We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristi Odom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristi, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
To be honest I am much more of a photographer at heart then a business owner. I am really passionate about the planet and how I could use visual art to share my love for wildlife. In order to do that and tell the stories I wanted to tell, I had to structure a business around photography. My passion for conservation grew so strong, I had to find a way to make it happen.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My goal is to visually connect people emotionally to wildlife and celebrate those with a connection to the natural world. Recently I have been focusing more on the power of local storytelling and local activism. I have been using photography to show the depth of biodiversity in our own local parks and backyards. I want to inspire people to photograph local spaces, get involved in community science or even just plant native plants in backyards (to help the declining insect population).
One of my proudest moments is when I got my first story published online for National Geographic. It was in 2020 and I was living in the DC area. I always thought I would have to go far to be in Nat Geo, photographing some rare species in a faraway land. My first story was a story about a group of senior citizens who met every Friday to count bugs. It was in my own local parks. It not only brought attention to the declining insect population, but it taught me that anyone can be an activist and help protect wildlife.
When I moved to Colorado in October of 2020, it took only a year to get a local story published online for National Geographic. This one was on the community scientists that hike in high elevations to survey Pikas, a climate indicator species that is struggling with warming temperatures.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Rocky Mountain National Park. No questions there. Early 5-6am start, heading up Fall River Road, hiking Chapin pass then a hot chocolate at the Alpine Visitor Center. We would stop to look for wildlife at Rock Cut on the way down. In Estes a stop for warm biscuits and collard greens at the Post. That would be a must. Also, a Sunday visit to the Ukulele jam at Bootstrap Brewery. Those are a few of my favorite things.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
For sure. A big part of my driving force is having gratitude, and many people have helped me along this crazy journey. First and foremost, my husband, who has encouraged me to follow my dreams (and also picked up extra jobs to allow me to do just that). My other shoutout is to Nikon for creating the tools for me to have the job of my dreams and for believing in me. Being a part of the Nikon Ambassador team has changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I will forever be grateful.