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Episode #103

How a Photographer and a Scientist Raised $100,000 for Sloth Conservation with Suzi Eszterhas and Dr. Rebecca Cliff

by

UPDATED: May 25, 2023
ORIGINALLY AIRED ON September 20, 2022

 

What's the most essential tool that drives donations? Visuals. So, collaborations between photographers and foundations are critical for creating massive impact. It doesn't take a big team or a degree in marketing. It takes a willingness to experiment and a lot of great communication. Here's an inside look at one particularly successful team-up.

 

One of the most fun and honestly, most fulfilling parts of work as a conservation photographer is collaborations with organizations you're passionate about.

When you team up with a nonprofit, a researcher, or a community group that you really connect with, magic happens.

The relationships you build with the people you're working with can lead to some of the most profound, fun, energizing experiences inside of your photography.

It's where you can grow.

It's where you can experiment.

It's where you can play and create…

… and bring in tons of important funding for that collaborator. 

But… How do you get that?

How do you find an ideal collaboration, what do you look for, and what is the experience like?

Well, to dive into this topic, I talked with a dynamic duo that has one of the most amazing collaborative relationships I've seen between conservation photographers and conservation organizations.

Suzi Eszterhas is a conservation photographer with loads of experience in fundraising for organizations using her photography. Her collaborative partner, Dr. Rebecca Cliff of the Sloth Conservation Foundation is equally creative, energetic, and willing to experiment with ideas.

Together they've raised over $100,000 for sloth conservation.

In this interview, they talk , , and 

You'll Learn:

  • About how they got started
  • Advice for conservation photographers looking to find collaborative partners
  • Strategies they've used for fundraising (and we definitely dive into the ups and downs of these strategies!)

 

Resources Mentioned

Episode 103: How a Photographer and a Scientist Raised $100,000 for Sloth Conservation with Suzi Eszterhas and Dr. Rebecca Cliff

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/103

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Welcome to impact the conservation photography podcast. I'm your host, Jaymi Heimbuch. And if you are a visual storyteller with a love for all things wild, then you're in the right place from conservation to creativity, from business to marketing and everything in between this podcast is for you. The conservation visual storyteller, who is ready to make an impact.

[00:00:26] Jaymi: Let's dive in.

[00:00:36] Jaymi: One of the most fun and honestly, most fulfilling parts of work as a conservation photographer comes through collaborations. When you find a nonprofit organization or a researcher or a community group, or some organization where you build a collaboration that can feel like some of the best work that we do, it can be really [00:01:00] creative and diverse.

[00:01:01] Jaymi: And really the relationships that you build with the people that you're working with can lead to some of the most profound, fun, energizing experiences inside of your photography. It's where you can grow. It's where you can experiment. It's where you can play and create so many assets that can be very valuable and have a lot of impact for the collaborator that you're working with.

[00:01:27] Jaymi: How do you get that? how do you find, uh, someone that you're gonna collaborate with? What do you look for and what is the experience like? Well, in order to dive into this topic, I wanted to bring on a couple of guests that have one of the most amazing collaborative relationships that I've seen between conservation photographer and conservation organization.

[00:01:51] Jaymi: Suzi Eszterhas is a conservation photographer with loads of experience in fundraising for organizations using her [00:02:00] photography. In fact, she's been on the podcast before talking about how she raises so much money for conservation cause. Her collaborative partner, Dr. Rebecca cliff of the sloth conservation foundation is someone who's really benefited from that skillset.

[00:02:17] Jaymi: And also pushed Suzi to do projects that have been very successful that might have slipped through her fingertips. The two of them have not only an incredible collaboration going, but also an incredible friendship. So they're here today to talk about how they got started. Some of the advice that they have for conservation photographers, who are looking to find collaborative partners, some of the ups and downs of strategies.

[00:02:44] Jaymi: They've tried like calendar fundraisers and books, and all kinds of experimenting and a whole lot more. It's an incredible conversation. So without further ado, let's dive. Welcome to the show. Susie Erha and [00:03:00] Dr. Rebecca cliff. Thank you so much for being here today, to talk all about collaborating with each other for conservation work.

[00:03:07] Jaymi: I'm really excited to, to talk with you too.

[00:03:10] Becky: Oh, thank you for having us. It's so exciting to be here.

[00:03:13] Suzi: Yeah. Thrilled to be here as always. Jamie.

[00:03:15] Jaymi: Awesome. Well, so Susie, you have been on the podcast before, so listeners may be familiar with you, Dr. Cliff slash Rebecca slash Becky will call you whatever you feel like later on listeners.

[00:03:28] Jaymi: Definitely don't know you. So for both of you, would you mind just kind of giving us a brief intro to who you are in the world? Susie, do you wanna take it away?

[00:03:37] Suzi: Sure. So I am a professional wildlife photographer, and I'm very passionate about using my photography to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation.

[00:03:50] Suzi: So I work with Becky at the soft conservation foundation as a trustee or for organization. And yeah, I'm [00:04:00] just always trying to think of ways that we can help get the world jazzed about sloths and how we can raise money to help sloths. So we, we make a good team. Awesome.

[00:04:11] Jaymi: And Dr. Cliff, well, you've given me permission to call you Becky.

[00:04:14] Jaymi: So I'm gonna just merge into that. yeah. Perfect.

[00:04:18] Becky: so I am, um, originally a researcher who specialized in sloths and I'm now the founder and the director of the sloth conservation foundation in Costa Rica. So I wear a lot of different hats these days, but yeah, my, my daily life revolves around trying my best to help slots, save slots, learn about slots, raise money for slots.

[00:04:39] Becky: basically slots have taken over my life.

[00:04:43] Jaymi: which, I mean, if you're gonna have something take over your life, slots are pretty amazing. So well done. How did you move into kind of the world of loss? Was that always something that you were interested in or did they just take over your heart at some point in your [00:05:00] career?

[00:05:00] Becky: Oh, I, I didn't know what a slot was when I was growing up. Can't I can't say I always dreamt of being a slot scientist, but I went to university and I was studying zoology. And as a part of that, I was learning a lot about tropical ecosystems and the animals that live there. So I did become very broadly interested in animal behavior and wildlife conservation.

[00:05:23] Becky: And then an opportunity came up through my university to do a research placement at a slot sanctuary of all places. And, uh, one of my supervisors thought that it would be perfect for me. So they strongly advised me to apply. And I knew like it was one of those very defining moments in my life. I've had a few of them where I just know that I have to do that.

[00:05:44] Becky: It is the next step for me, and I absolutely have to make it happen. So I knew nothing about slots, but within about two weeks, I learned as much as I possibly could from the internet about slots. And I went into my interview, like I have to get this job. And I garbled out all this slot [00:06:00] knowledge and they were like, you are hired

[00:06:02] Becky: And, um, yeah, about two weeks after that, I was on a one way flight to Costa Rica and I bumbled into the jungle with like my trolley suitcase on wheels and my blonde hair. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, but from the moment I, I met my first slot, I, I completely fell in love. I, I, I was completely obsessed by them.

[00:06:22] Becky: And I decided I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about these really weird animals, cuz they're so strange. And I never looked back that was it 13 years ago. And here I am in the jungle today, still, still obsessed with lots.

[00:06:36] Jaymi: That's amazing. And I mean, it really is amazing that it was such a pivotal moment in your life that all of a sudden you have this like, yeah, that is the road that I need to take, but I feel like it's also a pivotal moment in sloth conservation because you've done so much are doing so much and making really significant changes.

[00:06:56] Jaymi: And I'm just gonna actually read, I have your website, the sloth conservation [00:07:00] foundation, which is lovingly called slow co right? yes. Okay. So slow CO's website is in front of me and. You make a really solid point of being like we're not a rehab center, we're not a place to come visit. We are where we do sloth conservation.

[00:07:15] Jaymi: Some of the things that you've accomplished is publishing eight scientific papers. 25 sloths are monitored in the wild 4,600 trees have been planning 186 sloth crossings have been installed. 12 electrical transformers have been insulated. And we're gonna talk more about why these are such critical conservation, me measures, but you're doing really important conservation work.

[00:07:39] Jaymi: So thank goodness for sloth that you fell into

[00:07:43] Becky: this? No, it is. Um, because when I was, when I first arrived in Costa Rica and I saw, cause I was working at a sloth sanctuary and I saw the numbers of sloths coming through the door that needed. And these people were just trying to help them and put them back in the wild.

[00:07:58] Becky: And it felt like a bandaid [00:08:00] on a much bigger problem. It was like, things are just being sort of mitigated and not actually solved at the, at the root. So yeah, a bigger part of that was that we there's very little research done into wild slot ecology or behavior. Nobody knows anything about them in the wild.

[00:08:16] Becky: So that's sort of where I started, like, okay, I'm gonna learn about them. And then I, I wanna use what I've learned to then go into protecting them and trying to help them. And I know rescue centers are just overwhelmed with slots. I mean the ones where I'm based get three new slots every single day each wow.

[00:08:34] Becky: Which is a phenomenal number of animals. So if I start rescuing slots, many people have tried to bring injured slots to me. And I have to say no, take them to a rescue center because if we start doing that, then we are gonna be just overwhelmed and all of our funding and all of our time and energy is gonna go into rescue and rehab.

[00:08:54] Becky: Which takes us away from solving that, that core problem. So it's really difficult [00:09:00] not to get into it, but yeah, I'm, I'm stubbornly saying no to being a rescue center. We just want to do conservation in the wild and with the local communities and put everything we, we can into, into solving those problems.

[00:09:15] Jaymi: Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I know that a big part of your ability to have outreach and awareness and potentially even funding around all of the work that you do is in part by the collaborations that you've built. One of which is with Susie. So I'm just gonna say. I think that the two of you have a dream collaboration.

[00:09:39] Jaymi: It's what a lot of photographers like wish that they had with conservation nonprofits, where you just are, are friends you're on the inside track of what's going on. You can create your own opportunities for what you wanna build in order to have that impact. And you guys are just freaking adorable. Like I'm not on Instagram that much, but when I am, I look [00:10:00] at your adventures out in the wild and you two are just like, you have so much fun together when you're out in the world.

[00:10:07] Jaymi: So absolute chaos. How , how did you two meet in the

[00:10:11] Becky: first place? Well, for, well, I was working at the slot sanctuary and, um, the, they told me that this wildlife photographer was coming to photograph slots. And could I sort of look after her and show her some slots and I was like, sure. And Susie arrived. And then instantly we just started chatting and it was like, I'd, I'd known her my whole life.

[00:10:30] Becky: We just really connected and bonded and. Became best friends very quickly, really. And I would say Susie's probably responsible for a big part of my career. Susie sort of mentored me and guided me and launched me into into the professional world. So, um, yeah, it's been a really, really amazing friendship, but Susie can explain a little more about why

[00:10:52] Suzi: she was in Costa Rica.

[00:10:54] Suzi: Wow. I'm not sure I'd ever think about mentoring you. It's more like I plunged you into [00:11:00] some

[00:11:01] Becky: terrifying situation.

[00:11:04] Suzi: I threw you in the deep end. You did. Um, so, so yeah, when I met Becky, I was doing a lot of wildlife rescue stories at the time, which was very rewarding experience. I was doing it all over the world and I wanted to photograph sloths.

[00:11:22] Suzi: And I had heard about a, an a rescue center where they had sloth orphans, and I wanted to go down and, and photograph them. And like Becky said, she was assigned to kind of show me around the place. And what happened is that. I think it was like within two or three days, this wild female sloth showed up as Meda with her baby and showed up in the garden.

[00:11:46] Suzi: And so I was there doing orphan work. And then all I had actually asked the sanctuary owner, like, what are the odds that I'll see a, a wild sloth mom and baby. And she's like, oh, really low. You know, we do have some sloths living in the property, but you know, [00:12:00] they don't have babies that often, blah, blah, blah.

[00:12:01] Suzi: And so here comes ES Meda with this newborn sloth that was less than a week old and she's just hanging out in the garden and going from the garden to the jungle, like completely wild and free. And so I sort of switched gears and wanted to just follow ES Marelda. So Becky and I. Followed her every day, all day.

[00:12:23] Suzi: And we spent eight hours at a time laying on the forest floor, staring up at like a patch of her fur waiting for her to wake up. So we had a lot of time to chit chat and bond about life and, you know, sloths. And she regaled me with all this sloth information. It's kind of like, you know, Becky didn't have the goal of being a sloth scientist.

[00:12:45] Suzi: I didn't really have a goal of like focusing largely on sloths for 10 years with my photography either. And Becky got me really into sloths. Like I had no idea there were six species and that many of the species hadn't been photographed before. And she started telling me all this stuff about [00:13:00] their weird behavior.

[00:13:01] Suzi: And I was just like, salts are freaking great and completely fell in love with them. Meanwhile, we were like having the time of our lives and laughing nonstop. And so it was absolutely perfect. So after that first initial project, We very quickly hatched a plan to try to photograph all six species, which we've done five of.

[00:13:20] Suzi: So we got one more, which is in Venezuela and very, very hard to find. So between the sketchiness of Venezuela, cuz Becky and I have a habit of like often almost dying together. That's we're on a roll with that. So we decided maybe we'd hold off on Venezuela for a little bit. And also the species is incredib.

[00:13:40] Suzi: Difficult to find, but we are gonna get that species eventually. But we, so we've done all these expeditions all over photographing these different slots. And I remember this is like one of my fondest memories way early back in our friendship. Becky said that one day her dream would be to start a foundation to [00:14:00] help slots.

[00:14:00] Suzi: I think she was like a year or two into her sloth work. And I was like, you should go for it. It would be amazing. And if you do it, I'll help you, like, I'll do whatever you want. I'll be on your board, whatever. And so I was, you know, a trustee from the start. So it's amazing. I'm immensely proud of her because you know, when I met her, she was just like bumbling around the jungle.

[00:14:22] Suzi: And now she has, how many employees do you have? 17, somehow 17 employees and all these different programs and these, all these accomplishments. So it's pretty inspiring her story. Oh,

[00:14:34] Becky: thank you, Susie. That's actually very sweet. you're not often sweet to me, actually. Usually you are throwing me in the deep end, in some life-threatening situation, but, uh, that was very sweet.

[00:14:50] Jaymi: well, so some of the things that you guys have created together are, are pretty amazing. One of which I wanna get into the books that you've created, including [00:15:00] one called adventures of Dr. Sloth. But before we do that, one of the things that you've collaborated on is a calendar fundraiser. Why did you create a calendar fundraiser?

[00:15:12] Jaymi: What were some of the outcomes of that? And then after we talk about that, then we'll get into the pros and cons of calendar fundraisers. Okay. Can

[00:15:19] Suzi: answer to this. No, I'm taking,

[00:15:21] Becky: no, this is me. This is I'm taking full credit for the calendars. Cuz I remember sitting in a car in a car park and I was like, What about a calendar?

