IMAGES OF THE NATURAL WORLD
Joanie Christian is an award winning wildlife and nature photographer living in rural northeast Washington, a region rich with wildlife and diverse scenery. Her experiences close to home and a wanderlust to travel have given her incredible photo opportunities.
Joanie has been an avid photographer for almost 40 years. Over the years, she ventured into many genres of photography before discovering her passion for nature and wildlife photography. She began kayaking around the Pacific Northwest with her husband a few years ago, which opened up a whole new world of photographic possibilities.
Joanie's images have been featured in The Inlander, The Spokesman Review, OutThere Monthly, North Columbia Monthly, Panorama Magazine, the Statesman Examiner, and Washington Trails magazine. In 2016, 15 of her photos were chosen for exhibition at the Marmot Art Space in the Kendall Yards community of Spokane. In 2018, one of her images was selected to be in the 'Top 100' of the prestigious Audubon International Photography Contest. In 2019, she was awarded second place in category in the Audubon/Cornell Great Backyard Bird Count photo contest. She contributes articles to the North Columbia Monthly, Pend Oreille Regional Tourism Alliance, and the Spokesman Review.
In 2017, Joanie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her cancer was caught in early stages and the prognosis is excellent. Throughout that experience, she found that photography and the rhythm of nature brought her joy and some sense of normal in a time that was chaotic, scary and uncertain. The experience reminded her to live life to its fullest, "find joy in the spaces between", and reaffirmed that she has been given a gift that is meant to be shared with others.
Joanie loves every part of the photographic process: Planning excursions and dreaming about adventures to come. Experiencing nature up close and personal while photographing. Editing her images to arrive at her own artistic vision for each image. But most of all, she loves to share the natural world with others though her visual storytelling. Through her work, Joanie has the opportunity to bring others with her, giving them a front row seat to the world of animals and nature that is very different than the daily lives we live as humans. Nature is simple, wondrous, fragile, fascinating, and WILD. Not everyone gets to be in the natural environment, so she brings the experience to them so they might experience the same curiosity, awe and wonder.
She has found that her photography has impacted others in ways she did not expect: An elderly woman shared that her husband is too old and frail to go out in the woods as he did when he was younger...but looking at Joanie's photography makes him feel like he is there once again. Another person wrote: "Your pictures give me such a peaceful feeling. The world is sometimes such a scary place, but then you post a pic which makes me feel that there are peaceful places right around us all."
She continues to learn of ways that her work has positively impacted others, which has altered her motivation for the artistic path she is on.
Joanie is often asked how she is so lucky in spotting wildlife. Her response is always, "you have to go outside and look". There are many outings that aren't very productive, but "on a good day, magic happens". She is quick to point out that some of her favorite images were taken 20 feet from the front door of her home. "Sometimes there is something fascinating right under our nose, but we are so busy and in such a hurry that we overlook it. One of the most wonderful things about photography is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, and helping people learn how to see it for themselves."
Joanies blog, stillwaterpaddling.com, is a resource for other kayakers and nature lovers; highlighting the experiences, lessons learned, and photographic images taken while kayaking at sites in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and British Columbia.