women, really, that were working specifically in what I hoped to do. So, that kind of lack of seeing women, seeing people who look like me who were doing what I wanted to do was a big, big thing, not having, also, just this feeling of a community, or even knowing how to reach them. And then, I have often felt that it just was a slow out of the gate start like I had to really incrementally work my way up, and there are times where I feel like I may have lost an opportunity because I was a woman, or that I had to prove myself a lot more because I was a woman. And I think we all have to prove ourselves, so this is just like… This is my feeling and I know I'm not the only one who has felt that way, so I feel kind of justified in saying it.
MH: But really, for what we're gonna talk about today, the impetus for making it was we've had these discussions a lot, whether you're a person who is behind the camera or an editor and rather than complaining about it, or just feeling like we're having to deal with it, and live in this world where we're waiting for stuff to happen, it's like, “Why should we wait? Let's just make something so that it helps like take away the barriers.” And one of the things I'm really excited about is that we're doing that, but it's like… I don't know, for me, it's sort of a little bit like, “Hey, guys, let's take away the excuses,” and not being grumpy about it or anything like that, just being like, “We're gonna open these flood gates and create this community.” And I'm super inspired by… I've been super inspired by the process of putting it together and the community that's been coming together, and who I get to work with in creating it, and I think that it's just gonna be something that's gonna be joyous.
JH: Yes, joyous is a really good word because we thought of it three weeks ago?
JH: I think three weeks ago, and I remember sitting there. So Morgan and I live together and I was sitting on the couch and she's standing by the kitchen, and this topic got brought up and we were like, “Why doesn't that exist? Let's make it exist.” And the next day, I think we went out into the yard and we grabbed a sketch book and we were like, “So What's the bare minimum of what we would need to put together in order to launch this thing?” And it was like a half an hour session of outlining what was needed, and then we just got to work and so I really wanna be very transparent with my own failings, and one of the reasons why I think that this directory is so important is because it's really easy as an editor on the side of content curation and content development to not even realize how much of that system you're partaking in.
JH: So I'm a woman, I have been a feminist for forever very openly so. I'm always wanting to promote things and while we were… I don't know if it was when we were developing this or slightly before, but I was doing some research and found an article that I wrote in 2017 that was who you should follow on Instagram, and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single woman in the list and it was specifically like conservation photographers that you should follow and to find that and realize that I created it and that I did not do the work to go look elsewhere and to find other things, and to realize that if you're gonna do a really casual search and throw something together, all you're really gonna find are men.
JH: And I think that it's really important to provide very easy tools so that someone who has however much on the scale of desire of changing things up has a really easy tool to go and find that and just like Morgan said, no more excuses. No more excuses, even from people like me who I think I'm being supportive and realize I'm not. And I wanna say it's not because tools aren't there, tools… If you wanna wanna be very egalitarian, you can be. It's all about how much work do you wanna actually put into it, and how much like laziness do you wanna skate by with. And to realize that I myself was lazy a couple of years ago, and in such a way that was actually really detrimental to the very people that I want to boost, it was quite the eye-opener. And I think that our initiative, our project solves that for a lot of people who want to make things more of a level playing field.
MH: Yeah, and I just love that. It's just been so exciting to put this together because I've been just blown away, not really surprised, but every time we were working on it, and I saw the list of skills and talent that was going into just the initial phase of this, I was just like, “Holy smokes, there's so much out there. It's incredible.” And also, this is not about replacing, you know, placing everyone who has been… Like replacing men, it's more about making room for more, making room for more diversity, everyone and I'm just super excited to have what I think is gonna be just an even more rich and exciting world to dive into with conservation storytelling because of this and some of the other lists that have been put together to try to diversify who is producing stories in the public sphere.
JH: Absolutely, I feel like we need to be really kind to listeners at this point and explain Her Wild Vision Initiative for anyone who's listening and has not seen the website yet.
JH: So, Her Wild Vision Initiative is an online searchable directory of insanely talented women who are out there doing editorial work, who are doing client-based work, who are really experienced talented women with the chops to go on assignment right away. And we really wanted to make it as search-friendly as possible. We wanted to come at it from an editor's perspective. So if an editor is looking for someone, how do we make it really easy? So we created this searchable directory an editor can show up and click on everything that they really need. So there's regions that people are working in, what their technical expertise is in, what their issues expertise is in, so whether that might be agriculture and ranching or sustainability and resources, or they tend to work in… I don't even… We have a long list, there's a lot in there. If you need them to speak a certain language, if you need them to be able to horseback ride or jump out of an airplane, we've got that basically covered inside of the searchable directory.
