Jamie Diane Ratchford is a photojournalist and environmental storyteller.
I discovered photography as a teenager, using disposable cameras. In high school I began shooting on a 35 mm Vivitar my sister gave me. I worked at a CVS for six years supervising the photo lab, developing film and prints, and taking passport photos. Fast forward to 2014, when my partner and I hiked the Appalachian Trail and I truly began to understand that I wanted to dedicate my life to learning and exploring, documenting the natural world, and sharing stories.
After the trail, we traveled to several farms across the U.S. volunteering with an organization called Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. But after being out of school for over a decade I decided to enroll at Northampton Community College to study journalism. This allowed me to study in Colombia, France, and Egypt. These incredible opportunities opened a new floodgate of dreams. I completed my Associate’s degree and then in 2021 I became a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Transfer Scholar and attend Rochester Institute of Technology. In between semesters I have been working for the National Park Service as an Interpretive Ranger where I’ve gotten to share my love for the outdoors with others.
With devotion, perseverance, and optimism, I am driven to protect our natural environment. I hope to use my work as a writer and photographer to inspire others to do the same.