[00:15:32] Becky: And I had this weird idea in my head, and then I messaged Susie and I was like, what if we use your slot images and my sloth brain? And we make a sloth calendar and Susie was like, that's never gonna work. That's a bad idea. No one uses calendars anymore. What a terrible idea. And then I was like, pestering her for ages.

[00:15:52] Becky: Like I think the calendar might be a good idea. And low and behold, the calendar was a roaring success. And now we're on [00:16:00] like year six or something of slot.

[00:16:08] Becky: And now we do it. Like, I mean, me and Susie have never like, well, I know I've never done this personally, but never been into like the whole merchandise thing. So we've never done it before. So this was a complete learning curve for us. And we had so many disasters along the way. Even today. Most of the calendars are actually stored in my dad's garage.

[00:16:29] Becky: Someone's at the door. This is really awkward. Can I take

[00:16:34] Jaymi: a pause?

[00:16:37] Suzi: Probably delivery guy.

[00:16:41] Jaymi: Sounds like it. I'm totally leaving this whole part in the interview. Great.

[00:16:47] Suzi: So what I can say is that the calendars are also stored at my mom's in my mom's garage. so just like really Becky, we are just discussing how the us [00:17:00] calendars are in my mom's garage.

[00:17:01] Suzi: So between your dad, and in fact, we have a lot to Becky's dad and my mom, to be honest for free

[00:17:07] Becky: storage, they store, they ship everything. Cause obviously with me and Susie's careers, we're both all over the world all the time. So they ship out calendars every day for us. They send them to Amazon don't even get me started on that.

[00:17:21] Becky: They do everything for us. So, um, yeah, we probably owe everything to them actually. Oh,

[00:17:26] Jaymi: I love that.

[00:17:27] Suzi: I love supportive parents, this sounding super professional so far, by the way.

[00:17:34] Jaymi: so yeah, I mean, what made the calendars such a roaring success? Because they are like calendar fundraisers, I think are a really great thing to create, but at the same time they can be massive flops so I can understand why Susie had hesitation.

[00:17:49] Jaymi: So what major calendar, such a roaring success?

[00:17:52] Becky: Well, I think we knew slots are hot. People are, were starting to, at that time start starting to really love and obsess over [00:18:00] slots and who doesn't want a picture of a really cute slot on their wall all day, every year. It's a really great thing to look at and they make fantastic gifts at Christmas and things and pair that with the fact that it's a fundraiser for a nonprofit.

[00:18:14] Becky: We also include lots of fun information about sloths that people won't necessarily already know. And some of the fun behind the scenes stories of how me and Susie got the image of the sloth, that's on the calendar as well. So it's just a really fun combination. And it, and it worked really well mainly because we do have this huge network of sloth, super fans, all over the world who really want to, to buy this calendar and have it on their wall and also support our work.

[00:18:41] Becky: But we do also have some experience of the calendar flopping as well. Yeah,

[00:18:45] Suzi: we do. So, I mean, I think most years it's been a success and we do have people, the sloth, super fans at Becky talks about, we have people who buy the calendar every year and now they're like expecting it. Right? So it's an annual yearly thing, which is really lovely, [00:19:00] but we did have at least one year where it was a gigantic flop and it's just simply because Amazon's evil.

[00:19:08] Suzi: And incredibly difficult to understand this is, as Becky said, neither of us had ever done merchandising. And so just understanding the ins and outs of Amazon, and then, you know, their horrendous customer service, then we did have one year where in fact, I'm not sure Becky, if this was really Amazon or us just not knowing the Amazon rules, but we, we basically got into a situation where we had thousands of copies of the calendar in the Amazon warehouse and they had sat there too long.

[00:19:38] Suzi: So Amazon's like, you can either pay us to have them shipped back to you or you pay a storage fee, cuz they've been here too long or pay us to

[00:19:47] Becky: destroy them, which was even worse.

[00:19:49] Suzi: Right. So three options, all of which basically made us broke that year. and we, we made, we made nothing that year. It was a massive, massive flop.[00:20:00]

[00:20:00] Suzi: And, you know, I'm trying to find schools to donate the extra calendars. And then the, the epitome of our flop that year, this was the, the one that really took the cake was that. My assistant was over at my mom's house in the garage. And, and one of the guys bringing, I think he was bringing the slot book or something and, and the delivery man was like, oh, what's up with all these slot calendars?

[00:20:24] Suzi: And she's like, oh, they didn't sell, would you like some? And he is like, yeah. And then the next day he came back and returned them and said he didn't want them

[00:20:36] Jaymi: so sad. Cause they're actually really good and people love

[00:20:39] Becky: them, but we just, like, it was a combination again of like we overprinted. And then we messed up that Amazon algorithm. So Amazon like hid our listing and then we tried to like venture into paid adverts and Amazon, which apparently you have to be some sort of media expert in order to do somehow we managed to spend like thousands of [00:21:00] dollars on paid Amazon adverts.

[00:21:02] Becky: Um, by actually it's, it's a massive learning curve, but I think we finally got the hang of it. And um, we have actually surprisingly, despite all of these. Massive flops. We have actually managed to raise loads of money for the slots through these calendars. So it has somehow worked out in the end

[00:21:18] Suzi: and you do need to deal with the evils like Amazon, because the truth of the matter is that most of our calendar sales come from Amazon.

[00:21:26] Suzi: Some of them come from the slow shop, some come from my shop, but the vast majority do come from Amazon. So if people wanna do this in their own efforts, any photographers that are listening or conservationists, you, you have to deal with people like Amazon and, and learn how to navigate that world.

[00:21:43] Jaymi: How much have you been able to raise?

[00:21:46] Jaymi: Just so the calendar alone.

[00:21:48] Suzi: Oh, I don't know about through the calendar alone, but like with books and calendars, it's like over a hundred thousand for, for slow count. Wow.

[00:21:55] Jaymi: And that's after all the expenses and everything, right? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:59] Becky: After the [00:22:00] float,

[00:22:04] Jaymi: Becky, no wonder. You're like, I will take this. The calendar was a really good idea cuz that's a lot of money to raise for conservation work. Well done. The two of you. Thank you.

[00:22:18] Becky: it's ongoing. It's like that time of year. Well, me and Susie messaged each other going, oh, guess what time of year it is time for the calendar.

[00:22:26] Becky: We need to pick out some photos and write the captains and oh, it's a every year it's a saga, but it's always an amazing result is totally worth it. And the end product, honestly, people love it. So.

[00:22:38] Jaymi: What kind of work went into figuring out how to print these, cuz I know that I'm sure with the first couple of years, at least it was sort of an experiment and figuring out the, the best way to go and print run and who to go with and all of that.

[00:22:51] Jaymi: What is the system that you've kind of devised?

[00:22:53] Becky: So, so I found, we were lucky. We found an awesome printer in the UK cause essentially one of my best friends was a professional rugby [00:23:00] player. And he said, well, our rugby club used this printer to make our club calendars. So I, we got hooked up with an amazing printer really early.

[00:23:09] Becky: And the printer probably thinks that me and Susie are ridiculous, cuz we had all the, so many like amateur struggles with things like barcodes. Like I remember so embarrassing.

[00:23:20] Suzi: Barcodes are really complicated. You'd think it would be easy to just buy a barcode. No,

[00:23:25] Becky: no. And it, well, I mean, you'd think that a barcode is free, but um, when we got told we need to buy a barcode.

[00:23:32] Becky: So I was like, oh my God, Susie, we have to buy like 5,000 barcodes. If we print 5,000 calendars, we were looking at the price of a barcode and like, how is this even feasible? And then the printer was like, um, you only need one book. The product, obviously, which now in hindsight, it's really obvious, but I had a complete meltdown for about a week over these barcodes.

[00:23:59] Becky: Ugh. And me and [00:24:00] Susie still refer to it as like barcode gate, because I had a complete about buying

[00:24:05] Suzi: a place where you could buy a, you could like buy a barcode on the black market.

[00:24:14] Suzi: and I was like, we should just buy this one. And then Becky came up with some research that like Amazon reallys you, if they find,

[00:24:21] Jaymi: do you remember what

[00:24:22] Becky: happened? We accidentally used a black market barcode one year. And then do you know, on Amazon, when you get weird products that are like, like the reviews are for a completely different product to what's being sold.

[00:24:33] Becky: That's because of black market barcodes. It's like we're experts in this now because someone else buys the same barcode so that the product gets changed. And I remember one year our calendar got changed to some sort of. I think it was like an origami handbook.

[00:24:48] Suzi: It was, it was an origami handbook. Yeah.

[00:24:51] Jaymi: Oh my God.

[00:24:51] Jaymi: You guys just enlightened me to something. Cuz I was looking on Amazon for Pokemon cards for my nephew's birthday. Cause I'm like, I don't know what to buy a [00:25:00] 10 year old. He loves Pokemon. I'm gonna do Pokemon cards. And I found a set that had like 4,000 reviews and I'm like, wow, Pokemon cards. These, these must be really good.

[00:25:08] Jaymi: And I started reading the reviews and it was for like some sort of soap mold. That like, so you could make your own soap. And I'm like, I don't think that this is what I something's off here. And now I know whoever was selling those Pokemon cards must have bought a black market barcode, which I did not know exists.

[00:25:26] Suzi: Don't ever buy one.

[00:25:30] Jaymi: Okay. So this, this is something that's actually really important to bring up for the idea of conservation photographers, working with conservation organizations, because your whole goal is to spend time creating imagery and using that to bring awareness. But you do have to navigate all these things that take up a lot of time, like a week's worth of anxiety over black market barcodes, just to be able to sell calendars.

[00:25:55] Jaymi: How much time do you guys estimate you spend just trying to figure [00:26:00] out fundraising efforts every year.

[00:26:03] Becky: Oh, that's such a good question.

[00:26:05] Suzi: A lot of time because we have there's the new calendar every year and then we got books and then. You know, Becky, Hey, this is one I can take the credit for Becky does these adoptions on slow co and she has a lot of low dollar donors, essentially not huge amounts.

[00:26:27] Suzi: Right. And so I was like, you should do a physical adoption package and make it much more expensive. She's like, no, no, we just, we don't have donors that would, you know, pay how much is it? $75 or a hundred dollars? Well, yeah, we were originally

[00:26:40] Becky: doing like these $10 virtual adoption packages. So people make a small donation and we just email out like information about their slot, which was super great because we had a huge reach.

[00:26:50] Becky: Lots of people are willing to spend $10 on a, as a donation and get an email in return. And Susie was like, yeah, what about you? Do it, send it out in the mail. I was like, well, [00:27:00] firstly, who on earth is gonna do that? Who's gonna print all these certificates. And, and, and she was like, and we can include the book and it's a great way.

[00:27:07] Becky: And to be fair, it was a genius idea because I was like, no, one's gonna pay for that. But my dad stepped up to, even to this day, my dad prints all the slow adoption certificates, packages them up, sends them to all these people around the world. And, uh, we include the book in it and it's fantastic because people love the book and it gives them a great way to learn about sloths and fall in love with them even more cuz they see all of these beautiful images as well.

[00:27:34] Becky: So it was Susie's genius idea and it's been a major fundraising help for slow code. It's actually now where we get the majority of our annual income from is these adoption packages.

[00:27:45] Suzi: So, and we're constantly trying to think of new ways to, you know, raise money for slow co and to use the photography for different purposes.

[00:27:56] Suzi: And then, you know, other things that like we brainstorm in [00:28:00] 2024, I'm gonna bring a photo tour to Costa Rica, and I'm gonna partner with slow co and, and give a very large donation to slow co in return for their help for us, for them helping us find wild slots. Cuz she's obviously got a really good team of soft spotters and networking in town to know, you know, slots cuz slots are just kind of around town where she lives, wild slots, living, you know, wild and free and, and taking photographers around my clients to photograph these slots.

[00:28:29] Suzi: And then in return giving slow co a big donation. So it's like a win-win right, because my clients are happy with great, beautiful photos and then slow co gets money for, for two days of work. And so we're constantly thinking of new ways like that, where we can bring money into slow co because you have to keep it fresh.

[00:28:48] Suzi: And then also new images. So that's one of our great challenges is to, to make sure we have new imagery to work with and not using the same images all the time on calendars or on [00:29:00] social media or whatever it is. So me going down there and taking trips down to do fresh projects, like our recent one was on urban slots and these slots living in these real, crazy kind of in town situations.

[00:29:13] Suzi: Um, so we're constantly having to keep it fresh

[00:29:16] Becky: just from slow coast perspective. And also having a partnership with a photographer. It's been a game changer for us because we've now got all these images that we can use on our website, our social media on, in our education program or on awareness materials and things.

[00:29:33] Becky: Susie lets us use all of her images that she takes of sloth. And so, yeah, it just gives us this fantastic library of really high quality photos that demonstrate what we're doing and what the problems are. And that's a massive game changer. Like if you look at our website, all the photos on our website are taken by Susie pretty much so yeah.

[00:29:54] Jaymi: So you mentioned also the books that you've created. So I wanna rewind a little bit to the, the product [00:30:00] side of things. So there's two books. So sloths life in the slow lane is one that came out a little while back. And then the more recent one that just came out this year is the adventures of Dr. Sloth, Rebecca cliff, and her quest to protect sloths.

[00:30:13] Jaymi: So when it comes to creating books as a conservation fundraising tool and an awareness raising tool, Susie, you have tons of experience with creating books because you've been an author of many books. How did you decide to do a book as part of this as well? And what was the thought process in that as a way to

[00:30:31] Suzi: fundraise.

[00:30:33] Suzi: Well, very early on Becky and I, when we hatched the dream of photographing all the species of sloths, it was attached to that. It's like, yeah. And then we'll do a book about sloths. So very early on, it was a dream of ours to do a book together. And there's an important distinction between the two books besides the fact that one's a kid's book and one's an adult book, but the more important one fundraising wise is that one is self-published and the other one [00:31:00] is published by a traditional publisher.

[00:31:02] Suzi: So a traditional pub there's very limited money, right? Because there's just the book industry is taken a big dive. You don't see really large print runs anymore. And so if you're looking to raise money for an organization, not, not awareness, but now we're just talking about money. Then self-publishing is the much better route to go, because although you have to fund the print run, if you're able to sell those copies, the profit margin is much, much higher.

[00:31:31] Suzi: And so right off the bat, we knew that we wanted this to not just be an educational tool, because we did wanna use it as an educational tool for people to learn about slots and what slow co was doing. But also we wanted it to raise money. And we knew that if we took it to a traditional publisher, you know, we might be able to raise what $5,000 max, which is nothing.

[00:31:52] Suzi: It's not worth the time and energy you put into it. And so we, we right off the bat, knew that we needed to [00:32:00] self-publish if we wanted to use it as a main fundraiser. So the goal of life in the slow lane, which is the coffee table book about sloths really. As a fundraising tool first, primarily the adventures of Dr.