MH: If you're wanting to have a person of color or a Native American or some other indigenous group be the one reporting the story, we wanna make that easy for you to find it. But before we go any further, can I just back us up for a second?
JH: Of course.
MH: Because you're like, “We should tell everybody what Her Wild Vision Initiative is and I'm like, “Wait a minute.” [laughter] If you weren't listening, let's… I feel like Her Wild Vision Initiative, we gotta like do a dat-dat-da, like this is what this is, okay? So, how about we do a reveal?
JH: Oh, I like it.
MH: So Jaymi, are we ready to tell everybody what the heck this thing is that we've been working on for so long?
JH: I think we are. I think it's due time. Alright.
MH: Alright, everybody listen up. It is called, three, two, one, Her Wild Vision Initiative. [laughter]
JH: Because you can't see us, we are literally sitting across a desk from each other, and we have these big wide eyes like, “Are you ready? And we're gonna… Oh, maybe we should count down. Okay, let's count down. Say it together now.” All spoken in wide eye language.
MH: Yes, there was a lot of direct eye contact just now. [laughter]
JH: So Her Wild Vision Initiative, it is a searchable directory. However, there's so much more to it because we not only wanna make women identified conservation photographers and filmmakers findable, but we also want to empower them to do the best possible job that they can, because there's some pretty specific set of skills that come with doing this as a business. So do you wanna talk a little bit about all the goodies that come with becoming a member?
MH: Yeah, I mean what do you wanna start with like the scholarships or the fellowships, or the perks or…
JH: There's so many places to start. Let's start with the scholarships 'cause I think that actually shows up on the website first.
MH: Alright, so we are building out a series of scholarships, one of which we already have established, and those scholarships are gonna cover things like skills development, so things like public speaking or grant writing, things like that, we'll have kind of a rotating series of opportunities that we'll roll out. And our first one has to do with public speaking, we'll describe that more in a little bit, especially in the era of COVID. And our second one is there can be specific issues in reporting conservation stories that bring up issues of safety. You might be going into war zones or just corrupt areas, just sketchy places, and then those issues can be exacerbated by being a woman. And we don't ever want that to be a reason why you don't get assigned in a project or that you decide not to pursue something that you're really passionate about. So one of our other scholarships that we were building out is the tuition to attend a conflict training workshop. And then Jaymi, do you wanna tell the third one which I know you're excited about?
JH: Oh, I do, I do. It makes me very happy. So the third scholarship that we're creating is a no-strings attached grant, so not really a scholarship, but a grant, and we're really excited about this because a lot of times grants are… There's limitations on certain things, and one of those is maybe you can't pay yourself, maybe you can't buy equipment, maybe you can't fund a certain thing that really when you look at the reality of life, you need a little bit of money to go toward this random thing so that you can get out into the field. So we wanted to make a no-strings grant that someone can apply for, so we're talking about spend the money how you want it. Do you need to hire a house sitter for three months to get into the field? Okay, fine, you can use this grant money for that. Do you need a dog sitter? Do you need equipment? Do you need training? Like maybe you need to be FAA certified in order to fly a drone, and you have to have this drone footage for your project, you can use the grant money to go get your certification. It doesn't really matter how you're gonna spend the money as long as you produce amazing world-changing work. I can't wait. It's so good.
MH: Yeah, I know basically, Jaymi and I just sat down and made our dream list of things that we wish we had access to, to just help facilitate doing more work, and so you're getting like basically our dream for all of you. And I think that's one of the things that's been really cool about this is that when we started out making Her Wild Vision, we were just like, “We just wanna create a directory that's easily searchable and wouldn't it be cool if we could have some scholarships?” And it has just, since we've been talking with people, transformed into all of these, “And what about this?” So we're in this kind of realm of like we're adding more and we're also trying to keep it same because Jaymi and I are just doing this, there's no pay or anything and we still wanna be doing our own stories, but it's so cool to have the people that we've reached out to be like, “Can I do this for you?”
MH: And it leads to something like the creation of the fellowships, which there's another one that's in the works, but I wanna leave that secret until we move along with developing that out further, and then on top of that, there's gonna be… There's perks, there's like… And I think there's gonna be a ton of perks as we roll this out, but we've already got several, so why don't you tell them about some of the perks since you are offering one of them, a super awesome one.
