Jamie Diane Ratchford is a photojournalist and environmental storyteller.


Ash trees are dying en masse at Tinker Nature Park in Pittsford, New York seen here on September 8, 2022. An invasive species of insect, called the Emerald Ash Borer, has killed more than 70 percent of Ash trees nationwide.
Teagan Flora, supervisor of Lollypop Farm Humane Society of Greater Rochester in Pittsford, N.Y., helps the veterinarian ease an anesthetized sheep to the ground for an operation on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Professor Nate Carpenter and his students from Northampton Community College push their bus out of the mud along a mountain road in the Antioquia region of the Andes on May 22, 2018. The group visited rural farms with Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, a government organization that provides education and resources to farmers and small businesses to uplift Colombia’s economy.
Dawn Pittman, with USGS, weighs and measures a sturgeon raised at Seneca Zoo before it is released into the Genessee River in Rochester, N.Y. on Oct. 1, 2022.
Tonia Galban shaves Black Ash tree bark demonstrating the process of basketmaking at the Ganondagan Living History Festival in Victor, N.Y. on Sept. 24, 2022.
Helen Draper, the farm assistant of Homesteads for Hope, and Adam Tharrett, a participant in the Ready, Set, Work program, feed the chickens on April 15, 2022 in Spencerport, N.Y., The farm was created in 2016 to provide community and work opportunities for adults with disabilities.


Jamie Diane Ratchford

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‚Äôs 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.