[00:32:12] Suzi: Sloth was really because I felt really passionate that Becky was an incredible role model for children, particularly girls, right? To, to see someone like Becky, you know, in the jungle, working with sloth, saving sloths, she's just got this really amazing story that could reach kids. And so we sort of see Dr.

[00:32:31] Suzi: Sloth as an educational tool for kids and an inspirational tour more than it's about fundraising, more than so the amount of money brought in by adventures of Dr. Sloth, it did just get published, so it might increase, but we're not looking at a high dollar amount. And so there's a distinction in terms of the goals of the two projects, both are directly tied to slow co and talking about what slow CO's doing.

[00:32:55] Suzi: One is really just about educating kids and inspiring them to do something similar [00:33:00] to what Becky's doing. And it's really not about trying to get them to safe slot. It's just about to get them to care about nature and wildlife, and maybe choose a life where they're helping wildlife mm-hmm

[00:33:11] Becky: yeah, I agree.

[00:33:12] Becky: And we're also percolating on the idea that we've always wanted to do slots of the world. Yeah. And cover all of the slot species, but we've got that one pesky species that we ju is in Venezuela and we just can't get to it. But once we do, then there'll be a whole new book

[00:33:27] Suzi: coming out. for sure. Yeah, for sure.

[00:33:30] Suzi: I feel like

[00:33:30] Jaymi: you guys just need to hire some sort of fixer slash babysitter who makes sure that you don't get into any trouble whatsoever. And then it makes it safe to go. pursue Venezuela. You aren't pushing lock on anything.

[00:33:44] Becky: everything will go

[00:33:45] Suzi: wrong, no matter. Yeah. It's true. People know us are like you guys going to Venezuela.

[00:33:50] Suzi: That's a real bad idea.

[00:33:54] Jaymi: you have had some really interesting adventures that have made my, my jaw drop for [00:34:00] sure. One of which you've actually been really vocal about on social media. Would you mind sharing it about finding the slot that was being harassed?

[00:34:09] Becky: Wow. Yes. One of, one of the many awful situations.

[00:34:13] Becky: Yeah. Um, we were, I can't remember how this went down. Actually. I think we were looking, we were cuz one of our tactics when we're trying to get these photos of sloths in urban areas, which is what we were doing is to sort of just. Keep moving around the town, looking, talking to people, have you seen a sloth slow down or in an interesting situation and using the community really to, to get tip officers to where a good slot spot is.

[00:34:39] Becky: And so we were just driving and somebody said they saw this female with a baby coming down the tree. So we rushed over there and this three finger sloth with a little baby on her chest and we were stood photographing her. And then there was these two men coming down the road who were obviously high on some sort of illegal substance and were [00:35:00] clearly very drunk.

[00:35:00] Becky: And they noticed us taking photos of the sloth. So they were immediately like drawn to the situation. And they were shouting and staggering. And I wanna let Susie take over here because I can't really remember exactly how it went down. Cuz I got, I got the red mist. I got the .

[00:35:18] Suzi: Yeah, it was the, yeah. I mean this, and this is what I just wanna say, like.

[00:35:24] Suzi: I encounter this when I'm in the field. And, but Becky encounters this, like maybe not to this extreme, but a lot, all the time, right? This is part of her regular job, and this is urban wildlife around the world. Right? You encounter these conflicts with humans that can be very dangerous and very emotional.

[00:35:42] Suzi: And that's absolutely what this was. And right off the bat, it was quite scary because we didn't see them coming. So they kind of, we were just, you know, in this Zen beautiful state with this mom and baby, it was so peaceful and we were photographing them. And then these guys kind of came up behind us. We didn't know that they [00:36:00] were there right away.

[00:36:01] Suzi: And then we, we keyed in and then they started talking about my camera gear. And so we thought, okay, you know, we're gonna get mugged because it does happen where she lives. It's not the safest place in the world where she lives. And there are a lot of muggings and whatnot, especially. By the beach, which is where we were.

[00:36:18] Suzi: And we knew they were super sketchy. And so we thought, okay, they're gonna try to take the camera gear. And so we started to back off from the situation and head towards the truck because we knew that they were dangerous. And I don't know if they got frustrated because we were leaving. And so they thought, oh, we'll just taut this loss.

[00:36:38] Suzi: Or if, if that was like a goal of theirs the whole time, but as we got into the truck, they started to. Just in a horrific way, tau this very innocent, peaceful, very vulnerable mom and baby, cuz they were low. We think they, she was coming down to poop, which Becky can explain. They do once a week. And so, [00:37:00] you know, we think that that's why they were coming down so low, but they were vulnerable because they were absolutely within reach of these guys.

[00:37:08] Suzi: And they, it went from taunting where they were trying to fist bump this sloth because sloths, when they're threatened, they hold their arm out. As a sort of defense mechanism. And so they're like trying to fist bumper and, and then it progressed to them taking like a, a red t-shirt or towel, some piece of clothing and, and basically smacking her with it, like whipping her with it.

[00:37:32] Suzi: And it was absolutely devastating. Becky was like lunging towards them several times because she was absolutely enraged as I was as well. But I knew like my job primarily in that situation was to control Becky because I thought Becky's gonna get hurt. These guys had machetes, first of all. So they were dangerous.

[00:37:55] Suzi: And I knew that if she made physical contact with [00:38:00] them, that she would get really, really hurt. And so my job was basically to try to keep Becky in the truck and not let her out. And that was not easy because she was so emotional and so ENR and, um, one of the slow CO's employees came. And he was like, yeah, they're dangerous.

[00:38:17] Suzi: They have machetes. There's nothing we can do. People were stopping on the road because they saw what was going on. But again, nobody wanted to get involved because these guys were so dangerous. They were like call the cops. We knew the cops would take hours to get there. So we were literally helpless. We could not do anything to help these slots.

[00:38:33] Suzi: I was like sitting there crying and Becky was sitting there absolutely enraged. It was very emotional for both of us. And I think this is one of the things about working in conservation, particularly with urban animals, is that the it's emotionally exhausting. And that's, that's what makes one of the things that makes Becky's work incredibly difficult.

[00:38:54] Suzi: Literally, all we could do was film it with our iPhones and have it on video and know that [00:39:00] we could use it as a public awareness tool. Luckily for us, we were very worried. These guys would take the baby off her. That was our biggest fear and they didn't thank God. And they eventually just left. They lost interest and left and, and walked away.

[00:39:14] Suzi: And mom and baby just, you know, went up the tree very quickly after that and never came down. They were obviously terrified, but it was a deeply, deeply disturbing situation.

[00:39:25] Jaymi: Wow. That is a lot to witness for one thing, even though it's a really difficult situation in the moment. Does that also work for you as a motivator to continue what you're doing with slow co and awareness creation and even maybe sparking other ways to bring attention to sloth conservation?

[00:39:44] Jaymi: Yeah,

[00:39:45] Becky: definitely. I mean, like Susie says, it's not a rare event in my line of work. It's awful. And it, because there's been so many. Horrific incidences that I've witnessed with people being just awful. Like, it really makes you question humanity [00:40:00] sometimes like some of the horrific acts of abuse that I've witnessed over the years.

[00:40:04] Becky: And it's a sort of coping me mechanism. I, I guess I tend to just block them out and like, I don't think about them because it's, if you always just think about these awful things, it's very negative, very depressing, very demotivating actually, because it's like, oh, are we ever gonna change? Is any like, are we ever gonna win this war against humanities, greed and, and just awfulness.

[00:40:28] Becky: So, um, I tend to try and just focus on the positives and that, that gives me great motivation. So seeing like the results of what we do, um, for example, it can be something as small as building a wildlife bridge and then seeing a sloth use it. Or, you know, like going into a school and seeing children's faces light up when they learn about slots.

[00:40:49] Becky: And yeah, just, just that I focus on the positives and that, that really motivates me. Cause it makes me believe that we do have a chance of winning and of, yeah. Just [00:41:00] changing the world for the better, I guess.

[00:41:02] Jaymi: What are your thoughts SU because you're working inside of this slot conservation work, but also wildlife conservation around the world.

[00:41:11] Jaymi: What are some of the things that you do to combat compassion, fatigue or these moments that can be so kind of emotionally

[00:41:20] Suzi: racking? I think I, I have a, a massive advantage and that's the fact that I'm in the field. And then I come home to my cute little house in Petaluma. Not that we don't have wildlife conflict here.

[00:41:34] Suzi: It's not the same as Becky who is basically living this daily right in her line of work. So I can come home and kind of get into my little bubble and recharge and rest and heal, and then get back in the field. Again, Becky lives in the field, she lives at her, her field site, essentially. So it was very, very different because unless she's traveling, she's not leaving it.[00:42:00]

[00:42:00] Suzi: And so I think one of the things that I always think of with Becky and other conservationists in the world, but particularly Becky, because I care so much about her as a person is just to make sure she stays. Safe. And that a lot of that is just staying sane and level headed. And so we did this, one of the things we did is we did a call, the two of us together.

[00:42:23] Suzi: We did a call on social media while I was down there. I photographed some guys that were cutting down trees legally. And Becky was like, we need a camera like yours so that we can do this when you're not here. And we can report them to the right authorities and the right agencies. And so we put a call out on social media for those cameras.

[00:42:45] Suzi: It was just a, a digital SLR and, and a 100 or 400. And we got a couple people donating these, these lenses, which is very amazing and awesome. And, and I love my followers for their generosity, but at the same time, I had very mixed feelings [00:43:00] about it because it was like Becky's gonna put herself in harm's way potentially by Ratt these people out for doing something illegal.

[00:43:08] Suzi: And there's the idea of them getting retribution. And so, you know, just trying to keep her from doing anything too extreme, that's going to potentially, you know, I always think about the turtle guy, the conservationist in Costa Rica who was working so hard to protect turtles and eventually was killed for his work.

[00:43:29] Suzi: And I always try to keep her a level headed and, and make sure she doesn't do anything. That's, that's too dangerous because I think when you work in conservation and you're so passionate about it and you live in it day in and day out, you can definitely lose sight of what is what's safe and what's not safe.

[00:43:47] Suzi: And the, the stakes can get a lot higher as you're working. So that's kind of the distinction there between me and conservationists that are working on the ground. I feel like I get time to heal and recharge [00:44:00] at the time that I'm living it. It's freaking horrible. It's, it's totally emotional. It's traumatic.

[00:44:05] Suzi: It's terrible. And I think all photographers who photograph conservation issues feel this way at some point. I think all you have to do. I mean, not all you have to do, but things that can help are just talking about it with people who understand and lighting it out, venting, and then having that space to recharge, I think is really important.

[00:44:24] Suzi: I think that's really good that Becky does travel. She comes to the United States. She'll come on. Some of my photo shoots that are not related to sloths and help me out. And I think all of this is really good for keeping her grounded and doing anything that might be dangerous. What do

[00:44:39] Jaymi: you think hearing all that Becky?

[00:44:41] Becky: Yeah, , it's a lot again, like I tend to like, not, um, think about it. I just get on with it and I'm, I'm very much a fighter. So like, I, I believe that if you have to stand up to these people, particularly in terms of like law enforcement and, and yeah. Making sure people don't just get away with it. There's a fine line [00:45:00] between working with people in like local communities for conservation and then working against them.

[00:45:05] Becky: You don't wanna. Fight everyone all the time, because then you're just the, the conservationist who are telling them not to do things, don't do this, don't do that. Like, you become an enemy, you wanna be an ally, you wanna help people. So it's a very fine line that we walk because yeah, we wanna keep people on side, but also like not just gonna be a pushover and let people do whatever they want.

[00:45:27] Becky: Like, there's also gotta be some, some sort of repercussion when people break the law or do things that aren't on. Right. So, yeah, it's something I struggle with a lot because I'm like, I'm the fighter I'll go after people. And I don't think about the consequences. I'm like, I'll take you all on which isn't always best the best approach.

[00:45:48] Becky: So, yeah, it's good. Cause I always, I mean see me and Susie talk every day and if I'm raging about something, I tend to text Susie and she's like, take a breath, calm down. she's like my, [00:46:00] my therapist in many ways. And yeah, the Susie mentioned that we go away a lot together on these projects. And those are like some of my favorite times because I'll do several months in the field.

[00:46:12] Becky: And then we go on these crazy adventures to Africa or south America together and change species entirely work with rhinos or elephants or make apps. It helps me get perspective on why I'm doing what I'm doing. Those are some of the best times of my, my recent years have been these crazy adventures with Susie.

[00:46:30] Becky: So yeah, we are pre a pretty good team. I think ,

[00:46:34] Suzi: it's also it. I think it really helps to have a friend for conservation photographers to partner up with someone in the way that I've partnered up with Becky, because going through these traumatic experiences together is easier than going through them alone.

[00:46:49] Suzi: And sometimes as a photographer, I have these traumas in the field and I'm by myself and it's harder for me to process and deal with them than if I have someone who's. Going through them, [00:47:00] you know, with me, like when we were doing mirror cats and we just so happened to come across poachers that were killing zebras and we photographed it, you know, hiding in the grass on our bellies.

[00:47:11] Suzi: And we were scared at a, at a moment. And being able to like share that experience together was I think a little bit less horrific and less terrifying than if I had been by myself. Without, without her on that shoot

[00:47:27] Jaymi: mm-hmm well, I will admit that this went to a place that I was not expecting to. sorry. No, it's really good.

[00:47:34] Jaymi: No, but it's really good because like I said, at the very beginning that you guys have a really special collaborative relationship like this, it's not just a collaboration between photographer and nonprofit. It's a friendship, it's a, it, it's all these other things built into it. And this really helps to illustrate the depth of the relationships that can be built when you're doing this work.

[00:47:56] Jaymi: That isn't about just accomplishing a task. It's also [00:48:00] things that you're really passionate about. There's a lot emotionally going on. There's a lot logistically going on, there's all these things. And so it really helps to show that these are the levels of bonds that you can build. Yeah. When you find a really phenomenal collaborative partner, Yeah.

[00:48:15] Becky: And the great thing about me and Susie is that we deal with everything by just laughing at it in the end, we just the most inappropriate situations. We end up just finding them funny, because what else are you gonna do? You know, like, so , we actually, uh, get each other through some pretty horrendous things and laugh a lot along the way, which sounds a bit weird, but it

[00:48:37] Jaymi: works.

[00:48:38] Suzi: Yeah, it works. And I do think that's a coping mechanism, Jamie for conservation photographers. I mean, I'm not saying we're laughing at the horrific stuff cuz obviously that's not funny, but we're usually laughing at our response to it or like something stupid we did or we're just other stuff besides any traumatic experience.

[00:48:56] Suzi: Right. And it's so important to laugh. And I [00:49:00] believe that just in general, in my personal life, right, like just to laugh is, is incredibly important for my mental and spiritual health. But particularly when you're doing hard work to laugh while you're doing it is incredibly funny to try to find a humor in things.