JH: I'll start with the first one and then you take the second one. So the first perk is, so I run Wild Idea Lab, which as a podcast listener, I'm sure you've heard about. And Wild Idea Lab is a membership community where you can get master classes and mentorship and coaching and community. It's a really extraordinary place in and of itself, but I also believe really strongly in diversifying our industry and empowering people who feel underrepresented in our industry to have the resources that they need to do this. So one of the perks is $100 a year discount to Wild Idea Lab, so normally Wild Idea Lab is $399 for our members who generally are underrepresented in the industry, a perk is to join Wild Idea Lab for $299 a year. And I'm really excited about offering that because I think that the more that we can do to provide resources for people who already are working their tails off and are kind of starting as underdogs to be able to provide them with extraordinary resources feels really good. And I mentioned mentorship in Wild Idea Lab. Morgan happens to be one of the Wild Idea Lab mentors, along with Suzi Eszterhas, Clay Bolt and Sebastian Kennerknech, so I'm really excited about this member perk.
MH: Yeah, it's a good bunch. And I'm not just talking about the… I'm not just talking about the mentors. The people who are in it, I just like, whenever I see them, I wanna give them a big hug and I'm just so excited to see the stuff that they're working on, so that's definitely a great member perk. One of our other member perks is from Steve Mandel, who actually also happens to be our first scholarship, so we didn't even tell you what the scholarship is, which is basically… So Steve Mandel, he does these fantastic workshops on public speaking and presenting, which if you're trying to raise money for your project, if you're trying to get people to partner with you, or you're speaking to audiences and trying to educate people or raise awareness or raise action for a cause, that public speaking skill is really important.
MH: And in the time of COVID, it's really hard to have those in-person experiences, so presenting on online platforms like Zoom, I think, present unique challenges. You don't have all that feedback from the audience, it's harder to see body language, you don't have the same platform to work on. So Steve Mandel is offering to every member of Her Wild Vision Initiative a free Zoom class about presenting on Zoom. So if you're a member, he's gonna present this a couple of times, and then even if you miss it on the day that it's offered, it'll be pre-recorded so you can then stream it and watch it later whenever is convenient, and Jaymi can tell you about the scholarship that he's offering too, which is pretty amazing.
JH: So we're sitting there talking to him about the scholarship and he says, “Yeah, I'll do those classes.” And if anyone wants one-on-one coaching, that could be a scholarship. So Steve Mandel is providing six of our members with one-on-one coaching, and we're gonna be able to offer that at least for this year, probably more. But to be able to get one-on-one coaching from someone who can tell you how to improve, who can reiterate what you're already doing well, because some of us… It's hard to know how well you're actually doing as a speaker and you tend to doubt yourself and you think you're not as powerful as you really are, and Steve's coaching style is to make sure that you understand where you are doing really well and to make sure that you own that and have the confidence that it takes to present well in front of other people. So he gives the opportunity for you to get not only tips and strategies for improving, but also really understanding what you're doing well in the first place. So our scholarship is six of our members will receive one-on-one coaching from Steve himself.
MH: And I have to say that I'm speaking from experience in having taken one of his courses a couple of years ago. I went and took a three-day workshop by his team and it was one of the most useful things I've done for my career development besides learning how to be a better photographer and storyteller, and I have to use it a lot. There's so many events where I get to go present, or at least until recently that I was doing that and it's a skill that I have to use all the time. And I would not be where I was today, where I am today, if it weren't for the fact that I had taken this workshop and really learned some things that I had never really been thinking about before with public speaking. Like just even how to hold my body posture, how to present an open and relaxed presence in front of people. And so if you can take this, you're gonna just help yourself so much with just not even putting your project out into the world once it's done, but helping to get people on board with your project before you've even started and that's huge.
JH: So we've got another member perk that we can talk about, or we can just dive into some of the other stuff going on with Her Wild Vision.
MH: Let's dive into the other stuff. Just know that you should go to the website and check out the perks, and there's gonna be more coming and we're just so thrilled to be able to offer these things.
JH: Yeah. You know who we haven't talked about yet?
MH: Our editors?
JH: Mm-hm. [chuckle]
JH: So we are accepting applications now, and we're gonna accept applications every quarter. It's free to apply for Her Wild Vision Initiative and…
MH: It's also free to be a member, just FYI.
