Photographer Testimonials

Many photographers have contributed their bird pictures to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's photo gallery.

Here's what some of them have to say about the experience:

Richard Stade

“I started submitting photos to the Smithsonian a couple of years ago simply to help populate the site with birds not then included and with alternative views to help in identifying. The inclusion of email capability and links to my website have made continuing submittals particularly satisfying. I have had numerous requests from government agencies, lecturers, zoos, and various non-profit conservation groups to use my pictures. For non-profits and government groups I authorize use of the pictures royalty free and get satisfaction that I am helping worthy causes.”

“The link to my website has led to increased traffic and sales of photographs and books that I self publish. This is also satisfying in that it gives me feedback that others enjoy my work.”

“Without the Smithsonian's name and pull on the internet I would not have had access to either of these ways to make my photographs available to a wider audience and would not have had the associated satisfaction.”

“Thank you to the Smithsonian and Greg Gough for leading this effort.”

Ed Guthro

“A very good friend of mine from Montana got me into birding in October of last year. I hate to think of all the years I missed out on this. I work as a forensic investigator, and most of the time I am photographing the worst stuff you can imagine. Trying to add photography to my birding has added greatly to the experience, plus the birds are a much more pleasant subject to photograph. I would like to thank you and the Migratory Bird Center for allowing me to share my photos with others. Thanks...Ed.”

Jerry Acton

“...since you encouraged me to post my email address on the website, I have gotten a number of interesting requests for my photos. Thanks for encouraging me to do that. I have met some pretty neat people online as a result.”

“Also, you might be interested to know that I was recently contacted by Birds and Blooms magazine to participate in an amateur photographers contest they will be conducting among 10 photographers nationwide. That was quite an honor. This little hobby of mine is turning into quite an exciting experience. I think I need to retire real soon.”

Gerhard Hofmann

“The adding of the email address had a tremendous effect on my mailbox. I get 2-4 emails daily regarding the pictures. Some are other photographers, already submitting to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, with questions about how to get the same level of quality. Then a couple of people asking whether they can use pictures for a talk they will give (mostly Audubon folks).”

“Then I get a bunch of questions about usage of the rusty blackbird pictures... Then I got a request from Venezuela these folks (World Wildlife Fund) working on a brochure about a specific region where the red siskin still breeds. Ellen Jacob, who is working on several Kid-books for the Smithsonian, asked me for a couple of pictures. Just today I got a request from somebody of the Wilson Ornithological Society, they want to use a picture of the magnolia warbler for an award, and just 5 minutes ago a Zoo in Seattle wants to use a picture for the emblem of their shade grow coffee.”

“Then I got a couple of requests as to why I don't submit pictures of exotic birds—these folks were mainly aviculturists, or people who visited several foreign countries for birding, and use your gallery as a worldwide field guide.”

“You see the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center keeps my mailbox busy.”

Karen Sirna

“Since, you added a mail box for me, it has been a wonderful experience. My mail box is busy and I get a lot of different requests. In just the last 6 months, my pictures have appeared on the TV Drama Show, "The Unit" and also several images will be published in a children's book called FYI Birds. What a fantastic book, to educate kids, the Smithsonian and Ellen Jacob have produced and what a wonderful opportunity for me to be a part of that.”

“I have had several companies both in the garden and pet store businesses contacting me for the usage of my photos to promote their products. Wildbirds Unlimited, in Grand Junction Colorado, uses my images in their store as it gives the customers while they shop, the opportunity to see actual photographs of the birds that migrate to our area and what they have the possibility of attracting to their home.”

“My email has also given me the opportunity of helping people set up their own Backyard Habitat Area for the National Wildlife Federation Mini Habitat Program in creating a beautiful and natural environment for all our feathered friends but for all wildlife through the Smithsonian. One backyard at a time, not only can we create a beautiful place for our birds and wildlife but also to help battle Global Warming.”

“The photographers email has enabled me to seek assistance from other photographers when I have needed their images to help me teach a variety of public classes on wildlife and every photographer I contacted, were more than gracious. Not only did they submit images for me to use but also their personal help. The photographers at the Smithsonian, are not only just great photographers, these are people who truly care about our planet, our wildlife and most importantly an asset to anyone seeking their help.”

“Thanks to your email system, not only has The Smithsonian Migratory Photo Gallery helped me so much personally as a Wildlife Photographer and Public Educator, it has provided an excellent service for the world.”