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Welcome to Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy

Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy is the leading educational resource for conservation photographers and filmmakers through our exceptional courses, programs and thriving community hub.

We educate and empower purpose-driven wildlife photographers and filmmakers who want to document conservation efforts or advance science communication through visual storytelling.

In other words, if you want to use your camera to make a positive impact on the planet, you're in the right place.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast with a budding joy of documenting the world with your camera…

Or a creative on the professional track looking to build your skills in the field of conservation photography or filmmaking…

You'll find tools, training and support to help you learn and grow quickly.

Conservation photography and filmmaking are powerful, vital and indispensable tools for creating change. Images build the critical connection between an issue and an audience.

It is truly fulfilling work… and it's also truly difficult work.

The Academy provides the training that removes barriers, provides clear roadmaps, and gives you back the time you'd otherwise waste on trial and error, so you can make a bigger impact faster, and feel supported all along the way.

You want to use your creative talent to make this world a better place. For that, you have all our admiration and gratitude, and it's an honor to support you in your journey!

We're here to help you follow your passion and be an effective, successful, and joyful conservation visual storyteller.  Our ever-growing selection of robust online courses, in-person workshops, mentorship programs, and membership community are designed specifically to address the unique skills and resources you need as you focus on documenting environment, science communication, and conservation issues.

The Beliefs That Drive Us

Conservation visual storytelling is the summit of nature photography and filmmaking.

As nature photographers and filmmakers, we adore being outside in spectacular landscapes, witnessing the beauty, the comedy, the wonder of life on Earth.

But wilderness and biodiversity are in decline. The places and species we love, both near home and afar, need help. Luckily, we have the power to provide it.

We believe the ultimate aim of participating in wildlife photography and filmmaking is to use those images for the benefit of the species and places we love to witness with cameras in hand.

Conservation visual storytelling is how we make our imagery matter, and ensure there is wild wonder to witness in the future.

Proactive inclusivity is essential. Conservation stories must be told from diverse perspectives to be effective in their big-picture purpose.

Conservation cannot be separated from culture, economy, justice, ethics nor any other part of human existence. It is essential that a wide diversity of voices and artistic visions contribute to the narrative of conservation issues. This is how we find effective, compassionate paths toward solutions.

We are committed to supporting the unique and important perspectives and talents of people who are typically under-represented or marginalized in the field of conservation visual storytelling.

Through our training opportunities, scholarship programs, and right down to the very content we teach, we work proactively to ensure there is space and support for all voices and creative visions.

Education and community are our greatest assets and our most essential unifiers.

More than likely, you're no stranger to solitude. It's probably a leading reason why you head to the woods or water with your camera.

Escaping into nature solo to recharge our batteries is one thing. Exploring conservation issues – which are often complex, emotionally difficult, controversial, and tough to talk about with friends and family – is another thing entirely.

This work often comes with feelings of isolation, self-doubt, frustration, and the general feeling of slogging uphill in thick mud.

Yet, what you want to do with your creativity is a very big, wonderful, important thing. Access to knowledge, skills, and other people who fully support your vision and “speak your language” is critical to avoiding burn-out and, importantly, making that sense of urgency inside you feel like a useful driving force rather than a cloud of impending doom.

We know that knowledge and community are the most essential things in our toolbox to keep us going and growing. That's why our programs are designed to provide structure and guidance, to facilitate independent learning and exploration, and to strengthen your connection to a community of people who share your interests and big picture goals.

Who We Are

Jaymi Heimbuch

Founder, Instructor

From the time she first picked up a camera to document wildlife, Jaymi has felt the need to put images to work and engage viewers with the larger story of the photo’s subject.

Experiencing wilderness and witnessing wildlife is her passion and thus conservation photography is her purpose. And that extends well beyond image-making and into helping other creatives reach their biggest goals in conservation visual storytelling.

As an outlet for her joy of teaching, Jaymi founded Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy, and our membership community for ongoing creative and professional development, Wild Idea Lab.

She is co-founder of Her Wild Vision Initiative, a volunteer with the North American Nature Photography Association, and a volunteer instructor with Girls Who Click, a nonprofit that encourages young girls to get involved with nature photography. Her photography and writing has been published by National Geographic publications, Heyday Books, Audubon, BBC Wildlife, National Wildlife Magazine, Ranger Rick and many more.

But her most important work happens here at the Academy and in the Wild Idea Lab, as she works alongside our extraordinary students and members.

Courses with Jaymi

Our Growing Team of Instructors

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Morgan Heim

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Sebastian Kennerknecht