[00:49:13] Suzi: So I think that's also something that is really almost impossible to do when you're alone. Right. So that's a reason to have a collaboration with someone just make their make sure they're as funny as Becky

[00:49:27] Jaymi: Well, Susie, can you talk a little bit more about that as well? For, for people who are really interested in finding these amazing collaborative possibilities with either a foundation itself, or even with a person working in a foundation or a nonprofit organization, what are some of the things cuz you collaborate with a lot more than slow co and Becky and her work.

[00:49:48] Jaymi: You've done a lot of other collaborations. What are the things that you look for right away and whether or not this seems like it would be a great collaboration. What are some of the green flags or maybe red flags that you look for? [00:50:00]

[00:50:00] Suzi: So first of all is like, you know, whatever you want to collaborate on, it needs to be your passion, right?

[00:50:07] Suzi: So you need to feel passionate about what you're collaborating on the subject matter. Right. And then I think. Believing in the organization and what they do is really important to see, to, to believe a hundred percent in the value. Like I know if I tell people to donate to slow co or Soat in orang town society or whoever it is that I support, I feel 100% confident that every penny is going to be used wisely.

[00:50:33] Suzi: Right? So to believe in what they're doing as well is really important because that really helps you create imagery to a lot of it is like Becky's got these programs and we sit down and it's like, how are we gonna create imagery to illustrate this program? And some of them are easier than others, like a, a sloth crossing bridge as a no brainer.

[00:50:51] Suzi: That's easy, but some of the other programs are actually much more difficult to make effective, impactful imagery out. And then, you know, [00:51:00] the last thing, but potentially the most important thing is if you're gonna have a long term collaboration, you need to really get along with your partner. Like it can't be just a, you know, oh, I tolerate this person cuz they're my partner.

[00:51:14] Suzi: Or we just work together. Like you have to have fun together for it to be something where you're gonna put a lot of your time and energy into it over years. And so I think for people who are looking for that kind of connection, the first place to start would be, find an organization that's doing work that you're passionate about.

[00:51:32] Suzi: That really speaks to you. And then just let these relationships build naturally because that's what happens. You know, you put into these situations in the field, when you work with an organization you're very rarely working alone, they send you to a field site. They usually will put you with a researcher or a guide or somebody else.

[00:51:50] Suzi: And then you, you decide. In the field. If, if this is someone that you wanna continue working with or not, I've had plenty of researchers where it's like, this is the [00:52:00] only project that I'm gonna work on with them because our, you know, personalities aren't really clicking or, or maybe I'm just not that passionate about their subject or whatever.

[00:52:08] Suzi: And then I've had other researchers where it's like, this was really awesome. Let's do this again. Can we do another project that's similar, but different and expand this work. Right. And I think that's kind of where you start, but you do have to let that personal collaboration happen naturally. But that professional collaboration with the, with the organization itself can be something that, that happens in a professional way in the beginning.

[00:52:33] Suzi: So were you. Cold call an organization, send 'em an email and say, Hey, I'm passionate about what you do. Do you need imagery? Because if you do, I would love to come and photograph your programs. And most organizations, I always pick small ones, like slow co rather than like WWF, right? So the small ones are gonna need imagery.

[00:52:55] Suzi: They're unless they're already partnering with a photographer, they're gonna need imagery. And it's usually very [00:53:00] valuable to them. And they'll put you in situations where you're gonna have contact with people on the ground that you can establish these collaborations with

[00:53:06] Jaymi: mm-hmm you mentioned something really important SU where this is something that a collaboration takes a lot of time and energy investment.

[00:53:14] Jaymi: And for someone who is a professional wildlife photographer, it also needs to make business sense for you for where you're investing time and energy. What are some of the ways that financially you benefit from the work that you do in collaborations with nonprofits so that you can keep running your business?

[00:53:32] Suzi: That's a really good question. And you know, so for example, with, with all these projects that I do, I am not usually, sometimes I am, but I'm not usually donating a hundred percent of the profit to the organization. So like the adventures of Dr. Sloth. Full transparency. I gave slow code 30% of my advance on royalties, and I kept the rest of it to pay myself because we cannot [00:54:00] help conservation if we're not feeding ourselves and paying our rent, right.

[00:54:04] Suzi: It's kind of like the oxygen mask on the airplane. You have to help yourself before you help the person next to you. So you gotta make sure that your basics are covered. Right? So almost every book project I do, 30% goes to an organization, but I retain the other, you know, because I have to, I have to keep it in order for me to live.

[00:54:26] Suzi: And there's undoubtedly, I'm not gonna say all my sloth work has been a sacrifice for sloths. It is not, I have absolutely benefited from sloths at the same time that SoCo has. And that's the beauty of. Relationship in this collaboration is that slow co is benefited. I have benefited and Becky has benefited and that's, that is what every collaboration should be.

[00:54:52] Suzi: When I did the Cheeta book with Cheeta conservation fund, we had one third going to the Cheeta conservation fund, one third, going to Dr. Laurie [00:55:00] marker. And one they're going to me because, you know, we spent a year and a half on that book, so you have to pay yourself. And so that is an incredibly important point that you bring up

[00:55:11] Jaymi: mm-hmm and Becky, I see you nodding along as she's talking about, you know, 30% going to the nonprofit.

[00:55:17] Jaymi: So, obviously you're quite happy with that. Was that a negotiation? Are you, when you're looking at collaborating with someone like a photographer like Susie, or maybe other collaborations you have, is that a negotiation for you to make sure that that collaboration is the right level of benefit to you?

[00:55:34] Jaymi: Because you're putting work in too, when you collaborate with someone as a scientist or as someone who's an employee of a nonprofit that's time and energy to work alongside a photographer as well. What are your thoughts about that?

[00:55:44] Becky: Yeah. So this has been a learning curve for us as well. Um, not just with Susie.

[00:55:49] Becky: I mean, with Susie, it was, she was our first big collaboration, so it was very easy and, and she was very generous with actually with the amount that she's willing to donate from her sloth projects. [00:56:00] A lot of organizations and individuals aren't actually that generous as we now learn a lot, actually expects it for free.

[00:56:07] Becky: They'll expect to come and fill more photograph slots and not donate anything back to us. And so we did get sucked into that. A lot of times people sort of reward you with the, the exposure and the credit of what you're doing, which is great. That, and is you sort of have to balance that with like, what's the benefit to sloths, um, because if it's really, really beneficial to sloths, then obviously we're not gonna expect any donation in return.

[00:56:34] Becky: But, um, a lot of these things, aren't, they're just gonna use the sloths. They're not gonna provide any real benefit back to them. And so, and they're gonna use our time and our energy and our resources to get their imagery or their, their footage. It's something we've we've had to learn. This is one of the many, many, many things that we've had to learn along the way and navigate.

[00:56:52] Becky: And as we sort of professionalize and grow, now we do demand a minimum donation amount and Susie, the amount she gives actually [00:57:00] far exceeds that. So she is by far what we call our, our corporate sponsor she's by far our biggest . So yeah, a lot of organizations will be talking about 3% or 5%, um, of, of proceeds will actually get, go back to the sloths.

[00:57:14] Becky: Whereas Susie, yeah. Upfront gave 30%, which is incredible.

[00:57:18] Suzi: I think the other classic example is like how many people want Becky's time as a consultant on films. Like the classic example is, you know, BBC natural history, unit producer, constantly emailing Becky saying, can you be a consultant? Can I ask you questions, blah, blah, blah.

[00:57:37] Suzi: And it's like, that's gonna take minimum hour of your time. More, more likely two or three hours, cuz it'll be repeated calls. They don't get that time without making a big donation to slow co don't get you're

[00:57:49] Becky: started on this topic. The rage I have what like so many organizations particularly. Yeah. The film [00:58:00] industry is a big one, but O other organizations sort.

[00:58:03] Becky: Ask you to come and do a presentation or speak or, or be a consultant for something, or review a book, a manuscript, something for free. And they're like, yeah, but we'll credit. You we'll give you credit or this'll be great for your name or your organization like exposure credit. And I did this a lot at the start of my career because you have to sort of build up credit, but you can't feed yourself with credit.

[00:58:26] Becky: You can't pay the bills, you can't sustain your life with credit. And the points I was spending hours and hours every day, doing things for free. And then I had to get to the point and Susie actually helped me with this. Like, no, no more. Like I have built up enough credit. I've got enough experience and knowledge and everything I have learned over the last 13 years is my specialty.

[00:58:49] Becky: It's my skill. And if people want to use that, then they're gonna have to pay for my time and that, and when I say pay for my time, I mean, make a donation back to slow because obviously [00:59:00] slow pays my salary. And so anything I do, I expect them to donate to slow. I don't want them to pay me. I want them to, to give a donation to, to the charity.

[00:59:09] Becky: And that takes me onto another issue of people expecting conservationists to just work for free, like, oh, we'll donate to a nonprofit, but we don't want that donation to cover salaries. Well, everything we do, I'm paying people to do it. We're paying staff. We're keeping people in Costa Rica, alive. Our staff have families and they, they need a career and they need to be motivated to pursue this career.

[00:59:34] Becky: No one is gonna dedicate their lives to conservation if they're not being paid for it because we all have to stay alive. So this weird, like myth that the world has that conservationists work for free is like that we need to pay the bills. So, yeah, I've gone on a bit of a rampage. I knew I would.

[00:59:53] Suzi: One of the things that conversations that Becky and I often have is.

[00:59:59] Suzi: What is, [01:00:00] what is this exposure? What is this opportunity? Is it worth it at all? For me to do very rarely it's it's yes. You know, Becky lives in the jungle. So she kind of doesn't get a lot of exposure to some of the stuff that we do. So like for example, a recent one, this was hilarious. We were talking about dates for some, I think it was our rhino shoot.

[01:00:19] Suzi: And she was like, I gotta be back on this day because some film crews coming in I'm like, who is it? And she goes, I can't, it's something like 60 minutes or something. And I was like, she was like, have you ever heard of that? I'm like, are you kidding me?

[01:00:36] Suzi: Is coming down to film you? Yeah. What is that? I'm like, oh, for Christ's sake. So like we keep her, um, we keep her up. Non jungle topics.

[01:00:50] Becky: speaking of which they are now coming next month. Finally, they kept canceling anyway. So we are doing the 60 minutes thing, which is great. Fantastic.

[01:00:59] Jaymi: But see, that's some [01:01:00] good exposure too, but like I love hearing you talk about this Becky, because it's something that, you know, a lot of us talk about in the photography realm as well, where, oh, can we use your images?

[01:01:09] Jaymi: We'll credit. You you'll get exposure, whatever. Well that doesn't feed me. It doesn't pay the bills. And I think that that's at the heart of a really beautiful collaboration between photographer and nonprofit is that mutual respect that both of you know, that the other person needs to benefit in some way from this and that it's usually beyond goodness of your heart or it's beyond like, oh, thanks so much for that.

[01:01:33] Jaymi: So when a photographer comes into a collaboration with a nonprofit. I always tell people like, go into it saying, how can I help? What do you need? What are things that are of importance to you that I might be able to help you with rather than being like, Hey, I wanna come in and make a calendar for you or whatever it might be.

[01:01:50] Jaymi: Find out what they really need. How, how can you really be of benefit to them? And then on the flip side, working with a collaborator who understands that you, as the photographer, maybe you're [01:02:00] donating a set of images, but you're gonna own copyright to that and be able to license that to third parties. So they can't haul off and give those photos away to any media outlet who wants them.

[01:02:09] Jaymi: There's all these like things that can come into play, whether you're donating your time or your energy, or if you're working for funds coming in. And that you're getting a really high quality split that both of you are really happy with. There has to be some sort of mutual benefit because like you guys have said so much, none of us can do this work.

[01:02:29] Jaymi: If we're not able to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, make sure our families are fed and all of. so see, I get on this soapbox too, right along with you.

[01:02:38] Becky: we all do. It's a, it is a thing. Yeah. And, and I now have a fantastic marketing team, which is really new that I I'm like, I have a marketing team. How did this happen?

[01:02:48] Becky: I'm just the girl in the jungle with the slots, but they are amazing. So now when we form new collaborations, they go in, they'll do background checks and see like what, what's the benefit that we are gonna get from [01:03:00] working with this individual? Like, are they, cause then if, if it's gonna be a great collaboration, we're not gonna ask for any donation, really?

[01:03:07] Becky: Like if they're gonna come and photograph our work and let us use the images, then they're gonna be really good. Then this is amazing. We both win. But if it's someone who just wants to photograph slots and make their own project out of those images and sort of say, they're working with us and use our following and our.

[01:03:25] Becky: Our supporters in order to raise money for themselves. That's a very common one that happens. People wanna use our social media network or our mailing list to promote their own product then yeah. That's not gonna happen. Not without, yeah. Them supporting, giving back to the slots and the, the actual animals that, that we're working

[01:03:43] Jaymi: with.

[01:03:43] Jaymi: Yeah. Well, I asked Susie this, what are some of the red flags and green flags when you're talking with a nonprofit that you wanna collaborate with, and Becky you've already kind of touched on these, but I'd love to know, like, what are your red flags or green flags when someone comes to you, whether they're a photographer [01:04:00] or someone else and says, Hey, I wanna, I wanna work with you.

[01:04:03] Jaymi: How do you know if they're gonna be one of those people who are just using the, the foundation as a leg up versus really giving back? I

[01:04:11] Becky: think you can see it in the initial email, someone who really, someone who comes at you with I've made this sloth mug, and I think your followers would like it. And we wanna give, like will give 2% of proceeds to you and will you advertise it to your followers or something?

[01:04:28] Becky: I know it's different with a photographer. If it's someone with a big following, who's very well established and they want to come. Photograph our work and they're flexible with it. And they say, we'll photograph what images you need. Then that's a green flag. That's like, they've got our interests at heart and we're happy to work with them if they wanna come in and say, I wanna come and photograph this specific behavior for this project that I'm doing.

[01:04:53] Becky: Can you help me? And I'll give you credit red flag. cause that is not like it's not equaled. We're [01:05:00] just basically a helping hand for them. And we're not about that. Right. So yeah, we're all about just giving back to the slots. As long as it's someone who's gonna do something, which, and they have this interest in giving back to the animal, that's providing them a benefit.

[01:05:13] Becky: Then, then we're happy to work with them and work out an agreement. But yeah, come in with the right emails straight off, make sure it's it's about giving back and then we're open to we open the door and we're like, yeah, let's see how we can all help the slot and work towards the same goal.

[01:05:30] Jaymi: Wonderful.

[01:05:32] Jaymi: Everything that you guys have talked about and touched on is incredibly helpful to photographers, listening who want to build strong, beautiful relationships with nonprofits and conservation organizations. My last question for the two of you is what other adventures do you guys have planned?

