PASSIONATE ABOUT WILDLIFE + TRAVEL + ADVENTURE + ART + DESIGN
DESIGNER + PHOTOGRAPHER + ARTIST
TRAVEL & RECREATION
In the past 15 years, I have worked with over 100 different companies in a variety of industries. The ones I enjoyed working with most were those promoting travel, recreation and wildlife, whose missions focus on appreciating the beauty of nature, experiencing all that life has to offer while working to preserve our planet. What a gift to work alongside passionate people who devote their lives to caring about conservation and humanity while still enjoying the small pleasures in life like food, wine and relaxation. It has become my mission to serve these organizations through exceptional design and photography.
• Web Design
MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION
Morris Animal Foundation funds research to improve and protect the health of animals through scientific innovation, education and inspiration. The organization is committed to fighting animal diseases worldwide in species ranging from cats and dogs to horses and alpacas; amphibians and wildcats to anteaters and elephants.
The organization went through a major rebranding initiative and hired me to assist in updating all their print collateral to reflect the new brand. I worked on smaller one-off projects such as e-newsletter templates, postcards, notecards, animal reports, icon illustrations and larger projects like designing their quarterly publication, AnimalNews. Also shown here, is my work designing a stationery package and promotional collateral for their Development department, Circle of Discovery.
• Print and Digital Marketing Materials
ALIVE & CONNECT MAGAZINES
While acting as Design & Interactive Manager at Denver Zoo for 6 years, I was also the staff photographer (and was a volunteer photographer for two years prior to becoming staff). The biggest perk of the job was being tasked to photograph the baby animals born throughout the years. These adorable and engaging photographs were published regularly by local and national media sources. During my tenure there I supplied photos for all marketing and advertising campaigns, promotional materials, the website and weekly e-newsletters as well as the zoo's printed publication, ALIVE. Several of my photographs were also published in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums publication, CONNECT magazine.
As a side note, my job as Denver Zoo photographer was spoofed by Saturday Night Live and I got to make an appearance on live television talking about how fortunate I was to have such a cool job! See #cooljobalert
THE EDGE/DENVER ZOO
For the first time ever, Denver Zoo designed and developed a new tiger exhibit with all work done in-house. Under my lead, the zoo's Creative Services team named the exhibit, developed the logo and branding for the exhibit, designed all the interpretive graphics, and created the advertising campaign used to promote the opening of the exhibit. The year that the exhibit opened and the ad campaign launched, the zoo had its highest number of visitors, exceeding 2 million guests.
Athena Project is a non-profit organization that empowers women in the arts. When I was asked to be on their Board of Directors, I suggested we go through a brand refresh to modernize the brand. Since the 5 years it had launched, Athena Project had grown to become a well-known organization in the Denver community and its brand needed to be updated to better represent its current image. We didn't want an entirely new brand since the logo had become recognizable by the arts community and its supporters - we just needed a refresh. I was tasked with using the existing purple, green and blue color palette and to keep the concept of three women supporting one another, while also representing the multiple artistic disciplines - theater, dance, music, visual arts, comedy and fashion. In the process I quickly realized we needed a secondary color palette to support the various disciplines and to give life and energy to the brand.
"Throughout our rebranding process, Charlotte's patience and attention to detail in understanding our core of who we are and where we want to go is more than I could have hoped for. Her design and vision allowed us to be super flexible and creative but maintain a brand that's consistent and of quality. Not only did we take our brand to the next level but we surpassed the next 10 levels!" - Angela Astle, Executive Producer
• Brand Strategy & Brainstorming • Brand Development - both of primary brand and sub-brands • Art Direction • Web & Graphic Design • Advertising • Graphics for Social Media • Print Collateral • Photography • Serve on Board of Directors
DO AT THE ZOO
This was the project that taught me that although I love and appreciate the intricacies of web and graphic design… what I am most passionate about when it comes to design is the big picture – the process and power of a full-on brand identity package.
Do At The Zoo is Denver Zoo's yearly fundraising event where local restaurants and breweries feature all their best tastes and treats. Design work for the event, from branding to advertising, had previously been outsourced to an agency. As lead of the creative team, I recognized that we had the talent to do the work in-house consequently saving the zoo a significant amount of money on agency fees.
For this branding effort we were tasked to represent this fun, yet high-end, epicurean event that takes place on zoo grounds. We wanted a logo and brand that would last for several years but still wanted the event to be able to feel fresh and new from year to year. We accomplished this by designing a logo, typeface and patterns that would remain the same from year to year and by only changing the color palette, inspired by color trends of the current year. All signage, advertising, floral arrangements, lighting and linens for the event would update based on that year's color palette.
