My interest in photography began at a young age. I still have fond memories of hiding in the bushes as a preteen with my Grandfather's Argus camera, trying to capture photos of backyard birds at our feeder. As I grew older, wildlife photography was always my first choice. I especially treasured my first SLR purchased (a Minolta SRT 101) when I was in high school. During that same time period, I built my own darkroom.
After earning a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management and a M.S. in Administration of Justice, I started a family as well as a career as a Virginia State Game Warden. I was in conservation enforcement for over 30 years, a labor of love, and retired in December 2008. Alaska grabbed my soul on some photography trips, so for the 2009 and 2010 summer seasons, I worked as a seasonal park ranger in Denali National Park.
Besides photography, my family is important to me. My wife is a librarian at William & Mary College, enjoys the outdoors as well and often travels with me. After graduating from Randolph Macon College, my son works for a telecommunications company in Denver, Colorado. My home is in Lanexa, Virginia, which is approximately 20 minutes west of Williamsburg.
A career of wildlife protection carried over to my passion for wildlife photography. Since 2005, I have diligently been doing nature photography. There is nothing else that can replace the satisfaction I receive from being in the outdoors, photographing wildlife and sharing captured images with others to hopefully enhance their appreciation of our natural world. My photo trips are usually to National Parks or Wildlife Refuges. My photo excursions have been to six of the seven continents. To view the locations I have photographed take a gander at this link: Places. My favorite local photo sites are Jamestown Island National Historical Park, Shenandoah National Park and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
I turned full-time wildlife photography pro in 2010. Now living a dream, I lead international photo tours and participate in art festivals along the east coast. When not traveling, I also present programs, teach wildlife photography to others that share a similar passion and provide private lessons.
Humbling when it occurs, I have been fortunate to place in some wildlife photo contests:
National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest (2014/Honorable Mention)
Popular Photography Contest (2013/First Place)
National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest (2010/Second Place)
Glennie Nature Photography Competition (2010/First Place)
Sony International Photography Contest (2009)
National Parks Competition (2007/Second Place)
and have attained published images within magazine and calendars (National Wildlife; Popular Photography, Virginia Wildlife, Birder's World, Alaska Geographic, Ranger Rick, National Forest Foundation, National Park Pass & Watchable Wildlife).
Past Art Show Recognitions:
10/14: Fall Foliage Art Festival, Waynesboro, VA - "First Place, Photography"
4/13: Daffodil Festival, Gloucester, VA -"First Place, Fine Arts"
10/12: Poquoson Seafood Festival, Poquoson, VA - "Best in Show"
5/12: Fort Clifton Art Festival, Colonial Heights, VA - "Photo Award of Excellence"
10/11: Poquoson Seafood Festival, Poquoson, VA - "First Place, Fine Arts"
5/11: Fort Clifton Art Festival, Colonial Heights, VA - "Best in Show"
5/11: Festival in the Park, Roanoke, VA - "Best in Show"
4/11: Chincoteague Decoy & Art Festival, Chincoteague, VA -"Best Photograph"
3/11: Daffodil Festival, Gloucester, VA - "First Place, Photography"
1/11: Deerfield Beach Arts Festival, Deerfield Beach, FL - Award of Distinction
3/10: Daffodil Festival, Gloucester, VA - "First Place, Photography"
2/10: East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival, Washington, NC - "First Place, Photography"
Folks often ask about the equipment I use. Like most, I started as a film photographer, self-taught learning from mistakes and trial/error, but all the time pursuing a passion. In order to fulfill my wildlife photography obsession, I sold my boat, got a second mortgage and purchased some quality camera equipment. After research, I decided on Canon. Since 2007, I have completely converted to digital photography. Currently, my go to camera is the Canon Mark 1Dx and my back-up camera is the Canon Mark IV. I predominantly use a 400mm/2.8 telephoto lens that allows close-up views of wildlife without altering an animal's behavior. Close-ups also provide a rare view of the animal's features and individuality. You can see all the current gear I own by going to this link: Gear. Please keep in mind while good equipment helps, the photographer's eye behind the camera creates the picture. Regardless of what equipment you own, my suggestion is to learn the subject and have the patience for the right moment. Absorb your surroundings, respect, and enjoy the outdoors.
Sure hope you enjoy the pictures on this site, because I certainly had a good time taking them. Capturing everyone of the images was a special happening in my life. My photography is a way to thank wildlife for their special displays you see within this website, which will hopefully stir emotions and motivate folks to consider protection and conservation. Certainly realize I am a fortunate individual to see all the wildlife and visit the places on this web site, let alone photograph them. Thanks for taking a look.
All of the pictures within the web site galleries are of wild animals taken in their natural environments. None of the photos were taken of captive, zoo or animals on a game farm. I believe in the integrity of a wildlife photograph, so when you view a critter in one of my galleries you know it was not caged or staged. All the images on this site are certainly for your viewing pleasure. Please keep in mind though, they are the sole property of Ken Conger Photography. Some may tell you different, but all the images are protected by the U.S. and International Copyright Laws. They shall not to be downloaded or reproduced by any means without the formal written permission of Ken Conger. Thanks in advance for respecting my work.