I call South Florida my home, a state surrounded by sandy beaches and filled with miles of rivers of grass. What a great place to be for a photographer, we have plenty of sun, plenty of beaches and plenty of beautiful landscapes. At the same time, we have been influenced by the glamorous Miami lifestyle, portrait and fashion photography are the order of the day. I did my share of those, but I wanted something else.
Back in 2017 I wanted to take my portrait photography to the next level. I wanted to do environmental portraits, I wanted to tell the story of the person who I was making the portrait of, and not just photographing just a body but rather to capture the essence of the person.
I did my research through Instagram with hashtags of nature, landscapes and outdoors. I did found a lot of beautiful images but couldn’t find portraits of people that interested me, and the ones that I approach they didn’t want me to follow them and take photos of them.
Until I ran into an IG account of this lady that cleans beaches, works with manatees and spend her weekends exploring the woods of Florida searching for clear water springs with her dog.
I thought this girl was very interesting and mysterious at the same time. So I wrote her and a few weeks later I was on my way to Tallahassee to meet Dr. J.L.McGee.
J.L.McGee is an Environmental Biologist with international research experience, and a conservation leader that specialize on aquatic animals and ecosystem health.
We spent two days together hiking North Florida’s forest in search of a hiding spring. I fought against giants horse Flies while she fought with gators that were on our way to the springs.
Finally, on our last spring I found the landscape where I wanted to see her, where she belongs, where she likes to be, in the water.
Dr. J.L.McGee still searching for pristine water holes with her dog, and still educating people about Florida’s ecosystem and aquatic animals.
You can follow JLMcgees adventures on her Instagram.https://www.instagram.com/jlmaqua629/