JH: Yes. Yeah.
MH: There is no… We want this… This is one of the ways where it's like we don't want there to be barriers to entry based on socio-economic income. Wherever you fall, we want… If you've got talent and you are trying to make a go of this, we want this to be an opportunity for you.
JH: Well said. So applications are open on a quarterly basis, which basically allows us to be able to get an influx of applications, look through them, get people into the directory, have a breather moment and then open them again. And we know that while we definitely are really excited for getting people in the door that, we wanna make sure that everyone who is part of Her Wild Vision Initiative really has the skills for an editor to be confident to say, “I'm ready to hire you for an assignment. I know that you can do a good job. Let's go do this.” So we wanted to bring editors on board who can help us go through the applications and give their perspectives and their insights to applications as well to make sure that we're curating people who are just excellent for this database. So we started reaching out to Ed [chuckle] who actually said yes. It's just… I'm still blown away by this. We started reaching out to editors and Moe, do you wanna talk about who is now on our editor advisory panel?
JH: It's just, jeez.
MH: Yeah. It's like a dream list of editors. We have Sabine Meyer who's been incredibly helpful in the pre-launch of this and discussing platforms, and even reviewing how it looks, and what our categories are, and things like that. So Sabine Meyer who's the director of photography for National Audubon Society. We've got Steven Bedard who is the photo editor of bioGraphic. We have got… Oh my god, Jeff Campagna who's with Smithsonian magazine. We've got Kathy Moran, the deputy director of photography for National Geographic. We got Susan McElhinney for Ranger Rick, Gemma Ward from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
JH: We have Melissa Ryan of The Nature Conservancy, she's the interim director of photography. And that's everyone so far. We may bring additional editors on board, but can you just imagine as a conservation photographer for me to look at this list of editors who's looking through applications, this is who you hope to work with in this field. And what's really phenomenal and I'm deeply grateful to every single one of them is, when we wrote to them and said, “Hey, would you be interested in being part of this thing?” They immediately wrote back with an emphatic, “Yes.” And that says a lot about who they are as people. They're incredibly busy people for high power publications, and they want to help women in conservation photography get out there and be published and do good work. My heart just beats so quickly when I think about the generosity of their time and their input on this.
MH: I just, I have to share this little story specifically about Melissa Ryan, Melissa Dale. She writes Melissa Dale Nay Ryan, I love that. So when I emailed her about Her Wild Vision Initiative, I almost had barely finished pressing send and I was just starting to write a note to Jaymi that I had… Giving her an update, and I got a phone call and it was Melissa being like, “How can I help?” She was just…
MH: I was like, for me just sitting there waiting for this to come in, she called right away and she was just so excited she wanted to talk about it in person. And that to me just says that I think that a lot of people in and places have been waiting for something like this to exist, and it gives me a lot of hope that it's going to lead to good things for more diversity in the industry.
JH: And let's just say that this is not a unique idea. We wanted something specific to our field because there are already other phenomenal humans creating directories for women, for black women photographers, for… There's natives photograph, there's diversify photos, there are other directories out there, but the thing is, it's hard to search for the specific type of work that we do in conservation and environmental photojournalism, and we wanted to create something that would be really specific to the world that we serve and the people that we serve, and the editors that are looking for this type of story coverage, the clients who are working for this. Whether they are scientists or non-profit organizations that are working in environmental conservation, we really wanted to create something that was specific to us. So it's not a new idea, but we do feel really strongly in making this incredibly functional for the people who are looking to hire. So it's not a list, it is really fine-tuning exactly the type of person that you need for the type of job that you need done.
JH: And let's return to the whole badassery that is really visible when you look at the directory. So the directory is set up to allow you to search through different filters. We covered this a moment ago, but you can search through region, your technical expertise. So do you have expertise in doing aerial photography or working with amphibians and reptiles, or microscopic photography, portraiture, or lighting or virtual reality? What skill set do you really need done? There's the issues expertise, like I mentioned, are you really skilled in covering fisheries or urban wildlife or wildlife crime? Are there other skills that are required to be able to do a certain type of job? And this was where Sabine was really helpful because she came back and said, “Hey, so I've actually had to really look for photographers who do this or this or this for certain assignments.” And so we put in things like are you CPR certified or first responder certified? Do you do cave diving? Do you do dog sledding? Do you do sailing? Do you have a science background?
