Footprints: An Incubator for Climate Change
Personal Story: Footprints
I attended Footprints as a camper in 2021, just before my senior year of college. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but after an incredible week of mentorship and deep dives into passion and purpose at camp, I left with the realization that my lifelong love of photography could actually be pursued as a career path towards positive change. I moved out to Flagstaff, Arizona where I began my freelance photography business and interned with conservationist and filmmaker James ‘Q’ Martin, whom I met at Footprints. Since then, I have continued cultivating my career as a storyteller alongside my athletics; completing projects, films, and photoshoots as I go along.
After settling on environmental photojournalism at camp, I returned to school in the fall and began pursuing an undergraduate thesis project. I decided it would be ideal to combine my camp project with my thesis to keep me held accountable, so I spent the rest of the year working on a way to do this. After hours of interviews, photoshoots, and Adobe troubleshooting, I ended up with a photojournalistic-style e-zine, naming it "Philosophy of Sport". Through the context of sport, I was able to touch on abstract aspects of the human experience (purpose, community, pain, joy) and tie it together with themes such as environmental action & connection to nature.
As a full-circle moment, I was asked to return to camp in 2022 as a photographer for Patagonia, in which I was able to use the very career I Initially leapt into just one year prior. I will always attribute my current life path, and the deeply impactful work I now get to be part of, to Footprints. They provided me with the community, courage, and tools to jump into my true passions. It only seems right to come back to Footprints and help the organization, just as it helped me.
I continue to stay involved with footprints, helping the leadership board with fundraising, media, and various other tasks to further expand the impact of the camp. If you are Interested in learning more, don't hesitate to reach out!