[01:05:50] Suzi: First of all, there's something that just recently happened, which I think is really awesome on so many levels.

[01:05:56] Suzi: But so, you know, I've got the nonprofit, I started [01:06:00] girls who click, which Becky's on my board, right? So I'm a trustee of slow co she's on the. Board for girls who click. We just partnered together on a workshop down in Costa Rica in Becky's town. It was a workshop working with indigenous kids at like a camp.

[01:06:19] Suzi: And so they were learning about science and conservation and wildlife photography. So we sent Diana cab down from Mexico. She's obviously fluent in Spanish. She's one of our partner photographers, an incredibly talented, amazing woman girls who click flew her down. And she led the photography classes for these indigenous kids.

[01:06:42] Suzi: So this was the first kind of partnership between slow co and girls who click. And I'm immensely proud of that, that our two organizations partnered together and pull this off. And so we'll probably be doing more of that in the future. We're looking at trying to get a grant to cover the cost of that in the future and blah, blah, blah.

[01:06:59] Suzi: So [01:07:00] that was just really, really cool. And then we've got some other adventures planned next year with shoots that are not sloth oriented, but we're hopefully going to be heading back to Africa in January. If everything lines up properly in having a, a massive jungle adventure there secret. Yeah. And, uh,

[01:07:21] Becky: over into the safest country in the world, if it all pans out.

[01:07:24] Becky: So that's no doubt gonna provide some entertaining stories and social media content. So it's

[01:07:30] Suzi: possibly as dodgy as Venezuela, but that's okay. and then, yeah. And then in terms of the sloths, I mean, I go down almost every year, certainly every other year and do fresh imagery and obviously Becky's programs are constantly evolving and changing and she's taking on as the years go on, she's taking on more and more conservation work and starting new programs.

[01:07:54] Suzi: And so. There'll be new imagery to capture of that. And then definitely [01:08:00] Venezuela. That's gotta be done cuz we wanna do that book. So there's always, there's always sloth work to be done. It's just a matter of time. Oh. And then we've got the, uh, Costa Rica photo tour that we're gonna work together in, in January of 20, 24 with my clients.

[01:08:17] Suzi: And that'll be really fun, but this is the first time Becky's allowed around my clients actually, because we act way too unprofessional when we're together. And all we do is laugh and I was like, I cannot, I'm gonna ruin her

[01:08:27] Becky: reputation. It's gonna be fantastic.

[01:08:32] Suzi: It's a riot. So, so that'll be really, that'll be great.

[01:08:35] Suzi: I know they're gonna, they're gonna love that. And it's not just a matter of photographing, pretty wild sloths. Most of my clients are passionate about conservation and a lot of 'em are very philanthropic. So it'll be a matter of also them learning about the issues that sloths are facing in these urban areas and what Becky's doing to.

[01:08:53] Suzi: To combat that. So, so yeah, so we got a lot of, we always have loads of stuff cooking and at the moment we're [01:09:00] getting the, the next calendar is being printed right now. And. So Becky's and dad's expecting a delivery any day. yes, it's Becky's favorite time of year, cuz she gets to start dealing with Amazon on a regular basis.

[01:09:12] Suzi: You notice how

[01:09:13] Becky: Susie gives me this responsibility, by the way, she's like I don't do Amazon. I don't understand Amazon, Becky, you have to do it. So I'm responsible for all of the Amazon concert. I.

[01:09:27] Jaymi: Well, technically geographically you're closer to the Amazon anyway. So it makes more sense as well.

[01:09:34] Becky: I wish it was that Amazon I was dealing with well, so for

[01:09:37] Jaymi: anyone who wants to be able to donate, follow your work, sign up for tours, buy calendars, where all the places that people can go

[01:09:46] Becky: visit.

[01:09:47] Becky: First, the sloth stuff, it's quite an easy one. Visit is@slothconservation.org or founders on social media. We've got loads of different ways that people can get involved from like sponsoring a wildlife bridge to adopting a [01:10:00] sloth or, or buying the book and the calendar. You can do it all through, um, our online shop actually, which provides a greater benefit to the sloths because we don't have to pay Amazon loads of money.

[01:10:10] Becky: So, um, yeah, definitely. If you wanna buy merchandise for, for the sloths, if you can do it through our online shop, .

[01:10:17] Suzi: As well, I don't know if you mentioned that, but adopt sloth is, is a really great way to support slow co you're buying our book at the same time, but more importantly, you're making a donation to slow co by adopting the sloth.

[01:10:29] Suzi: Yes.

[01:10:30] Becky: For sure. Yeah.

[01:10:31] Suzi: And for your tour is Suzi. Oh yeah, my tours. It's my website. Just sutras.com, but slow coast site is a more exciting one. That's got all the sloth merchandise and everything, but yes, tours would be on mine.

[01:10:44] Jaymi: Wonderful. Well, the links will be in the show notes. So anyone who's listening wants a really quick way to access the link, hop into the show notes, and those will be there and yeah, with the adopt a sloth I'm on the website right now.

[01:10:57] Jaymi: My nephews don't know this yet, but guess what they're getting [01:11:00] for Christmas. Yeah. I already have that

[01:11:01] Becky: done. So

[01:11:03] Jaymi: thank you so much for, for just being really fun to talk to that. And then also for, of course, all of the incredible work that you guys are doing to make this world a much more beautiful, safe, Biologically diverse, happy place to be.

[01:11:19] Jaymi: You guys are really, really outstanding. I'm so glad that you met Becky. I'm so glad that your professors were like, you need to go. be in the jungle. I know. And watch sloths all day long. Thank goodness for us and for the sloths. Oh, thank you

[01:11:33] Becky: so much. It's been super nice chatting with you. Um, Susie, it's always a pleasure hanging out.

[01:11:40] Suzi: Jamie, thank you so much for doing this.

[01:11:43] Jaymi: Absolutely.

E 103 Suzi+Becky Final
===

[00:00:00] Jaymi: Welcome to impact the conservation photography podcast. I'm your host, Jaymi Heimbuch. And if you are a visual storyteller with a love for all things wild, then you're in the right place from conservation to creativity, from business to marketing and everything in between this podcast is for you. The conservation visual storyteller, who is ready to make an impact.

[00:00:26] Jaymi: Let's dive in.

[00:00:36] Jaymi: One of the most fun and honestly, most fulfilling parts of work as a conservation photographer comes through collaborations. When you find a nonprofit organization or a researcher or a community group, or some organization where you build a collaboration that can feel like some of the best work that we do, it can be really [00:01:00] creative and diverse.

[00:01:01] Jaymi: And really the relationships that you build with the people that you're working with can lead to some of the most profound, fun, energizing experiences inside of your photography. It's where you can grow. It's where you can experiment. It's where you can play and create so many assets that can be very valuable and have a lot of impact for the collaborator that you're working with.

[00:01:27] Jaymi: How do you get that? how do you find, uh, someone that you're gonna collaborate with? What do you look for and what is the experience like? Well, in order to dive into this topic, I wanted to bring on a couple of guests that have one of the most amazing collaborative relationships that I've seen between conservation photographer and conservation organization.

[00:01:51] Jaymi: Susie Erha is a conservation photographer with loads of experience in fundraising for organizations using her [00:02:00] photography. In fact, she's been on the podcast before talking about how she raises so much money for conservation cause. Her collaborative partner, Dr. Rebecca cliff of the sloth conservation foundation is someone who's really benefited from that skillset.

[00:02:17] Jaymi: And also pushed Susie to do projects that have been very successful that might have slipped through her fingertips. The two of them have not only an incredible collaboration going, but also an incredible friendship. So they're here today to talk about how they got started. Some of the advice that they have for conservation photographers, who are looking to find collaborative partners, some of the ups and downs of strategies.

[00:02:44] Jaymi: They've tried like calendar fundraisers and books, and all kinds of experimenting and a whole lot more. It's an incredible conversation. So without further ado, let's dive. Welcome to the show. Susie Erha and [00:03:00] Dr. Rebecca cliff. Thank you so much for being here today, to talk all about collaborating with each other for conservation work.

[00:03:07] Jaymi: I'm really excited to, to talk with you too.

[00:03:10] Becky: Oh, thank you for having us. It's so exciting to be here.

[00:03:13] Suzi: Yeah. Thrilled to be here as always. Jamie.

[00:03:15] Jaymi: Awesome. Well, so Susie, you have been on the podcast before, so listeners may be familiar with you, Dr. Cliff slash Rebecca slash Becky will call you whatever you feel like later on listeners.

[00:03:28] Jaymi: Definitely don't know you. So for both of you, would you mind just kind of giving us a brief intro to who you are in the world? Susie, do you wanna take it away?

[00:03:37] Suzi: Sure. So I am a professional wildlife photographer, and I'm very passionate about using my photography to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation.

[00:03:50] Suzi: So I work with Becky at the soft conservation foundation as a trustee or for organization. And yeah, I'm [00:04:00] just always trying to think of ways that we can help get the world jazzed about sloths and how we can raise money to help sloths. So we, we make a good team. Awesome.

[00:04:11] Jaymi: And Dr. Cliff, well, you've given me permission to call you Becky.

[00:04:14] Jaymi: So I'm gonna just merge into that. yeah. Perfect.

[00:04:18] Becky: so I am, um, originally a researcher who specialized in sloths and I'm now the founder and the director of the sloth conservation foundation in Costa Rica. So I wear a lot of different hats these days, but yeah, my, my daily life revolves around trying my best to help slots, save slots, learn about slots, raise money for slots.

[00:04:39] Becky: basically slots have taken over my life.

[00:04:43] Jaymi: which, I mean, if you're gonna have something take over your life, slots are pretty amazing. So well done. How did you move into kind of the world of loss? Was that always something that you were interested in or did they just take over your heart at some point in your [00:05:00] career?

[00:05:00] Becky: Oh, I, I didn't know what a slot was when I was growing up. Can't I can't say I always dreamt of being a slot scientist, but I went to university and I was studying zoology. And as a part of that, I was learning a lot about tropical ecosystems and the animals that live there. So I did become very broadly interested in animal behavior and wildlife conservation.

[00:05:23] Becky: And then an opportunity came up through my university to do a research placement at a slot sanctuary of all places. And, uh, one of my supervisors thought that it would be perfect for me. So they strongly advised me to apply. And I knew like it was one of those very defining moments in my life. I've had a few of them where I just know that I have to do that.

[00:05:44] Becky: It is the next step for me, and I absolutely have to make it happen. So I knew nothing about slots, but within about two weeks, I learned as much as I possibly could from the internet about slots. And I went into my interview, like I have to get this job. And I garbled out all this slot [00:06:00] knowledge and they were like, you are hired

[00:06:02] Becky: And, um, yeah, about two weeks after that, I was on a one way flight to Costa Rica and I bumbled into the jungle with like my trolley suitcase on wheels and my blonde hair. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, but from the moment I, I met my first slot, I, I completely fell in love. I, I, I was completely obsessed by them.

[00:06:22] Becky: And I decided I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about these really weird animals, cuz they're so strange. And I never looked back that was it 13 years ago. And here I am in the jungle today, still, still obsessed with lots.

[00:06:36] Jaymi: That's amazing. And I mean, it really is amazing that it was such a pivotal moment in your life that all of a sudden you have this like, yeah, that is the road that I need to take, but I feel like it's also a pivotal moment in sloth conservation because you've done so much are doing so much and making really significant changes.

[00:06:56] Jaymi: And I'm just gonna actually read, I have your website, the sloth conservation [00:07:00] foundation, which is lovingly called slow co right? yes. Okay. So slow CO's website is in front of me and. You make a really solid point of being like we're not a rehab center, we're not a place to come visit. We are where we do sloth conservation.

[00:07:15] Jaymi: Some of the things that you've accomplished is publishing eight scientific papers. 25 sloths are monitored in the wild 4,600 trees have been planning 186 sloth crossings have been installed. 12 electrical transformers have been insulated. And we're gonna talk more about why these are such critical conservation, me measures, but you're doing really important conservation work.

[00:07:39] Jaymi: So thank goodness for sloth that you fell into

[00:07:43] Becky: this? No, it is. Um, because when I was, when I first arrived in Costa Rica and I saw, cause I was working at a sloth sanctuary and I saw the numbers of sloths coming through the door that needed. And these people were just trying to help them and put them back in the wild.

[00:07:58] Becky: And it felt like a bandaid [00:08:00] on a much bigger problem. It was like, things are just being sort of mitigated and not actually solved at the, at the root. So yeah, a bigger part of that was that we there's very little research done into wild slot ecology or behavior. Nobody knows anything about them in the wild.

[00:08:16] Becky: So that's sort of where I started, like, okay, I'm gonna learn about them. And then I, I wanna use what I've learned to then go into protecting them and trying to help them. And I know rescue centers are just overwhelmed with slots. I mean the ones where I'm based get three new slots every single day each wow.

[00:08:34] Becky: Which is a phenomenal number of animals. So if I start rescuing slots, many people have tried to bring injured slots to me. And I have to say no, take them to a rescue center because if we start doing that, then we are gonna be just overwhelmed and all of our funding and all of our time and energy is gonna go into rescue and rehab.

[00:08:54] Becky: Which takes us away from solving that, that core problem. So it's really difficult [00:09:00] not to get into it, but yeah, I'm, I'm stubbornly saying no to being a rescue center. We just want to do conservation in the wild and with the local communities and put everything we, we can into, into solving those problems.

[00:09:15] Jaymi: Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I know that a big part of your ability to have outreach and awareness and potentially even funding around all of the work that you do is in part by the collaborations that you've built. One of which is with Susie. So I'm just gonna say. I think that the two of you have a dream collaboration.

[00:09:39] Jaymi: It's what a lot of photographers like wish that they had with conservation nonprofits, where you just are, are friends you're on the inside track of what's going on. You can create your own opportunities for what you wanna build in order to have that impact. And you guys are just freaking adorable. Like I'm not on Instagram that much, but when I am, I look [00:10:00] at your adventures out in the wild and you two are just like, you have so much fun together when you're out in the world.

[00:10:07] Jaymi: So absolute chaos. How , how did you two meet in the

[00:10:11] Becky: first place? Well, for, well, I was working at the slot sanctuary and, um, the, they told me that this wildlife photographer was coming to photograph slots. And could I sort of look after her and show her some slots and I was like, sure. And Susie arrived. And then instantly we just started chatting and it was like, I'd, I'd known her my whole life.

[00:10:30] Becky: We just really connected and bonded and. Became best friends very quickly, really. And I would say Susie's probably responsible for a big part of my career. Susie sort of mentored me and guided me and launched me into into the professional world. So, um, yeah, it's been a really, really amazing friendship, but Susie can explain a little more about why

[00:10:52] Suzi: she was in Costa Rica.

[00:10:54] Suzi: Wow. I'm not sure I'd ever think about mentoring you. It's more like I plunged you into [00:11:00] some

[00:11:01] Becky: terrifying situation.