JH: We aren't even making this up. We needed to create categories of skills because women we know do this. They are highly trained in these areas that you need to be able to go pull off something about spelunking. And then we also have languages that women are fluent in, and of course, that diversity indicator. And as we started to fill this out, we were looking at the people that we knew right off the bat because they're in our social circle or peer circle, and we were like, “Okay, well, what will we need to be able to filter for for what they're good at?” And we're just like, “Holy heck, this is amazing.” When you look at this database, you realize that there is no assignment that a man can do that a woman cannot do, period. We are here for it. And so what I hope this does is just that at the end of the day, it's like you can look at all of the photographers and hire a woman or a man or someone, anyone who is just the best fit for the job, and that you have a place to go to help you find the people that you didn't know were out there. So we're trying to break habits and open up a vision, and bring in new perspectives to storytelling, and I'm just so blown away. I mean, I was like, “I can't believe we not have… We not only have one person who is an underwater 360 filmer, we've got two people who can do underwater 360.” And I'm like, “That's a pretty specialized skill.”
JH: And that is only with the very small handful of people we invited in to be part of the database, basically so that we could set it up, and test it and try and break it, and make it have some content when we launched. But I know that, out there, there are more women who can do 360 underwater photography for conservation efforts, and that's why applications are open. We have applications open until September 30th. So if you are a woman in conservation photography, environmental photography, you are focused on making your visual storytelling skills matter for conservation efforts, please, please, please apply, because we want you in this directory. We wanna make sure that you can be found by editors, by photo directors, by communication directors, by marketers everywhere, so that you can be hired for this work.
MH: Yeah. And I'll just say. We weren't just testing it to see if we could break it. It was also a really great test for us to make an initial list of people we knew about in the industry or that we could find in industry who we didn't know about that were making a living doing this, and that were trailblazers, and I know there's other trailblazers out there that we don't have in here yet, that are gonna be in here. And we're so excited to, basically, see who comes in and who wants to be a part of this. And we're so grateful to the women who have agreed to be a part of this so far. It is just an incredible array of talent.
JH: Yes, it is. And while we are raving about the array of talent who is in there, I wanna really emphasize that this is for women identified conservation photographers and filmmakers at any stage in your career as long as you are doing this professionally. And I put my name in this database. I have to admit, I got some serious impostor syndrome going on. I put myself in there, and I was like, “Oh, my God. If I were to just come across this, would I apply for this?” Oh, it's so intimidating. But the fact is I belong there too. And I want you to feel like if you are curious about this and you wanna be a part of it, but you think, “Oh, I'm not good enough yet,” or “Oh, I need more experience,” please apply. Please make sure that you have the confidence to apply for this because you probably are more well-qualified than you think and we wanna hear from you. So even if you're kinda like, “Ooh, it's so fancy. These are all these bigwigs in here.” Yeah, you probably are meant to be in here too. So get your name in there, get your name in the hat.
MH: Yeah, absolutely. And even if you don't get in, your application is going to be seen by some of the top editors in the industry. And that was one of the things like Sabine was really excited about was just even getting to see all the people who applied. She's like, “I'm gonna learn about people I didn't know about, just looking at the applications.” And even if you don't get in, don't be discouraged. We're also gonna have a page that's like frequently asked questions or tips on how to make a stronger application. You can always re-apply and it's gonna always be free. So that's part of developing your career is coming back time and time again, and showing your evolving portfolio. I've had to do that with editors, Jaymi's had to do that. That's just what you do. And so we hope that you apply, and that if you get in, we'll be so excited to have you. And when we learn about you, we'll be so glad to learn about you. And even if you don't get in, just keep applying. Use it as an opportunity to know that even in the application process, it's another chance to get your work in front of the best editors in the field.
JH: Yeah. And if you are listening to this right now, and you're really supportive of the idea and you're not someone who's gonna apply and take part, but you're like, “Yeah, this is awesome. I can totally get behind this”, we have ways for you to take part as well in the donate page. So we are fundraising for our scholarships, and Morgan and I are doing this 100% volunteer. And we are fundraising in order to be able to get that tuition to the conflict training, to be able to get tuition to other professional development courses, and definitely to be able to fund the ‘No Strings Attached' project grant. So if you have any interest in supporting this initiative as someone who's just a wonderfully kind soul, there is a donate page and there's a way that you could make a non-taxable, on-tax deductible donation. That's a tough one to say. [chuckle]
MH: You need it [36:28] ____ five time is fast.
