Wildlife Photography Woes

bald eagle takes flight as snow flies from the branches

Learning to Take it Mile by Mile

I don’t know about you, but I certainly have my “depths of despair” moments (cue Anne of Green Gables here for the dramatics) in wildlife photography.

It seems that every first day of a trip I am certain I will NEVER find another creature again, and I certainly WON’T EVER MAKE ANOTHER GOOD PHOTO EVER AGAIN. Maybe it’s my red hair, maybe it’s a bent towards self-loathing, I’m not sure. But the lies are certainly there. . . AND worth battling.

I have to ask myself, what is true about this situation? What in the past informs this feeling? How can I move through this darkness and come out on the other side? How can I accept that I do this and move on?

Truth and beauty are what I’m seeking, so am I learning to push through the lies, take a breath, and just CREATE.

Then I’m reminded of Anne Lamott and her her book, Bird by Bird. If I just take it minute by minute, scan the field mile by mile, observe the details in the trees, sage brush, birch trees, and rivers – I’ll find that image to sketch, to photograph, and to bring to life. It’s not dramatics; it’s not despair. It’s just day by day, piece by piece, and that’s all I can wait and be expectant for.

Jen Ritchie

I'm a nature photographer who loves capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife from our yearly trips out West and parks here closer to home.


  1. Sandra Burbank on May 27, 2024 at 1:48 pm

    As always, your writing touches my heart and soul, Jen. I had not read this piece until today.

    • Jen Ritchie on May 27, 2024 at 1:52 pm

      Aww, thank you, Sandra. You and our writing group mean so much to me.

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