Photo by Kate Paton
Kate Paton’s journey to life in Richmond as a wildlife photographer has been a circuitous and unanticipated one.
Growing up in what became Zimbabwe, she moved to New Zealand where she and her growing family lived for 10 years. Then Richmond beckoned, temporarily.
“My husband relocated for work. We thought we’d only be here for two years, but now I don’t want to go back, because the wildlife and the scenery has just blown me a way. We’re now permanent residents,” Paton says.
Paton was used to working in offices. When she moved to Richmond in her early 50s, she found it hard to break into the world of paid employment.
“My age worked against me,” she says. “My kids said, ‘Don’t worry about work mom.’ They got me a camera. They saw that when I walked outside, it just lifted my spirits and the world was a wonderful place again.”
Paton describes her new-found calling as, “Ethical birding and wildlife photography—it is so important to respect wildlife and birds. No photo is worth disturbing a bird for.”
She may be an unpaid photographer but her photos have appeared in many publications. “I’ve been in quite a few different things. The New York Times used some.”
In fact, Paton is up for an international award. To vote for her online blog for the Terra Incognita Award go to tinyurl.com/PNKate
Voting closes at the end of December. Only one vote per person is allowed but if you vote for #44, you help Paton, and Richmond wildlife, get greater exposure.
To see more of Paton’s work, she can be found on Twitter as@pnwkate, on Facebook and Instagram as pacificnorthwestkate
For now, Paton is just happy to be able to get out and snap the abundant life around Richmond: “Hopefully, one day, I would love to do something with my work with wildlife. I’m not sure what but perhaps it could be with education, wildlife and conservation.”
And, after six years in Richmond, how does Paton feel about here newfound home? “If I could, I’d like to stay here forever.”