JH: A non-tax deductible donation or a tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor at the WILD Foundation, who also is phenomenal and you should definitely know about.
MH: Yes. And just for reference, tax deductible donations are typically above a certain amount. If they're below a certain amount, you don't really get a tax deduction. So we wanna be saving that tax deductible slot for if you are really, really interested, if you're an organization or something that wants to throw in higher than… I forget what the amount is.
JH: Basically, below $250, it's not required to even provide a letter, a charitable donation letter. So that's why we have WILD Foundation as our awesome fiscal sponsor, because we know that donating at those higher amounts means you definitely wanna be able to get a tax deduction for that, and so we have a way for you to do so.
JH: So that's our big thing that we basically thought of and launched in three weeks.
MH: Yeah. No time like the present, right. Oh God, there she goes again. She's just whacking her entire sound system around left and right.
JH: I'm very excited. [laughter]
MH: Her Wild Vision Initiative, we say it's for women-identifying photographers and filmmakers, and Jaymi and I went back and forth on like, “Do we need to also include this and that, and this and that? Do we need to include a feminine iden… Effeminate? Female, female-identifying.” [laughter] Oh my God. I don't even know the word. So do we need to include female-identifying? Do we need to include non-binary? And the list starts to get really, really long, and we decided we're just gonna say women-identifying photographers. And we just want you to know, if you are female-identifying or non-binary that basically, we just… If you lean towards womanhood, [chuckle] you are welcome to apply for Her Wild Vision Initiative. We just… There's so many terms out there, and they're all very important terms, but for the sake of being able to keep it simple and have sentences that aren't a mile long, we're saying women-identifying but please know that you are welcome.
JH: And if you apply it but you don't get in, Wild Idea Lab is also a really great place to go because you will learn the skills that it takes to get you into a position so that you are a perfect applicant. So whether that is coaching on your creative skills, your professional development skills, whether it's mentorship, whether it is master classes that teach you how to get out there and do certain things inside of conservation photography. It's a really great option for you if you're getting started and you want to make a career of this but you aren't quite at that place where it's a perfect fit for Her Wild Vision Initiative, Wild Idea Lab is where you will learn the skills to get to that point. So it is an option for you as well.
MH: Yes, absolutely. So Her Wild Vision Initiative, one of the things that we'll be doing is on a quarterly basis, we'll be sending out the list and the new members to our amazing list of editors who have signed up, and if you are an editor or you are working in an organization… Basically, if you're someone who's wanting to hire a conservation photographer or filmmaker, just go to our website, you can sign up and get on that email list to receive the updates to the directory and the reminder to, “Hey, check out this new talent in this database that you can search.” So it isn't just magazine editors or if you're on television, television producers, it's really anyone who's looking to hire a filmmaker or a photographer working in conservation and the environment.
JH: And no matter who you are, hop onto herwildvision.com, because it's pretty awesome and inspiring to look through the directory of women who are on there now, and just to go through all of the different perspectives that we have when it comes to conservation stories. Whether that is really powerfully documenting things in kind of a photo-journalistic style or documenting things in more of an up-close intimate style, there's… The breadth of work that the women who are in the directory already have created is really inspiring. So if you're just looking for a little bit of creative vision or some new people to follow on Instagram who can help spark your creative vision, this is a really amazing resource. So no matter what, you'll find something pretty awesome on this directory. So come on over and give it a browse and poke through the website and see what you think of it. We're really excited for it to actually be out in the world and to hopefully make some change.
MH: Yeah, yeah. Change can be good. It's crazy that it took a pandemic to take basically 10 years of whisper griping to [chuckle] come together and be like, “Oh yeah, I could do something that's actually productive on this.” And thank God Jaymi was here to help provide the rest of that vision and the structure and be also that person who's like, “Yeah, let's do this.” Yay [laughter] I love that. I'll drink to that.
JH: Yeah. Chink. Perfect. Meanwhile, there is our Instagram account. So if you are on Instagram, you can follow Her Wild Vision Initiative on Instagram, and of course the website, and we're just excited to see how this grows over the coming year. Ta-dah. [chuckle]
JH: Before we wrap up, I would love to ask you to do one quick thing. Subscribe to this podcast. As a subscriber, you'll not only know when each week's episode goes live, but you'll also get insider goodies like bonus episodes. You might miss them unless you're subscribed and I don't want you to miss out on a thing, so please tap that subscribe button and I will talk to you next week.