Hello fellow nature and wildlife photographers!

Esther BeatonConservation, Environment, Mentoring, internships, Nature and Wildlife, Nature Photography, New South Wales, On the Beaton Track, South Australia, Wildlife Photography

Wayne Lawler Nature Conservation Photography Grant 2023

Here is an opportunity for your photos to do some powerful good. Let me tell you the story behind this wonderful new grant created especially for those devoted to conservation photography.

I “knew” Wayne Lawler going back to the days in the 1980’s when my stock agency, Auscape International, represented him as one of its contributing photographers. I only knew him through his work – which I saw published all around Australia. In the film days, anyone who was a wildlife photographer was a special breed. You had to work bloody hard to get good photos within the narrow limits that film offered. The field for such photographers was small, so we all knew of each other’s work and we all had mutual respect for it.

Wayne Lawler, Scotia Sanctuary, New South Wales

Wayne Lawler, staff photographer for Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Scotia Sanctuary, New South Wales

Even though Wayne Lawler and I had “known” each other by reputation as we traversed back and forth across the Australian continent for almost 40 years, it wasn’t until 2017 that we actually met in person. It was a very exciting meeting for me and we discovered that we had narrowly missed each other several times, either by a few weeks or a few miles, as we pursued wildlife jobs around the country. We had been covering the same animals and habitats, working for some of the same clients, and having the same goals of advocating the beauty of Australia’s wild things.

Wayne Lawler, on the job for Australian Wildlife Conservancy in the Pilliga, New South Wales

Wayne Lawler, photographer for AWC, Pilliga Forest Fauna Survey, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, New South Wales

Yet it was Wayne who was the real conservationist. We both were devoted to the preservation of Australia’s wild places but it was he who took it to the ultimate level. Sure, he climbed impossible peaks, spent night after sleepless night waiting for an animal to come to its burrow, installed nest boxes in giant trees- like many wildlife photographers do. But he did so much more. He spent most of his income on buying and donating land for preservation of wildlife habitats.

Wayne Lawler, enticing a wild Boogie into his nocturnal photography setup. Yookamurra Sanctuary, South Australia

Wayne Lawler, staff photographer for Australian Wildlife Conservancy, photographing Boodies and Woylies at night with several flash units, Yookamurra Sanctuary, South Australia

Wayne died barely two years ago and I miss him terribly. We became good friends. His final act of devotion was to establish a grant for devoted nature photographers to continue such important work. It may not be a huge amount, but it is enough to help you as a photographer create a valuable body of work, one that can influence Australians to love and care for our vanishing species and habitats. If you think that is a worthy goal, then apply for the grant! Here’s your link to apply online now:

“How your Nature Photos can help Wildlife Conservation”