The Saratoga Sun -

Capturing wildlife

Wildlife photographer learns passion for photography while at HEM


November 21, 2018

Mike Armstrong

Kyle Warren.

Kyle Warren said it was his journalism class at Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow (HEM) High School, taught by Sarah Jones, that got him interested in photography.

"We went to a journalism camp when I was a sophomore and there was a big focus on photography and that is what really got me interested," Warren said. "I haven't taken a formal photography class; I more or less have taught myself, but I knew back then it was something I wanted to pursue."

About the time he started taking photography seriously, he was volunteering at Wee Folks Day Care Center in Hanna.

"My mother was in education and, between her and my mother's boss, I developed an interest in teaching children," Warren said. "So while I worked at Wee Folks, I started taking class pictures because that had never been done before."

Warren was raised in Elk Mountain and graduated from HEM and then went to the University of Wyoming. for a degree in education.

Warren teaches kindergarten at Hanna Elementary School and said his interest in photography often compliments his lessons when introducing his students to wildlife. He also uses photography as a way for parents to see their children in a classroom setting.

"I love taking pictures in the classroom and a lot my parent gifts are photographs of their child in some way," Warren said.

His skills of taking pictures of people gave Warren and a friend incentive to start a photography business in his first year of college. It is based in Cheyenne, where his partner resides.

"We do some portrait work, senior pictures, weddings, just enough to be busy as we can be," Warren said. "We have had to turn down a few jobs because we both work full-time jobs, but when senior pictures come around we like to make deals with local seniors since we know what it is like to come from small communities and don't want to make it expensive for them."

Warren said he has started to put emphasis on sharing his wildlife photography versus the portraits about a year ago.

"Wildlife photography is really my passion besides teaching," Warren said. "Bears are my favorite. You might even say I'm bear crazy."

Looking around his classroom, there are many pictures of wildlife and bears dominate. Warren said his enthusiasm for taking pictures of these large omnivores started four years ago.

"It was my goal to get a picture of a bear in the wild," Warren said. "I went on this random trip in Yellowstone with my family and we saw this grizzly bear really close to the road, so I got some cool shots and that is what hooked me on them."

He said other wildlife interest him too.

"I love getting pictures of eagles and elk," Warren said.

One of his pictures of eagles took second place in the recent Carbon County Visitors Council photography contest.

"That eagle was taken on the river near Saratoga," Warren said.

Warren said he started out with a basic Cannon camera. He acknowledges photography is expensive and he has taken out personal loans on occasion to keep up with the technology.

"The technology is changing really fast," Warren said. "They are coming out with mirrorless cameras now."

He said mirrorless can potentially add a lot of quality to photography.

Warren said although he doesn't have a mirrorless camera, he has been purchasing new equipment in the past few years. However, he said, great equipment can only do so much in getting a great picture and catching the right moment is essential.

"I try to shoot what is unique," Warren said. "A lot of the fun is going out and just look for something and there is a pride you get when you succeed."

He said one of his favorite pictures is of a bear that is framed by trees around it.

"I like it because I had never really seen something like it before, so it fits my criteria of being unique," Warren said. "It is also being in the right place at the right time to get a shot like that."

He said his favorite place to shoot wildlife is on the east side of Yellowstone.

Photo courtesy Kyle Warren

Kyle Warren's passion for photographing bears in the wild is evident in this photo.

"I would spend every waking moment there if I could," Warren laughed.

A goal he has is to go to Alaska within five years. Taking pictures of bears are a big reason for this trip.

He sees himself teaching for years to come, using his photography to enrich his lessons.

"I really like sharing pictures of wildlife with the kids, because then they learn things they might have missed," Warren said. "One time I got to Skype into the classroom when I was looking at bears so all the kids could be there with me."

He said a lot of kids leave his class really liking bears.

That is not a surprise with the ardor their teacher has for taking pictures of these large creatures and then teaching his students about them.

Much of Warren's work can be seen on


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