Life & Work with Betty Byrd on SD Voyager

Life & Work with Betty Byrd courtesy of SD Voyager

Today we’d like to introduce you to Betty Byrd.

Betty, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My wildlife photography represents a long journey of past actions and decisions on my part. I always felt as if there was more out there to be seen and discovered.

Growing up in the desert of Arizona and witnessing a Tarantula invasion and a Locust invasion gave rise to that fact. I was surrounded by insects and animals that could hurt you, but at the same time fascinated by them, their abundance, and their freedom. But over time, I became distressed by the accelerating pace of extinctions worldwide. I went on a mission, through my lens, to honor the delicate & massive, ferocious or timid, exotic or unapproachable so that these animals come alive, and we remember that it’s up to us to make sure they stay that way.

Through my photos, I am driven to give animals a voice as well as draw people into the beauty & fragility of the natural world, to be less afraid of the wild and what it represents. We cannot take away “WILDNESS,” for in that space we can sympathize with the animal, its requirements, its needs.

After watching a dying polar bear struggle to survive in the Arctic, river rafting through the Tortuguero Jungle in Costa Rica, and experiencing fatalities from the drought in Africa, I became more consumed by the fact that these endangered species were in desperate need of help. Their lives represent a parallel life to ours, except think of them as:

*Doting parents

*Drs. & nurses for themselves

*Lawyers that don’t have their day in court

*Children that have few adoption agencies

I want my work to represent wildlife that could be lost at any time and saved at any time as well.

READ MORE ON ORIGINAL POST SD VOYAGER

Image courtesy of SD Voyager

Vitamin Sea Inspiration

I became a captain of my own ship the day my family launched me in a Zodiac into my grandparents pool. I was now ocean bound. And I’m pretty sure that my birthstone is a sea shell.

Over time I learned to have respect for the sea and all its bounties. This was brought on by unharmed memorable experiences:

  • While in grade school I received my Jr. Lifeguard card in the middle of a squid invasion off the Atlantic Coast
  • I kissed a seal in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico while being stung by jelly fish
  • Came face to face with a Giant Grouper while learning to scuba dive in Mexico
  • I dove with Dolphins
  • Swam with black tip reef sharks in Bora Bora, Tahiti
  • Saw a pink sea anemone the size of a tire in Bora Bora as well
  • I did the sting ray shuffle amongst dozens of sting rays swimming around me, bodies slapping against my legs
  • Swam above Giant Oceanic Manta Rays after a storm, once again in Tahiti

But the most spiritual experience I had was off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. We were in a Zodiac in the Deep Blue when I glanced around us. Giant dorsal fins reached from side to side. A Humpback Whale was hovering beneath us. If he had breached we would have completely flipped over. However, he only stayed long enough to make sure that his baby, that was playing nearby, was safe from us.