• Art Direction • Logo and Brand Identity Design • Photography & lead of Volunteer Photographers • Design & Development of Microsite • Print & Digital Advertising Design
Although I dream of traveling the world photographing animals in their natural environment, life hasn't quite given me the opportunity to do so (yet!), but from the photos in this section you can see that over the years I have done the best I can to capture the life around me! I did most of my world travel as a student in my 20s, pre-digital cameras and pre-being-able-to-afford good camera equipment – I traveled to East Africa when I was 18 and although I had an amazing experience, I didn't come home with the photos to prove it. I did however, come home with a deep desire to photograph the natural world around me. Around the time when I started being able to afford the equipment, my husband and I decide to start a family which meant settling down and not being the vagabond that I once was. Fortunately, for the past 15 years I have called the Rocky Mountain West home and there is a world of wildlife just in my backyard. And every now and then we visit coastal areas where I get to see dolphins, sea lions and pelicans and I am always equipped with my camera and lenses.
Since I was a young girl, I have always seen the world around me in still images. My entire life feels like a series of beautiful photographs. I learned that being a photographer is actually a state of mind, a way of seeing the world and all its intricate beauty; having an insatiable desire to capture those moments and present them as a series of still images, the way that I experienced them in real life. That is my challenge to myself, my driving force.
As a traveler, I photograph our natural world as a means of preserving its beauty, and to inspire others to want to do the same. I have had the fortune to see some of the most majestic places on earth. Not everyone gets the same opportunity. I feel that it is my duty to share with others the beauty of our planet and of humanity. Only by understanding what is out there will we begin to care.
When I photograph an animal I am looking to make a connection – between me and the animal in that moment and then later in the photograph, between the animal and the viewer. I do this by looking for a spark of light in its eye. It is that glint that tells me there is a soul in there – that's what I am trying to capture when I photograph an elephant, an eagle or a mouse. I love being behind the lens, following every move of an animal, whether it is on its own or interacting with another. By using the camera to focus in and pay attention to the details of its fur or scales, its paws or claws, its every movement – I gain a deeper understanding of that animal's behavior and purpose as a part of our natural world. I encourage you to stop and look closely at each of these portraits, feel the connection. This is my gift to you.
This series of photographs was completely unplanned… it just happened over time… in my travels, in my encounters with wilderness. Over and over again, I found myself drawn to the image of a tiny human amidst the expanse and wonder of nature. I call it the Solitude Project because I know from my own life experience the power and necessity of solitude and have found that its benefits are tenfold when you are alone in the wild. For now, this is just an experimental project. Enjoy!
WANDER + WONDER WORLD MAPS
I started this series of world maps nearly 15 years ago when I was settling down after a decade of traveling. I was starting my career as a designer in earnest and needed an artistic outlet that was all my own - not creating for any other reason than for the sake of creating. Making maps offered the magic of keeping me connected to the rest of the world while I was starting to live a more grounded life.
I have created over 100 artistic world maps using a variety of materials. They can be purchased as original artwork, canvas prints and pin boards. My absolute favorite thing to do is work on commissions and collaborate with people to create the perfect world map for their homes or places of business. You can learn more about my art business and see the full spectrum of maps at wanderandwonder.org
• Fine Art
In 2017, I quit my job at Denver Zoo for the flexibility of freelance design work, and to pursue becoming a professional artist with the intention of using any free time to introduce my children to the amazing life and lessons of world travel (stay tuned for #worldtrip2020!). I knew from years of previous freelance experience that I needed reasons to force myself out of the house so I started my #100Hikes100Days adventure. I also found a great little art studio to rent in Denver. Living in Golden, Colorado made it easy to walk out the door and explore the trails. I did half of the hikes with friends, and the other half on my own. I took a photo every single time, whether I handed the camera to a friend or set it up on my little octopus-like tripod, and then posted it to Instagram. Social media was my accountability. I hiked a total of almost 400 miles and even climbed a 14er at the mid-way point. It felt great to be so disciplined but even better to be with nature every single day for 100 days.
SOUTH AFRICA SAFARI
When I traveled solo to Africa at 18 years old it was a dream come true… but that was a long time ago and it was before the invention of digital cameras. I made my way through five countries in East Africa and encountered all the amazing wildlife you dream of seeing on a trip like that. I had a camera and even some decent lenses but I was lacking the know-how to take a good photo, not to mention developing film was expensive!
Twenty-five years later, I got to go on safari again, this time in South Africa and this time with a decade of photography experience under my belt (specifically zoo photography). Being able to photograph wild animals in their natural environment with some of the best camera equipment (Canon 5D Mark IV and 100-400mm telephoto lens) was an even bigger dream come true! Enjoy this selection of my top 100 photos.*
* Note: I have included three beautiful black and white portraits of African tribal people that are not mine. They were large portraits that decorated our room at the safari lodge.