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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Close-up of Conservation Photography: Bringing the Environmental Movement's Creative Industry Into Focus

  • Author(s): Gervais, Elizabeth Anne
  • Advisor(s): Guenther, Katja
  • Reese, Ellen
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines the process by which conservation photographers do conservation photography as they generate visual material as part of environmental social change initiatives. Using interviews, I study photographers associated with the International League of Conservation Photographers. Focusing on the process by which photographers do culture, I examine the boundaries that photographers invoke in their work, how the photographers became conservation photographers, how conservation photographers manage tensions among logics in their work, and how conservation photographers relate to emerging technologies. I demonstrate that technological and economic changes create tensions among professional photographers who attempt to integrate social change efforts into their professional work. This dissertation shows the importance of considering occupational identity when studying individuals who engage in social change activities.

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