Welcome to Watershed Sentinels, a creative conservation visual storytelling experiment.
Hi, I’m Jaymi Heimbuch
This adventurous little digital space is not any one thing, but many at once.
First and foremost, Watershed Sentinels is my creative outlet as a conservation photographer based in the Pacific Northwest.
The interconnectivity of watershed habitats are endlessly fascinating, and endlessly undervalued. Mostly it’s because so few people stop to really think about where our water comes from. And why would we, really? It flows so readily from the tap for so little cost.
But, time and again I’ve noticed that when someone learns about their own local watershed, the species that live there, and the profound importance it has on their life, they become engaged, curious, and protective.
I love seeing that spark, and I love having those ah-has myself. So, Watershed Sentinels is where I explore all that in my own curiosity-driven way.
This space is home to the photos, videos and sounds of what I’m exploring. It’s where I write about whatever nature-something is holding my interest at the moment. And it’s where I experiment with impact-focused visual storytelling strategies that could be helpful for the conservation of watersheds.
As you explore this site, you’ll learn about what watersheds are, discover the plants, animals and insects that live in Pacific Northwest watersheds, and gain fun naturalist skills that you can use wherever you are in the world to get connected with the wild outside your door.
I’ll often ask you to participate because nature-nerding is more fun with friends and I genuinely want to know what you think.
That’s how you can help out in the conservation visual storytelling purposes of this site.
Hearing your input allows me to:
- to see how different visual stories spark awareness, inspiration and impact
- to see how different communication tools work
- and to teach what I learn to every other conservation-focused nature photographer out there so they can make the biggest possible impact with the most amount of joy humanly possible
Let’s adventure together. And grow our nature loving hearts together. And maybe make the wild world a little safer and healthier because we care this much.
I wrote this while drinking a hoppy IPA and listening to Swainson’s thrushes sing from under conifer boughs with the dim roar of the Pacific Ocean as their bass track. That’s how a lot of this sites content will get made. Welcome to my home and my happy place.
Swainson’s thrushes sound like this ⬇️
If you read all that and are like, “Uh, I just clicked this page to find out who the hell you are…” then here’s that bio part I’m supposed to have on an about page.
(See, told you, no rules…)
I’ll put this in the third person so it feels all official:
From the time she first picked up a camera to document wildlife, Jaymi has felt the need to put images to work and engage viewers with the larger story of the photo’s subject.
Experiencing wilderness and witnessing wildlife is her passion, so conservation photography is her purpose. And that extends well beyond image-making and into helping other creatives reach their biggest goals in conservation visual storytelling.
As an outlet for her joy of teaching, Jaymi founded Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy ®.
She is co-founder of Her Wild Vision Initiative, a volunteer with the North American Nature Photography Association, and a volunteer instructor with Girls Who Click, a nonprofit that encourages young girls to get involved with nature photography.
Her photography and writing has been published by National Geographic publications, Heyday Books, Audubon Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, Ranger Rick Magazine and many more.
Jaymi is also host of Impact: The Conservation Photography Podcast where she covers all aspects of conservation photography, from creativity to business and marketing.