[00:11:04] Suzi: I threw you in the deep end. You did. Um, so, so yeah, when I met Becky, I was doing a lot of wildlife rescue stories at the time, which was very rewarding experience. I was doing it all over the world and I wanted to photograph sloths.

[00:11:22] Suzi: And I had heard about a, an a rescue center where they had sloth orphans, and I wanted to go down and, and photograph them. And like Becky said, she was assigned to kind of show me around the place. And what happened is that. I think it was like within two or three days, this wild female sloth showed up as Meda with her baby and showed up in the garden.

[00:11:46] Suzi: And so I was there doing orphan work. And then all I had actually asked the sanctuary owner, like, what are the odds that I'll see a, a wild sloth mom and baby. And she's like, oh, really low. You know, we do have some sloths living in the property, but you know, [00:12:00] they don't have babies that often, blah, blah, blah.

[00:12:01] Suzi: And so here comes ES Meda with this newborn sloth that was less than a week old and she's just hanging out in the garden and going from the garden to the jungle, like completely wild and free. And so I sort of switched gears and wanted to just follow ES Marelda. So Becky and I. Followed her every day, all day.

[00:12:23] Suzi: And we spent eight hours at a time laying on the forest floor, staring up at like a patch of her fur waiting for her to wake up. So we had a lot of time to chit chat and bond about life and, you know, sloths. And she regaled me with all this sloth information. It's kind of like, you know, Becky didn't have the goal of being a sloth scientist.

[00:12:45] Suzi: I didn't really have a goal of like focusing largely on sloths for 10 years with my photography either. And Becky got me really into sloths. Like I had no idea there were six species and that many of the species hadn't been photographed before. And she started telling me all this stuff about [00:13:00] their weird behavior.

[00:13:01] Suzi: And I was just like, salts are freaking great and completely fell in love with them. Meanwhile, we were like having the time of our lives and laughing nonstop. And so it was absolutely perfect. So after that first initial project, We very quickly hatched a plan to try to photograph all six species, which we've done five of.

[00:13:20] Suzi: So we got one more, which is in Venezuela and very, very hard to find. So between the sketchiness of Venezuela, cuz Becky and I have a habit of like often almost dying together. That's we're on a roll with that. So we decided maybe we'd hold off on Venezuela for a little bit. And also the species is incredib.

[00:13:40] Suzi: Difficult to find, but we are gonna get that species eventually. But we, so we've done all these expeditions all over photographing these different slots. And I remember this is like one of my fondest memories way early back in our friendship. Becky said that one day her dream would be to start a foundation to [00:14:00] help slots.

[00:14:00] Suzi: I think she was like a year or two into her sloth work. And I was like, you should go for it. It would be amazing. And if you do it, I'll help you, like, I'll do whatever you want. I'll be on your board, whatever. And so I was, you know, a trustee from the start. So it's amazing. I'm immensely proud of her because you know, when I met her, she was just like bumbling around the jungle.

[00:14:22] Suzi: And now she has, how many employees do you have? 17, somehow 17 employees and all these different programs and these, all these accomplishments. So it's pretty inspiring her story. Oh,

[00:14:34] Becky: thank you, Susie. That's actually very sweet. you're not often sweet to me, actually. Usually you are throwing me in the deep end, in some life-threatening situation, but, uh, that was very sweet.

[00:14:50] Jaymi: well, so some of the things that you guys have created together are, are pretty amazing. One of which I wanna get into the books that you've created, including [00:15:00] one called adventures of Dr. Sloth. But before we do that, one of the things that you've collaborated on is a calendar fundraiser. Why did you create a calendar fundraiser?

[00:15:12] Jaymi: What were some of the outcomes of that? And then after we talk about that, then we'll get into the pros and cons of calendar fundraisers. Okay. Can

[00:15:19] Suzi: answer to this. No, I'm taking,

[00:15:21] Becky: no, this is me. This is I'm taking full credit for the calendars. Cuz I remember sitting in a car in a car park and I was like, What about a calendar?

[00:15:32] Becky: And I had this weird idea in my head, and then I messaged Susie and I was like, what if we use your slot images and my sloth brain? And we make a sloth calendar and Susie was like, that's never gonna work. That's a bad idea. No one uses calendars anymore. What a terrible idea. And then I was like, pestering her for ages.

[00:15:52] Becky: Like I think the calendar might be a good idea. And low and behold, the calendar was a roaring success. And now we're on [00:16:00] like year six or something of slot.

[00:16:08] Becky: And now we do it. Like, I mean, me and Susie have never like, well, I know I've never done this personally, but never been into like the whole merchandise thing. So we've never done it before. So this was a complete learning curve for us. And we had so many disasters along the way. Even today. Most of the calendars are actually stored in my dad's garage.

[00:16:29] Becky: Someone's at the door. This is really awkward. Can I take

[00:16:34] Jaymi: a pause?

[00:16:37] Suzi: Probably delivery guy.

[00:16:41] Jaymi: Sounds like it. I'm totally leaving this whole part in the interview. Great.

[00:16:47] Suzi: So what I can say is that the calendars are also stored at my mom's in my mom's garage. so just like really Becky, we are just discussing how the us [00:17:00] calendars are in my mom's garage.

[00:17:01] Suzi: So between your dad, and in fact, we have a lot to Becky's dad and my mom, to be honest for free

[00:17:07] Becky: storage, they store, they ship everything. Cause obviously with me and Susie's careers, we're both all over the world all the time. So they ship out calendars every day for us. They send them to Amazon don't even get me started on that.

[00:17:21] Becky: They do everything for us. So, um, yeah, we probably owe everything to them actually. Oh,

[00:17:26] Jaymi: I love that.

[00:17:27] Suzi: I love supportive parents, this sounding super professional so far, by the way.

[00:17:34] Jaymi: so yeah, I mean, what made the calendars such a roaring success? Because they are like calendar fundraisers, I think are a really great thing to create, but at the same time they can be massive flops so I can understand why Susie had hesitation.

[00:17:49] Jaymi: So what major calendar, such a roaring success?

[00:17:52] Becky: Well, I think we knew slots are hot. People are, were starting to, at that time start starting to really love and obsess over [00:18:00] slots and who doesn't want a picture of a really cute slot on their wall all day, every year. It's a really great thing to look at and they make fantastic gifts at Christmas and things and pair that with the fact that it's a fundraiser for a nonprofit.

[00:18:14] Becky: We also include lots of fun information about sloths that people won't necessarily already know. And some of the fun behind the scenes stories of how me and Susie got the image of the sloth, that's on the calendar as well. So it's just a really fun combination. And it, and it worked really well mainly because we do have this huge network of sloth, super fans, all over the world who really want to, to buy this calendar and have it on their wall and also support our work.

[00:18:41] Becky: But we do also have some experience of the calendar flopping as well. Yeah,

[00:18:45] Suzi: we do. So, I mean, I think most years it's been a success and we do have people, the sloth, super fans at Becky talks about, we have people who buy the calendar every year and now they're like expecting it. Right? So it's an annual yearly thing, which is really lovely, [00:19:00] but we did have at least one year where it was a gigantic flop and it's just simply because Amazon's evil.

[00:19:08] Suzi: And incredibly difficult to understand this is, as Becky said, neither of us had ever done merchandising. And so just understanding the ins and outs of Amazon, and then, you know, their horrendous customer service, then we did have one year where in fact, I'm not sure Becky, if this was really Amazon or us just not knowing the Amazon rules, but we, we basically got into a situation where we had thousands of copies of the calendar in the Amazon warehouse and they had sat there too long.

[00:19:38] Suzi: So Amazon's like, you can either pay us to have them shipped back to you or you pay a storage fee, cuz they've been here too long or pay us to

[00:19:47] Becky: destroy them, which was even worse.

[00:19:49] Suzi: Right. So three options, all of which basically made us broke that year. and we, we made, we made nothing that year. It was a massive, massive flop.[00:20:00]

[00:20:00] Suzi: And, you know, I'm trying to find schools to donate the extra calendars. And then the, the epitome of our flop that year, this was the, the one that really took the cake was that. My assistant was over at my mom's house in the garage. And, and one of the guys bringing, I think he was bringing the slot book or something and, and the delivery man was like, oh, what's up with all these slot calendars?

[00:20:24] Suzi: And she's like, oh, they didn't sell, would you like some? And he is like, yeah. And then the next day he came back and returned them and said he didn't want them

[00:20:36] Jaymi: so sad. Cause they're actually really good and people love

[00:20:39] Becky: them, but we just, like, it was a combination again of like we overprinted. And then we messed up that Amazon algorithm. So Amazon like hid our listing and then we tried to like venture into paid adverts and Amazon, which apparently you have to be some sort of media expert in order to do somehow we managed to spend like thousands of [00:21:00] dollars on paid Amazon adverts.

[00:21:02] Becky: Um, by actually it's, it's a massive learning curve, but I think we finally got the hang of it. And um, we have actually surprisingly, despite all of these. Massive flops. We have actually managed to raise loads of money for the slots through these calendars. So it has somehow worked out in the end

[00:21:18] Suzi: and you do need to deal with the evils like Amazon, because the truth of the matter is that most of our calendar sales come from Amazon.

[00:21:26] Suzi: Some of them come from the slow shop, some come from my shop, but the vast majority do come from Amazon. So if people wanna do this in their own efforts, any photographers that are listening or conservationists, you, you have to deal with people like Amazon and, and learn how to navigate that world.

[00:21:43] Jaymi: How much have you been able to raise?

[00:21:46] Jaymi: Just so the calendar alone.

[00:21:48] Suzi: Oh, I don't know about through the calendar alone, but like with books and calendars, it's like over a hundred thousand for, for slow count. Wow.

[00:21:55] Jaymi: And that's after all the expenses and everything, right? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:59] Becky: After the [00:22:00] float,

[00:22:04] Jaymi: Becky, no wonder. You're like, I will take this. The calendar was a really good idea cuz that's a lot of money to raise for conservation work. Well done. The two of you. Thank you.

[00:22:18] Becky: it's ongoing. It's like that time of year. Well, me and Susie messaged each other going, oh, guess what time of year it is time for the calendar.

[00:22:26] Becky: We need to pick out some photos and write the captains and oh, it's a every year it's a saga, but it's always an amazing result is totally worth it. And the end product, honestly, people love it. So.

[00:22:38] Jaymi: What kind of work went into figuring out how to print these, cuz I know that I'm sure with the first couple of years, at least it was sort of an experiment and figuring out the, the best way to go and print run and who to go with and all of that.

[00:22:51] Jaymi: What is the system that you've kind of devised?

[00:22:53] Becky: So, so I found, we were lucky. We found an awesome printer in the UK cause essentially one of my best friends was a professional rugby [00:23:00] player. And he said, well, our rugby club used this printer to make our club calendars. So I, we got hooked up with an amazing printer really early.

[00:23:09] Becky: And the printer probably thinks that me and Susie are ridiculous, cuz we had all the, so many like amateur struggles with things like barcodes. Like I remember so embarrassing.

[00:23:20] Suzi: Barcodes are really complicated. You'd think it would be easy to just buy a barcode. No,

[00:23:25] Becky: no. And it, well, I mean, you'd think that a barcode is free, but um, when we got told we need to buy a barcode.

[00:23:32] Becky: So I was like, oh my God, Susie, we have to buy like 5,000 barcodes. If we print 5,000 calendars, we were looking at the price of a barcode and like, how is this even feasible? And then the printer was like, um, you only need one book. The product, obviously, which now in hindsight, it's really obvious, but I had a complete meltdown for about a week over these barcodes.

[00:23:59] Becky: Ugh. And me and [00:24:00] Susie still refer to it as like barcode gate, because I had a complete about buying

[00:24:05] Suzi: a place where you could buy a, you could like buy a barcode on the black market.

[00:24:14] Suzi: and I was like, we should just buy this one. And then Becky came up with some research that like Amazon reallys you, if they find,

[00:24:21] Jaymi: do you remember what

[00:24:22] Becky: happened? We accidentally used a black market barcode one year. And then do you know, on Amazon, when you get weird products that are like, like the reviews are for a completely different product to what's being sold.

[00:24:33] Becky: That's because of black market barcodes. It's like we're experts in this now because someone else buys the same barcode so that the product gets changed. And I remember one year our calendar got changed to some sort of. I think it was like an origami handbook.

[00:24:48] Suzi: It was, it was an origami handbook. Yeah.

[00:24:51] Jaymi: Oh my God.

[00:24:51] Jaymi: You guys just enlightened me to something. Cuz I was looking on Amazon for Pokemon cards for my nephew's birthday. Cause I'm like, I don't know what to buy a [00:25:00] 10 year old. He loves Pokemon. I'm gonna do Pokemon cards. And I found a set that had like 4,000 reviews and I'm like, wow, Pokemon cards. These, these must be really good.

[00:25:08] Jaymi: And I started reading the reviews and it was for like some sort of soap mold. That like, so you could make your own soap. And I'm like, I don't think that this is what I something's off here. And now I know whoever was selling those Pokemon cards must have bought a black market barcode, which I did not know exists.

[00:25:26] Suzi: Don't ever buy one.

[00:25:30] Jaymi: Okay. So this, this is something that's actually really important to bring up for the idea of conservation photographers, working with conservation organizations, because your whole goal is to spend time creating imagery and using that to bring awareness. But you do have to navigate all these things that take up a lot of time, like a week's worth of anxiety over black market barcodes, just to be able to sell calendars.

[00:25:55] Jaymi: How much time do you guys estimate you spend just trying to figure [00:26:00] out fundraising efforts every year.

[00:26:03] Becky: Oh, that's such a good question.

[00:26:05] Suzi: A lot of time because we have there's the new calendar every year and then we got books and then. You know, Becky, Hey, this is one I can take the credit for Becky does these adoptions on slow co and she has a lot of low dollar donors, essentially not huge amounts.

[00:26:27] Suzi: Right. And so I was like, you should do a physical adoption package and make it much more expensive. She's like, no, no, we just, we don't have donors that would, you know, pay how much is it? $75 or a hundred dollars? Well, yeah, we were originally

[00:26:40] Becky: doing like these $10 virtual adoption packages. So people make a small donation and we just email out like information about their slot, which was super great because we had a huge reach.

[00:26:50] Becky: Lots of people are willing to spend $10 on a, as a donation and get an email in return. And Susie was like, yeah, what about you? Do it, send it out in the mail. I was like, well, [00:27:00] firstly, who on earth is gonna do that? Who's gonna print all these certificates. And, and, and she was like, and we can include the book and it's a great way.

[00:27:07] Becky: And to be fair, it was a genius idea because I was like, no, one's gonna pay for that. But my dad stepped up to, even to this day, my dad prints all the slow adoption certificates, packages them up, sends them to all these people around the world. And, uh, we include the book in it and it's fantastic because people love the book and it gives them a great way to learn about sloths and fall in love with them even more cuz they see all of these beautiful images as well.

