My Name Is ... Christine Johnson

Wildlife photographer with an earthy side

Posted 9/30/19

Photography gone wild I was a fine arts photography major in college, but then I had my daughter, so I gave up on that and became a dental assistant. It's been an OK career, but now my husband and I …

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My Name Is ... Christine Johnson

Wildlife photographer with an earthy side

Posted

Photography gone wild

I was a fine arts photography major in college, but then I had my daughter, so I gave up on that and became a dental assistant. It's been an OK career, but now my husband and I do a lot of hiking and photography.

We do a lot of wildlife photography, but then people started asking us to do their senior portraits or wedding photogaphy, so we're starting to launch that a bit.

My husband and I were born and raised in Colorado, but there are still so many places we haven't seen before. We've photographed wild horses in northwest Colorado. Two weeks ago in Rocky Mountain National Park, we were hiking and turned around and saw a bull moose just a few feet from us.

There's a bear family living in Waterton Canyon right now. We finally saw the mama bear recently.

Being in the presence of wildlife makes you feel small. They were here first, so you have to respect them. It makes you realize how interconnected we are, but how small we are in the scheme of things.

Life-changing teeth

You learn a few things about people as a dental assistant. No surprise, people are really cranky when they're in pain. A lot of people have irrational fears about the dentist, sometimes from childhood trauma. You can't take things personally.

Sometimes you have a patient who's had terrible teeth their whole life, and you help fix them up. It can be life-changing.

Ink and dirt

I have a lot of tattoos. I was that kid that always drew on myself. I had a great-uncle who served in the Navy in World War II who had a big panther tattooed on his arm, and I thought it was the coolest thing.

A lot of my tattoos are characters from the movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I got one, and it was peeking out from under my dental scrubs, so I figured I might as well go for a full sleeve.

I do a lot of gardening. I'd like to grow all my own food, but that's a big task. My father always kept a big garden. He actually wanted to start a commune, but my mom said no because she knew she'd end up doing everything.

We are nature. You've got to learn to live with it and nurture it. I've got all kinds of bees and birds and squirrels in my yard. It's a haven for them. I take pride in my home.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is, please contact David Gilbert at dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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