As the proprietor of Julian Myles Photography, I've been fortunate to document a wide range of events and occasions, from intimate weddings to grand corporate galas. However, one experience that stands out in my career is shooting the AZA / SSA Conference 2023 at the Columbus Zoo. This unique opportunity allowed me to combine my passion for photography with my love for wildlife and conservation. In this blog, I'll take you behind the scenes of this extraordinary event and share some of the unforgettable moments I captured.

The Columbus Zoo: A Perfect Backdrop

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is renowned for its commitment to wildlife conservation and education. It is home to over 10,000 animals representing more than 600 species, making it the perfect backdrop for a conference focused on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Zoological Association of America (SSA).

Upon arriving at the Columbus Zoo, I was struck by the stunning landscapes and exhibits that provided a visually captivating environment for the conference. It was clear that this venue would offer endless opportunities to capture compelling images of both the conference attendees and the incredible animals that call the zoo home.

Connecting with Conservation Experts

The AZA / SSA Conference brought together some of the brightest minds in the field of wildlife conservation. From zookeepers to researchers, educators to policymakers, I had the privilege of photographing passionate individuals who are working tirelessly to protect and preserve our planet's precious biodiversity.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this experience was witnessing the exchange of knowledge and ideas among the attendees. As I captured candid moments during panel discussions and workshops, it was evident that this gathering was not just about learning but also about building a community dedicated to a common cause.

Wildlife Encounters

While documenting the conference was the primary goal, I couldn't help but be drawn to the zoo's remarkable inhabitants. Throughout the event, I took breaks to explore the various animal exhibits, each offering a unique opportunity to capture the beauty and majesty of the natural world.

One particularly memorable moment was photographing a majestic white Bengal tiger during a special presentation on big cat conservation. It was a powerful reminder of the critical work being done to protect these endangered species from the threats they face in the wild.

Networking and Connections

As a photographer, I've always believed that the power of an image lies not just in its aesthetic appeal but in its ability to tell a story and evoke emotions. The AZA / SSA Conference provided me with countless opportunities to connect with individuals who shared this belief.

I had the pleasure of engaging in meaningful conversations with fellow photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, and conservationists. These interactions not only enriched my experience but also deepened my appreciation for the important work being done in the field of conservation photography.

Shooting the AZA / SSA Conference 2023 at the Columbus Zoo was an experience I will cherish for years to come. It allowed me to combine my passion for photography with my love for wildlife and conservation, resulting in a collection of images that not only document the event but also tell a compelling story about the dedicated individuals working to protect our planet's biodiversity.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this event and to have met so many inspiring people along the way. It reaffirmed my belief in the power of photography to raise awareness and drive positive change. As I continue my journey as a photographer, I hope to use my skills to contribute to the important work of conservation and inspire others to do the same.

If you're interested in seeing more of my work or learning more about my experiences at events like the AZA / SSA Conference, please visit my website, Thank you for joining me on this unforgettable journey through the world of wildlife, conservation, and photography.