Could you share a bit about yourself and what made you fall in love with photography?

Hi everyone! My name is Cari, and I’m a wildlife photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. My photography journey began with a love for wildlife! Ever since I was a kid, I have been drawn to the animals around me, mesmerized by their wild worlds. My love for photography grew as I got a little older — I still remeber my excitement as a kid when my family would drop off rolls of film from birthdays or vacations to be developed. Photography felt like magic to me (and even though technology has changed, it still does!).

It would take me years to realize I could combine my love for wildlife and photography. Living in Canada’s largest city, I didn’t think photographing wildlife was an option for me. But three years ago, I decided I would just try to see what I could find in the city. I quickly discovered that wildlife was already all around me! I just hadn’t been paying enough attention. So, photography has given me the greatest gift. It’s given me a way to share my passion for wildlife with others and, hopefully, helps make people feel more connected to the creatures we share our world with.


Congrats on winning the contest! How did you react when you found out?

It’s impossible to express how much being selected for this project means to me (I still can’t believe it’s real!). The OM-5 Tell Your Story program is making me fall in love with wildlife photography (and believe in myself) in so many new ways! Like so many photographers out there, I shoot because I truly love it — photography brings me such a deep sense of joy, purpose and fulfilment. I have never picked up my camera expecting it to lead anywhere (beyond editing photos on my living room couch!).

So, for a company like OM SYSTEM to recognize and celebrate the passion we have for telling stories with our cameras is an unbelievable dream come true. I’m overwhelmingly grateful to OM System for this opportunity to learn and grow, be encouraged to be creative, and stretch my photography skills in new ways. And to my mentor @brookelittlebear for being the most talented, but also the kindest, warmest, most fun and encouraging teacher. Being part of this program is such a gift, and I am so appreciative of this investment you’re making in me and the other (extremely talented) participants.Thank you so much, OM System for the opportunity of a lifetime!


Can you explain us a little bit about the content creation project you are going to work on with OM SYSTEM?

For my #OM5TellYourStory project, I want to illustrate the relationship between us and our wild world, by telling stories about Connections in the Wild. By capturing small, familiar interactions between and among wildlife — like a tender moment between a doe and her fawn, or a swan gently pulling at a loose feather beside her mate, or fox kits exploring the world with their siblings — I hope we can realize how much we have in common with the creatures we share our world with, and reimagine how our existence is linked to theirs.

As every wildlife photographer knows, what I end up capturing depends greatly on what my wild subjects choose to reveal to me! As a result, my focus might shift slightly based on them, but with my OM-5 in-hand, I feel ready to capture the moments as they happen. My ultimate dream is that, through this project, I can help take a small step towards bridging the gap that often exists between the wild world and our human one.

OM-5 | M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7
1/1000s | f6.2 | ISO3200]

Which equipment are you going to use? Are you enjoying it so far?

Along with my new OM-5, I recieved an M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO and an M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm — a dream combo for wildlife (and landscapes!). It has been a gamechanger to have a camera that can take exceptionally high quality images AND is so easy to bring along with me everywhere I go. I’m capturing so many moments I normally wouldn't have, and because it’s so lightweight and so reliable, I’m ready whenever an unexpected, beautiful moment occurs.

It’s also been exciting to test my new gear out in nature —I’ve been able to capture moments in such a wide range of light, conditions, and environments. And with wildlife as my primary focus, what I didn't see coming was how this small but mighty camera would inspire me to get creative beyond wildlife, as well! I had so much fun taking photos on a recent trip to Europe — and while the next few weeks will be focused around wildlife, I’m so grateful that this powerful little camera has inspired me to be creative in new ways!


Looking ahead, what are your goals and dreams as a photographer?

To be completely honest, I’ve never let myself dream too big with photography before. Being selected for this project has also given me the space and confidence to start dreaming a little bit bigger! I want to find my voice and unique style as a photographer, and create powerful images that I’m proud of, and that meaningfully connect us with the wild creatures we share our world with. Through improving my photography and storytelling, I want to share messages of conservation that promote peacefully coexisting on this planet of ours. Right now, my attention and energy are being poured into making the most of this opportunity, and (hopefully!) doing a great job with the Tell Your Story Project!

Through this experience, I hope I can push my skills as a photographer to new limits, showcase the incredible capabilites of my OM-5, and help more people fall in love with wildlife (the way I have!). And on a personal note, learning from my mentor @brookelittlebear has been an actual dream come true. My goal is to show others that you don’t need to be in the deep wilderness to connect with nature and wildlife — you can start by looking in your own backyard. And lastly, I hope that this is just the beginningn, and that there are more inspiring, exciting opportunities like this in my future!