The word conservation means many things to many different people; it brings to mind all sorts of thoughts when that word is mentioned. For me it means simply to care, to love and to protect wildlife. With minimal intervention twinned with a great respect for wildlife I use my camera as an extension of myself.
More importantly giving the subject I’m photographing a voice outside of where they live. Highlighting their own unique story or plight within the natural world we share with nature today.
The act of preserving, guarding, and protecting all living beings is something I’ve always done since my first encounters with nature as a child.
For me it doesn't’ really need a title because put plainly if you care about animals then you want to help them and care for them. It’s something inside you that comes to the surface once you see an animal in pain or distress or you witness something you want to try and change and help with.
Putting together conservation and photography can be very powerful, combining these two elements they can have a profound impact that can move people to such a degree that change can and does happen.
Bringing together a deep empathy and love of the natural world alongside my camera skills I have been able to help many animals, helping to bring their plights to many members of the public that otherwise wouldn't know of what I have been privileged to see good or bad.
Switching from my heart to my head I’m able to capture the true essence of the things I have and do witness. This wasn't planed, it wasn't taught, it comes from that true and powerful love for animals I had from a small child.
It embraces my own wonderful lesson about life and nature my late mother taught me. The power of caring for nature I learnt a long time ago, the power of photography I learnt in later life.
I now place these two together and fight for all wildlife in the best and only way I know how and that’s through my work. Highlighting their plight, it educates people and brings a positive change to people’s thoughts and practices.
I try and show not only the beauty of the natural world but also the suffering within that world and my hope within my own contribution to conservation is to give all those animals a true and meaningful voice around the world. Even though I have to walk away from them I want my images to be a visual remember that they were never forgotten, and their plight wasn't ignored. My talks cover and show this.
The resulting images have the power to bring about positive change while allowing those animals a voice further afield from that place where you captured their plight and story. From very early on in my career as a wildlife photographer I learnt the power of an image, I learnt it moved me and so I was sure it would move those that viewed the images too.
I have given many talks showing what Ive seen and some of my past conservation talks have been at the BAWC wildlife crime conference in Bristol. I was invited to the biggest conservation event in Portugal to speak at the Amigo do Caster Festival.
I was asked to be of the Nat Geo WILD Paradise Islands talk in London. Also the amazing Natural History Museum in London to present two talks on different days as part of their season of Salgado-related talks in the Darwin Centre’s Attenborough Studio.
I spoke as part of the Spotlight Sumatra events and talks in the Natural History Museum, London and Chester Zoo. Also at the exhibition in London too. I have also given a talk as part of national badger week in Stafford, WEX photo:video in London.
I've also spoken at The Green Party Autumn Conference
My conservation talks also cover conferences and I've had the privilege at talking at the sustainability conference in Lisbon, Portugal. My talks were aimed at showing the true and real effects palm oil and deforestation is having on this island and everything that lives there.
I’m proud to support the following wonderful charities and their work through my imagery, talks and campaigning -
SOS- Sumatran Orangutans Society, OIC – Orangutan Information Centre, SOCP – Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project, Barn Owl Trust, 21 Century Tiger, Birdlife International, RSPB, Palm Oil Investigations, BAWC. Arkive WildscreenExchange
Talks are priced at £300 plus 0.40p per mile travel expenses from my Staffordshire home.
"Thank you for making this available to watch online Craig. You were by far my favourite speaker in Bristol this year & it was lovely to speak to you in the coffee break. I feel honoured to be your friend on facebook & look forward to seeing you again in the future. Take care." Christine
"A fantastic, emotional talk Craig while showcasing your stunning photography. Was a pleasure to get a chance to chat with you later on"
"An inspiring and intensely personal talk from Craig Jones. The most memorable so far at the conference."
"One of my favorite talks so far. I've always admired Craig Jones and his ethical, beautiful photos."
Ryan Clark – BAWC Conference
I just want to say thank you for sharing your wonderful images with us in Bristol this weekend. You spoke with such passion, particularly about the Peak District, which is an area that is very close to my heart. Your stunning images of this landscape meant I had to fight back the tears.
I live in the Peak District and have walked the hills for years but much of it is emotionally off limits for me at the moment for personal reasons. Your pictures have made me realise just what I am missing and your resolve in the face of adversity has made me determined to face my sorrow and get back out there, so thank you.
Keep up the fantastic work,"
"Thank you so much for your talk at the WAVES event. It was truly a privilege and an inspiration to hear you speak so passionately about your work and experiences with nature. It was without a doubt one of my favourite talks of the symposium. Wish you all the best. "
Alda Maria Gonçalves Portugal