Jeff Heinatz's photographs capture the spirit of stalking and photographing wild animals in their native Texas, USA habitat. The following are excerpts from an e-mail interview with the 36-year-old photographer.
What kind of work / accomplishments have you done in the world of photography?
I've only recently begun to market my work outside of my local area. So far, I've been published by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University, and the National Park Service and the Texas State Park System have purchased some of my photos. My work is displayed at the Davis Mountain State Park, Balmorhea State Park, the Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park. Postcards are also available through Davis Mountain State Park. My work is on display in several shops in the Big Bend/Davis Mountains area, the Texas Department of Health's Zoonosis Divisions' website and will soon be displayed on @texas, The Official website of the Texas Travel Industry Association.
The San Angelo Standard Times Newspaper recently did a feature story about me. Unfortunately, the three full-size photos that were in the newspaper did not make on the internet version of the story. There have also been several stories run in some smaller magazines and travel guides.
Why the interest in Nature photography?
My interest in Wildlife Photography comes from a long history of being able to get extremely close to wildlife, and my desire to share some of my experiences with others.
How many years have you been taking photographs?
I've been taking wildlife photographs for approximately 12 years.
Has anyone been a particular inspiration to you in your pursuit of photography?
I've been reading Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine for years and if anything has inspired me, it's this magazine. When I was young, I would go out with my father and older brother to "fox call". That was, and still is, the most fascinating and fun thing to do that I know of. I have no urge to kill anything, so wildlife photography has been a perfect passtime for me. I hunt with a camera!
Do you do this full time, and if not, what else do you do?
I can only invest my free time to my photography so I'm out almost every weekend, holiday, etc., that I can get. I have worked full-time for the Environmental Programs at the Texas Department of Health for 12 years.
What do you hope to accomplish through photography?
My goal for my photography is to eventually be able to retire early so that I may be able to do this full-time. I would like to become a "Recognized" Wildlife Photographer.
Did you ever have any formal training in photography?
I needed an elective to graduate from Angelo State University in 1985. I took a black & white News Photography class and loved it. At the time, I didn't even know how to load a camera.
What can a visitor to your website expect to find?
Visitors can view photographs of Real Texas Wildlife in it's Natural Surroundings! I feel that my photographs are as good or better than anything out there, and I feel that the true spirit of the wild has been captured in my photographs!