[00:27:34] Becky: So it was Susie's genius idea and it's been a major fundraising help for slow code. It's actually now where we get the majority of our annual income from is these adoption packages.

[00:27:45] Suzi: So, and we're constantly trying to think of new ways to, you know, raise money for slow co and to use the photography for different purposes.

[00:27:56] Suzi: And then, you know, other things that like we brainstorm in [00:28:00] 2024, I'm gonna bring a photo tour to Costa Rica, and I'm gonna partner with slow co and, and give a very large donation to slow co in return for their help for us, for them helping us find wild slots. Cuz she's obviously got a really good team of soft spotters and networking in town to know, you know, slots cuz slots are just kind of around town where she lives, wild slots, living, you know, wild and free and, and taking photographers around my clients to photograph these slots.

[00:28:29] Suzi: And then in return giving slow co a big donation. So it's like a win-win right, because my clients are happy with great, beautiful photos and then slow co gets money for, for two days of work. And so we're constantly thinking of new ways like that, where we can bring money into slow co because you have to keep it fresh.

[00:28:48] Suzi: And then also new images. So that's one of our great challenges is to, to make sure we have new imagery to work with and not using the same images all the time on calendars or on [00:29:00] social media or whatever it is. So me going down there and taking trips down to do fresh projects, like our recent one was on urban slots and these slots living in these real, crazy kind of in town situations.

[00:29:13] Suzi: Um, so we're constantly having to keep it fresh

[00:29:16] Becky: just from slow coast perspective. And also having a partnership with a photographer. It's been a game changer for us because we've now got all these images that we can use on our website, our social media on, in our education program or on awareness materials and things.

[00:29:33] Becky: Susie lets us use all of her images that she takes of sloth. And so, yeah, it just gives us this fantastic library of really high quality photos that demonstrate what we're doing and what the problems are. And that's a massive game changer. Like if you look at our website, all the photos on our website are taken by Susie pretty much so yeah.

[00:29:54] Jaymi: So you mentioned also the books that you've created. So I wanna rewind a little bit to the, the product [00:30:00] side of things. So there's two books. So sloths life in the slow lane is one that came out a little while back. And then the more recent one that just came out this year is the adventures of Dr. Sloth, Rebecca cliff, and her quest to protect sloths.

[00:30:13] Jaymi: So when it comes to creating books as a conservation fundraising tool and an awareness raising tool, Susie, you have tons of experience with creating books because you've been an author of many books. How did you decide to do a book as part of this as well? And what was the thought process in that as a way to

[00:30:31] Suzi: fundraise.

[00:30:33] Suzi: Well, very early on Becky and I, when we hatched the dream of photographing all the species of sloths, it was attached to that. It's like, yeah. And then we'll do a book about sloths. So very early on, it was a dream of ours to do a book together. And there's an important distinction between the two books besides the fact that one's a kid's book and one's an adult book, but the more important one fundraising wise is that one is self-published and the other one [00:31:00] is published by a traditional publisher.

[00:31:02] Suzi: So a traditional pub there's very limited money, right? Because there's just the book industry is taken a big dive. You don't see really large print runs anymore. And so if you're looking to raise money for an organization, not, not awareness, but now we're just talking about money. Then self-publishing is the much better route to go, because although you have to fund the print run, if you're able to sell those copies, the profit margin is much, much higher.

[00:31:31] Suzi: And so right off the bat, we knew that we wanted this to not just be an educational tool, because we did wanna use it as an educational tool for people to learn about slots and what slow co was doing. But also we wanted it to raise money. And we knew that if we took it to a traditional publisher, you know, we might be able to raise what $5,000 max, which is nothing.

[00:31:52] Suzi: It's not worth the time and energy you put into it. And so we, we right off the bat, knew that we needed to [00:32:00] self-publish if we wanted to use it as a main fundraiser. So the goal of life in the slow lane, which is the coffee table book about sloths really. As a fundraising tool first, primarily the adventures of Dr.

[00:32:12] Suzi: Sloth was really because I felt really passionate that Becky was an incredible role model for children, particularly girls, right? To, to see someone like Becky, you know, in the jungle, working with sloth, saving sloths, she's just got this really amazing story that could reach kids. And so we sort of see Dr.

[00:32:31] Suzi: Sloth as an educational tool for kids and an inspirational tour more than it's about fundraising, more than so the amount of money brought in by adventures of Dr. Sloth, it did just get published, so it might increase, but we're not looking at a high dollar amount. And so there's a distinction in terms of the goals of the two projects, both are directly tied to slow co and talking about what slow CO's doing.

[00:32:55] Suzi: One is really just about educating kids and inspiring them to do something similar [00:33:00] to what Becky's doing. And it's really not about trying to get them to safe slot. It's just about to get them to care about nature and wildlife, and maybe choose a life where they're helping wildlife mm-hmm

[00:33:11] Becky: yeah, I agree.

[00:33:12] Becky: And we're also percolating on the idea that we've always wanted to do slots of the world. Yeah. And cover all of the slot species, but we've got that one pesky species that we ju is in Venezuela and we just can't get to it. But once we do, then there'll be a whole new book

[00:33:27] Suzi: coming out. for sure. Yeah, for sure.

[00:33:30] Suzi: I feel like

[00:33:30] Jaymi: you guys just need to hire some sort of fixer slash babysitter who makes sure that you don't get into any trouble whatsoever. And then it makes it safe to go. pursue Venezuela. You aren't pushing lock on anything.

[00:33:44] Becky: everything will go

[00:33:45] Suzi: wrong, no matter. Yeah. It's true. People know us are like you guys going to Venezuela.

[00:33:50] Suzi: That's a real bad idea.

[00:33:54] Jaymi: you have had some really interesting adventures that have made my, my jaw drop for [00:34:00] sure. One of which you've actually been really vocal about on social media. Would you mind sharing it about finding the slot that was being harassed?

[00:34:09] Becky: Wow. Yes. One of, one of the many awful situations.

[00:34:13] Becky: Yeah. Um, we were, I can't remember how this went down. Actually. I think we were looking, we were cuz one of our tactics when we're trying to get these photos of sloths in urban areas, which is what we were doing is to sort of just. Keep moving around the town, looking, talking to people, have you seen a sloth slow down or in an interesting situation and using the community really to, to get tip officers to where a good slot spot is.

[00:34:39] Becky: And so we were just driving and somebody said they saw this female with a baby coming down the tree. So we rushed over there and this three finger sloth with a little baby on her chest and we were stood photographing her. And then there was these two men coming down the road who were obviously high on some sort of illegal substance and were [00:35:00] clearly very drunk.

[00:35:00] Becky: And they noticed us taking photos of the sloth. So they were immediately like drawn to the situation. And they were shouting and staggering. And I wanna let Susie take over here because I can't really remember exactly how it went down. Cuz I got, I got the red mist. I got the .

[00:35:18] Suzi: Yeah, it was the, yeah. I mean this, and this is what I just wanna say, like.

[00:35:24] Suzi: I encounter this when I'm in the field. And, but Becky encounters this, like maybe not to this extreme, but a lot, all the time, right? This is part of her regular job, and this is urban wildlife around the world. Right? You encounter these conflicts with humans that can be very dangerous and very emotional.

[00:35:42] Suzi: And that's absolutely what this was. And right off the bat, it was quite scary because we didn't see them coming. So they kind of, we were just, you know, in this Zen beautiful state with this mom and baby, it was so peaceful and we were photographing them. And then these guys kind of came up behind us. We didn't know that they [00:36:00] were there right away.

[00:36:01] Suzi: And then we, we keyed in and then they started talking about my camera gear. And so we thought, okay, you know, we're gonna get mugged because it does happen where she lives. It's not the safest place in the world where she lives. And there are a lot of muggings and whatnot, especially. By the beach, which is where we were.

[00:36:18] Suzi: And we knew they were super sketchy. And so we thought, okay, they're gonna try to take the camera gear. And so we started to back off from the situation and head towards the truck because we knew that they were dangerous. And I don't know if they got frustrated because we were leaving. And so they thought, oh, we'll just taut this loss.

[00:36:38] Suzi: Or if, if that was like a goal of theirs the whole time, but as we got into the truck, they started to. Just in a horrific way, tau this very innocent, peaceful, very vulnerable mom and baby, cuz they were low. We think they, she was coming down to poop, which Becky can explain. They do once a week. And so, [00:37:00] you know, we think that that's why they were coming down so low, but they were vulnerable because they were absolutely within reach of these guys.

[00:37:08] Suzi: And they, it went from taunting where they were trying to fist bump this sloth because sloths, when they're threatened, they hold their arm out. As a sort of defense mechanism. And so they're like trying to fist bumper and, and then it progressed to them taking like a, a red t-shirt or towel, some piece of clothing and, and basically smacking her with it, like whipping her with it.

[00:37:32] Suzi: And it was absolutely devastating. Becky was like lunging towards them several times because she was absolutely enraged as I was as well. But I knew like my job primarily in that situation was to control Becky because I thought Becky's gonna get hurt. These guys had machetes, first of all. So they were dangerous.

[00:37:55] Suzi: And I knew that if she made physical contact with [00:38:00] them, that she would get really, really hurt. And so my job was basically to try to keep Becky in the truck and not let her out. And that was not easy because she was so emotional and so ENR and, um, one of the slow CO's employees came. And he was like, yeah, they're dangerous.

[00:38:17] Suzi: They have machetes. There's nothing we can do. People were stopping on the road because they saw what was going on. But again, nobody wanted to get involved because these guys were so dangerous. They were like call the cops. We knew the cops would take hours to get there. So we were literally helpless. We could not do anything to help these slots.

[00:38:33] Suzi: I was like sitting there crying and Becky was sitting there absolutely enraged. It was very emotional for both of us. And I think this is one of the things about working in conservation, particularly with urban animals, is that the it's emotionally exhausting. And that's, that's what makes one of the things that makes Becky's work incredibly difficult.

[00:38:54] Suzi: Literally, all we could do was film it with our iPhones and have it on video and know that [00:39:00] we could use it as a public awareness tool. Luckily for us, we were very worried. These guys would take the baby off her. That was our biggest fear and they didn't thank God. And they eventually just left. They lost interest and left and, and walked away.

[00:39:14] Suzi: And mom and baby just, you know, went up the tree very quickly after that and never came down. They were obviously terrified, but it was a deeply, deeply disturbing situation.

[00:39:25] Jaymi: Wow. That is a lot to witness for one thing, even though it's a really difficult situation in the moment. Does that also work for you as a motivator to continue what you're doing with slow co and awareness creation and even maybe sparking other ways to bring attention to sloth conservation?

[00:39:44] Jaymi: Yeah,

[00:39:45] Becky: definitely. I mean, like Susie says, it's not a rare event in my line of work. It's awful. And it, because there's been so many. Horrific incidences that I've witnessed with people being just awful. Like, it really makes you question humanity [00:40:00] sometimes like some of the horrific acts of abuse that I've witnessed over the years.

[00:40:04] Becky: And it's a sort of coping me mechanism. I, I guess I tend to just block them out and like, I don't think about them because it's, if you always just think about these awful things, it's very negative, very depressing, very demotivating actually, because it's like, oh, are we ever gonna change? Is any like, are we ever gonna win this war against humanities, greed and, and just awfulness.

[00:40:28] Becky: So, um, I tend to try and just focus on the positives and that, that gives me great motivation. So seeing like the results of what we do, um, for example, it can be something as small as building a wildlife bridge and then seeing a sloth use it. Or, you know, like going into a school and seeing children's faces light up when they learn about slots.

[00:40:49] Becky: And yeah, just, just that I focus on the positives and that, that really motivates me. Cause it makes me believe that we do have a chance of winning and of, yeah. Just [00:41:00] changing the world for the better, I guess.

[00:41:02] Jaymi: What are your thoughts SU because you're working inside of this slot conservation work, but also wildlife conservation around the world.

[00:41:11] Jaymi: What are some of the things that you do to combat compassion, fatigue or these moments that can be so kind of emotionally

[00:41:20] Suzi: racking? I think I, I have a, a massive advantage and that's the fact that I'm in the field. And then I come home to my cute little house in Petaluma. Not that we don't have wildlife conflict here.

[00:41:34] Suzi: It's not the same as Becky who is basically living this daily right in her line of work. So I can come home and kind of get into my little bubble and recharge and rest and heal, and then get back in the field. Again, Becky lives in the field, she lives at her, her field site, essentially. So it was very, very different because unless she's traveling, she's not leaving it.[00:42:00]

[00:42:00] Suzi: And so I think one of the things that I always think of with Becky and other conservationists in the world, but particularly Becky, because I care so much about her as a person is just to make sure she stays. Safe. And that a lot of that is just staying sane and level headed. And so we did this, one of the things we did is we did a call, the two of us together.

[00:42:23] Suzi: We did a call on social media while I was down there. I photographed some guys that were cutting down trees legally. And Becky was like, we need a camera like yours so that we can do this when you're not here. And we can report them to the right authorities and the right agencies. And so we put a call out on social media for those cameras.

[00:42:45] Suzi: It was just a, a digital SLR and, and a 100 or 400. And we got a couple people donating these, these lenses, which is very amazing and awesome. And, and I love my followers for their generosity, but at the same time, I had very mixed feelings [00:43:00] about it because it was like Becky's gonna put herself in harm's way potentially by Ratt these people out for doing something illegal.

[00:43:08] Suzi: And there's the idea of them getting retribution. And so, you know, just trying to keep her from doing anything too extreme, that's going to potentially, you know, I always think about the turtle guy, the conservationist in Costa Rica who was working so hard to protect turtles and eventually was killed for his work.

[00:43:29] Suzi: And I always try to keep her a level headed and, and make sure she doesn't do anything. That's, that's too dangerous because I think when you work in conservation and you're so passionate about it and you live in it day in and day out, you can definitely lose sight of what is what's safe and what's not safe.

[00:43:47] Suzi: And the, the stakes can get a lot higher as you're working. So that's kind of the distinction there between me and conservationists that are working on the ground. I feel like I get time to heal and recharge [00:44:00] at the time that I'm living it. It's freaking horrible. It's, it's totally emotional. It's traumatic.

[00:44:05] Suzi: It's terrible. And I think all photographers who photograph conservation issues feel this way at some point. I think all you have to do. I mean, not all you have to do, but things that can help are just talking about it with people who understand and lighting it out, venting, and then having that space to recharge, I think is really important.

[00:44:24] Suzi: I think that's really good that Becky does travel. She comes to the United States. She'll come on. Some of my photo shoots that are not related to sloths and help me out. And I think all of this is really good for keeping her grounded and doing anything that might be dangerous. What do

[00:44:39] Jaymi: you think hearing all that Becky?

