A wild idea
Photographer Jessica Riederer is passionate about Bermuda Wildlife and Landscape Images — and not just because it’s her first book.
She’s loved the subject matter since she was a child, and incorporated it into her career as an environmental educator, classroom teacher, animal behaviourist and public presenter on wildlife and conservation topics.
Her dream is that her book will help people better appreciate the diverse creatures we have here.
Q: What made you decide to publish a book?
A: Since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about wildlife and conservation.
I did not pick up a camera until about 15 years ago though. Since then I have been trying to photograph the wildlife I have been lucky enough to encounter here as well as in England, the USA and Australia.
Four years ago, friends and family encouraged me to create a wildlife photography book, and so the process began.
I hope that in creating this book I have done one small thing that will inspire at least one person to perhaps stop and notice a bird they had never noticed before, keep their gardens chemical-free for our health and the health of our island, or feel more love for our beautiful ocean.
Q: What’s in the book?
A: The book is a collection of Bermudian wildlife and landscape images that I have taken over the years. The wildlife includes not only familiar faces — such as Bermuda’s loved bluebirds and catbirds — but more elusive faces such as our endemic skinks as well as ocean dwellers such as seahorses, octopuses and other colourful characters.
Each wildlife image includes informative anecdotes on that specific species.
I hope that viewers will not only enjoy looking at some pretty cool island animals, but that they will also learn a bit more about — and perhaps even learn to love — some of the diverse wildlife we share Bermuda with [and perhaps] be more inclined to take care of Bermuda’s wildlife and its fragile native habitats.
Q: How did you know when to stop?
A: When you create a project you feel it’s never finished because you always want to improve what you’re working on. I have poured my heart and soul into this book.
I am still in shock that it is complete. I could spend another five years working on it, but I feel that now I actually have a book I am proud of that I can share with fellow islanders and hopefully visitors as well.
I’m definitely not out to document all of Bermuda’s wildlife, just trying to make people learn a bit more about familiar faces and hopefully enhance their love and appreciation of some of the animals we share our island with.
Q: How scientific is it?
A: I’m not a scientist but I’ve researched throughout my entire life.
I wanted to make it accessible and it is for everyone. Even though it’s not specifically for children, friends of mine have read it to their children and say they love looking at the photos and learning about the animals.
It’s 150 pages; roughly 50 species. This is my home and I think it’s important to share the wildlife.
There are some fantastic books out there but a lot are quite scientific and I think people can be put off by that. I’m really trying to share wildlife with everyone, not just people interested in wildlife.
Q: Do you work? How much of your time has this taken up?
A: I was in England working as an education officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
I moved back here 16 months ago and am now focusing on my photography here, and have taken the year to focus on this.
I also sell my photography as metal prints, through my website and at Luxury Gifts at Tucker’s Point.
I also recently did the National Trust calendar.
•Copies of Bermuda Wildlife and Landscape Images are available at Brown & Co. Learn more here: www.jriedererphotography.com