The animal kingdom is full of eye-catching beasts, and no photographer is better at catching their majesty than Graphis Master Lennette Newell. Featured in Journal #368, Newell was born and raised in Kimball, Nebraska, though she currently lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She has her own studio, Lennette Newell Photography, where she has shot commercial work for brands like Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, and Blue Buffalo. Her own creative projects have also earned her recognition from the American Photographic Artists National Awards, the 200 Best Ad Photographers 2020/2, and the Lucie Awards, and are in exhibitions at Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Galerie Photo XII Paris, Galerie Bestregarts Frankfurt, the Barcelona Cultural Center, and others.
Some of Newell’s best work are images of birds, such as “Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur)” (above, left), “Green Winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus)” (above, right), and “Swainson’s Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)” (below). Thanks to Newell’s aesthetic exploration, every detail down to the smallest feather is on display, and her actions shoots of birds in flight reflects her own fun, engaging personality.
Here’s a short preview of our Q&A with Newell:
What drew you towards animal photography?
My interest in photography began while observing animal behavior on my family’s ranch. My father was a large animal veterinarian, allowing me to immerse myself in the surrounding animal kingdom where my relationship with animals was a peaceful coexistence. Constantly inspired by the natural world around me, I began to photograph what I knew: animals. Years later, as I pursued other photographic directions, I soon realized I would be best suited to photograph what I knew best: animals.
What is your work philosophy?
Thankfully, I have a strong work ethic. I go out of my way to be prepared for any job scenario and truly believe anything can be done. The desire to accomplish the goal over and above is the competitor in me. With more experience, you work smarter, and with that comes the ability to recognize when a moment in time capture is truly extraordinary.
Where do you seek inspiration?
It seems inspiration these days is so readily available because of the internet. I have always gathered inspiration from day-to-day activities and observations in addition to museums, creative journals, magazines, artist talks, etc.
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