[00:44:41] Becky: Yeah, , it's a lot again, like I tend to like, not, um, think about it. I just get on with it and I'm, I'm very much a fighter. So like, I, I believe that if you have to stand up to these people, particularly in terms of like law enforcement and, and yeah. Making sure people don't just get away with it. There's a fine line [00:45:00] between working with people in like local communities for conservation and then working against them.

[00:45:05] Becky: You don't wanna. Fight everyone all the time, because then you're just the, the conservationist who are telling them not to do things, don't do this, don't do that. Like, you become an enemy, you wanna be an ally, you wanna help people. So it's a very fine line that we walk because yeah, we wanna keep people on side, but also like not just gonna be a pushover and let people do whatever they want.

[00:45:27] Becky: Like, there's also gotta be some, some sort of repercussion when people break the law or do things that aren't on. Right. So, yeah, it's something I struggle with a lot because I'm like, I'm the fighter I'll go after people. And I don't think about the consequences. I'm like, I'll take you all on which isn't always best the best approach.

[00:45:48] Becky: So, yeah, it's good. Cause I always, I mean see me and Susie talk every day and if I'm raging about something, I tend to text Susie and she's like, take a breath, calm down. she's like my, [00:46:00] my therapist in many ways. And yeah, the Susie mentioned that we go away a lot together on these projects. And those are like some of my favorite times because I'll do several months in the field.

[00:46:12] Becky: And then we go on these crazy adventures to Africa or south America together and change species entirely work with rhinos or elephants or make apps. It helps me get perspective on why I'm doing what I'm doing. Those are some of the best times of my, my recent years have been these crazy adventures with Susie.

[00:46:30] Becky: So yeah, we are pre a pretty good team. I think ,

[00:46:34] Suzi: it's also it. I think it really helps to have a friend for conservation photographers to partner up with someone in the way that I've partnered up with Becky, because going through these traumatic experiences together is easier than going through them alone.

[00:46:49] Suzi: And sometimes as a photographer, I have these traumas in the field and I'm by myself and it's harder for me to process and deal with them than if I have someone who's. Going through them, [00:47:00] you know, with me, like when we were doing mirror cats and we just so happened to come across poachers that were killing zebras and we photographed it, you know, hiding in the grass on our bellies.

[00:47:11] Suzi: And we were scared at a, at a moment. And being able to like share that experience together was I think a little bit less horrific and less terrifying than if I had been by myself. Without, without her on that shoot

[00:47:27] Jaymi: mm-hmm well, I will admit that this went to a place that I was not expecting to. sorry. No, it's really good.

[00:47:34] Jaymi: No, but it's really good because like I said, at the very beginning that you guys have a really special collaborative relationship like this, it's not just a collaboration between photographer and nonprofit. It's a friendship, it's a, it, it's all these other things built into it. And this really helps to illustrate the depth of the relationships that can be built when you're doing this work.

[00:47:56] Jaymi: That isn't about just accomplishing a task. It's also [00:48:00] things that you're really passionate about. There's a lot emotionally going on. There's a lot logistically going on, there's all these things. And so it really helps to show that these are the levels of bonds that you can build. Yeah. When you find a really phenomenal collaborative partner, Yeah.

[00:48:15] Becky: And the great thing about me and Susie is that we deal with everything by just laughing at it in the end, we just the most inappropriate situations. We end up just finding them funny, because what else are you gonna do? You know, like, so , we actually, uh, get each other through some pretty horrendous things and laugh a lot along the way, which sounds a bit weird, but it

[00:48:37] Jaymi: works.

[00:48:38] Suzi: Yeah, it works. And I do think that's a coping mechanism, Jamie for conservation photographers. I mean, I'm not saying we're laughing at the horrific stuff cuz obviously that's not funny, but we're usually laughing at our response to it or like something stupid we did or we're just other stuff besides any traumatic experience.

[00:48:56] Suzi: Right. And it's so important to laugh. And I [00:49:00] believe that just in general, in my personal life, right, like just to laugh is, is incredibly important for my mental and spiritual health. But particularly when you're doing hard work to laugh while you're doing it is incredibly funny to try to find a humor in things.

[00:49:13] Suzi: So I think that's also something that is really almost impossible to do when you're alone. Right. So that's a reason to have a collaboration with someone just make their make sure they're as funny as Becky

[00:49:27] Jaymi: Well, Susie, can you talk a little bit more about that as well? For, for people who are really interested in finding these amazing collaborative possibilities with either a foundation itself, or even with a person working in a foundation or a nonprofit organization, what are some of the things cuz you collaborate with a lot more than slow co and Becky and her work.

[00:49:48] Jaymi: You've done a lot of other collaborations. What are the things that you look for right away and whether or not this seems like it would be a great collaboration. What are some of the green flags or maybe red flags that you look for? [00:50:00]

[00:50:00] Suzi: So first of all is like, you know, whatever you want to collaborate on, it needs to be your passion, right?

[00:50:07] Suzi: So you need to feel passionate about what you're collaborating on the subject matter. Right. And then I think. Believing in the organization and what they do is really important to see, to, to believe a hundred percent in the value. Like I know if I tell people to donate to slow co or Soat in orang town society or whoever it is that I support, I feel 100% confident that every penny is going to be used wisely.

[00:50:33] Suzi: Right? So to believe in what they're doing as well is really important because that really helps you create imagery to a lot of it is like Becky's got these programs and we sit down and it's like, how are we gonna create imagery to illustrate this program? And some of them are easier than others, like a, a sloth crossing bridge as a no brainer.

[00:50:51] Suzi: That's easy, but some of the other programs are actually much more difficult to make effective, impactful imagery out. And then, you know, [00:51:00] the last thing, but potentially the most important thing is if you're gonna have a long term collaboration, you need to really get along with your partner. Like it can't be just a, you know, oh, I tolerate this person cuz they're my partner.

[00:51:14] Suzi: Or we just work together. Like you have to have fun together for it to be something where you're gonna put a lot of your time and energy into it over years. And so I think for people who are looking for that kind of connection, the first place to start would be, find an organization that's doing work that you're passionate about.

[00:51:32] Suzi: That really speaks to you. And then just let these relationships build naturally because that's what happens. You know, you put into these situations in the field, when you work with an organization you're very rarely working alone, they send you to a field site. They usually will put you with a researcher or a guide or somebody else.

[00:51:50] Suzi: And then you, you decide. In the field. If, if this is someone that you wanna continue working with or not, I've had plenty of researchers where it's like, this is the [00:52:00] only project that I'm gonna work on with them because our, you know, personalities aren't really clicking or, or maybe I'm just not that passionate about their subject or whatever.

[00:52:08] Suzi: And then I've had other researchers where it's like, this was really awesome. Let's do this again. Can we do another project that's similar, but different and expand this work. Right. And I think that's kind of where you start, but you do have to let that personal collaboration happen naturally. But that professional collaboration with the, with the organization itself can be something that, that happens in a professional way in the beginning.

[00:52:33] Suzi: So were you. Cold call an organization, send 'em an email and say, Hey, I'm passionate about what you do. Do you need imagery? Because if you do, I would love to come and photograph your programs. And most organizations, I always pick small ones, like slow co rather than like WWF, right? So the small ones are gonna need imagery.

[00:52:55] Suzi: They're unless they're already partnering with a photographer, they're gonna need imagery. And it's usually very [00:53:00] valuable to them. And they'll put you in situations where you're gonna have contact with people on the ground that you can establish these collaborations with

[00:53:06] Jaymi: mm-hmm you mentioned something really important SU where this is something that a collaboration takes a lot of time and energy investment.

[00:53:14] Jaymi: And for someone who is a professional wildlife photographer, it also needs to make business sense for you for where you're investing time and energy. What are some of the ways that financially you benefit from the work that you do in collaborations with nonprofits so that you can keep running your business?

[00:53:32] Suzi: That's a really good question. And you know, so for example, with, with all these projects that I do, I am not usually, sometimes I am, but I'm not usually donating a hundred percent of the profit to the organization. So like the adventures of Dr. Sloth. Full transparency. I gave slow code 30% of my advance on royalties, and I kept the rest of it to pay myself because we cannot [00:54:00] help conservation if we're not feeding ourselves and paying our rent, right.

[00:54:04] Suzi: It's kind of like the oxygen mask on the airplane. You have to help yourself before you help the person next to you. So you gotta make sure that your basics are covered. Right? So almost every book project I do, 30% goes to an organization, but I retain the other, you know, because I have to, I have to keep it in order for me to live.

[00:54:26] Suzi: And there's undoubtedly, I'm not gonna say all my sloth work has been a sacrifice for sloths. It is not, I have absolutely benefited from sloths at the same time that SoCo has. And that's the beauty of. Relationship in this collaboration is that slow co is benefited. I have benefited and Becky has benefited and that's, that is what every collaboration should be.

[00:54:52] Suzi: When I did the Cheeta book with Cheeta conservation fund, we had one third going to the Cheeta conservation fund, one third, going to Dr. Laurie [00:55:00] marker. And one they're going to me because, you know, we spent a year and a half on that book, so you have to pay yourself. And so that is an incredibly important point that you bring up

[00:55:11] Jaymi: mm-hmm and Becky, I see you nodding along as she's talking about, you know, 30% going to the nonprofit.

[00:55:17] Jaymi: So, obviously you're quite happy with that. Was that a negotiation? Are you, when you're looking at collaborating with someone like a photographer like Susie, or maybe other collaborations you have, is that a negotiation for you to make sure that that collaboration is the right level of benefit to you?

[00:55:34] Jaymi: Because you're putting work in too, when you collaborate with someone as a scientist or as someone who's an employee of a nonprofit that's time and energy to work alongside a photographer as well. What are your thoughts about that?

[00:55:44] Becky: Yeah. So this has been a learning curve for us as well. Um, not just with Susie.

[00:55:49] Becky: I mean, with Susie, it was, she was our first big collaboration, so it was very easy and, and she was very generous with actually with the amount that she's willing to donate from her sloth projects. [00:56:00] A lot of organizations and individuals aren't actually that generous as we now learn a lot, actually expects it for free.

[00:56:07] Becky: They'll expect to come and fill more photograph slots and not donate anything back to us. And so we did get sucked into that. A lot of times people sort of reward you with the, the exposure and the credit of what you're doing, which is great. That, and is you sort of have to balance that with like, what's the benefit to sloths, um, because if it's really, really beneficial to sloths, then obviously we're not gonna expect any donation in return.

[00:56:34] Becky: But, um, a lot of these things, aren't, they're just gonna use the sloths. They're not gonna provide any real benefit back to them. And so, and they're gonna use our time and our energy and our resources to get their imagery or their, their footage. It's something we've we've had to learn. This is one of the many, many, many things that we've had to learn along the way and navigate.

[00:56:52] Becky: And as we sort of professionalize and grow, now we do demand a minimum donation amount and Susie, the amount she gives actually [00:57:00] far exceeds that. So she is by far what we call our, our corporate sponsor she's by far our biggest . So yeah, a lot of organizations will be talking about 3% or 5%, um, of, of proceeds will actually get, go back to the sloths.

[00:57:14] Becky: Whereas Susie, yeah. Upfront gave 30%, which is incredible.

[00:57:18] Suzi: I think the other classic example is like how many people want Becky's time as a consultant on films. Like the classic example is, you know, BBC natural history, unit producer, constantly emailing Becky saying, can you be a consultant? Can I ask you questions, blah, blah, blah.

[00:57:37] Suzi: And it's like, that's gonna take minimum hour of your time. More, more likely two or three hours, cuz it'll be repeated calls. They don't get that time without making a big donation to slow co don't get you're

[00:57:49] Becky: started on this topic. The rage I have what like so many organizations particularly. Yeah. The film [00:58:00] industry is a big one, but O other organizations sort.

[00:58:03] Becky: Ask you to come and do a presentation or speak or, or be a consultant for something, or review a book, a manuscript, something for free. And they're like, yeah, but we'll credit. You we'll give you credit or this'll be great for your name or your organization like exposure credit. And I did this a lot at the start of my career because you have to sort of build up credit, but you can't feed yourself with credit.

[00:58:26] Becky: You can't pay the bills, you can't sustain your life with credit. And the points I was spending hours and hours every day, doing things for free. And then I had to get to the point and Susie actually helped me with this. Like, no, no more. Like I have built up enough credit. I've got enough experience and knowledge and everything I have learned over the last 13 years is my specialty.

[00:58:49] Becky: It's my skill. And if people want to use that, then they're gonna have to pay for my time and that, and when I say pay for my time, I mean, make a donation back to slow because obviously [00:59:00] slow pays my salary. And so anything I do, I expect them to donate to slow. I don't want them to pay me. I want them to, to give a donation to, to the charity.

[00:59:09] Becky: And that takes me onto another issue of people expecting conservationists to just work for free, like, oh, we'll donate to a nonprofit, but we don't want that donation to cover salaries. Well, everything we do, I'm paying people to do it. We're paying staff. We're keeping people in Costa Rica, alive. Our staff have families and they, they need a career and they need to be motivated to pursue this career.

[00:59:34] Becky: No one is gonna dedicate their lives to conservation if they're not being paid for it because we all have to stay alive. So this weird, like myth that the world has that conservationists work for free is like that we need to pay the bills. So, yeah, I've gone on a bit of a rampage. I knew I would.

[00:59:53] Suzi: One of the things that conversations that Becky and I often have is.

[00:59:59] Suzi: What is, [01:00:00] what is this exposure? What is this opportunity? Is it worth it at all? For me to do very rarely it's it's yes. You know, Becky lives in the jungle. So she kind of doesn't get a lot of exposure to some of the stuff that we do. So like for example, a recent one, this was hilarious. We were talking about dates for some, I think it was our rhino shoot.

[01:00:19] Suzi: And she was like, I gotta be back on this day because some film crews coming in I'm like, who is it? And she goes, I can't, it's something like 60 minutes or something. And I was like, she was like, have you ever heard of that? I'm like, are you kidding me?

[01:00:36] Suzi: Is coming down to film you? Yeah. What is that? I'm like, oh, for Christ's sake. So like we keep her, um, we keep her up. Non jungle topics.

[01:00:50] Becky: speaking of which they are now coming next month. Finally, they kept canceling anyway. So we are doing the 60 minutes thing, which is great. Fantastic.

[01:00:59] Jaymi: But see, that's some [01:01:00] good exposure too, but like I love hearing you talk about this Becky, because it's something that, you know, a lot of us talk about in the photography realm as well, where, oh, can we use your images?

[01:01:09] Jaymi: We'll credit. You you'll get exposure, whatever. Well that doesn't feed me. It doesn't pay the bills. And I think that that's at the heart of a really beautiful collaboration between photographer and nonprofit is that mutual respect that both of you know, that the other person needs to benefit in some way from this and that it's usually beyond goodness of your heart or it's beyond like, oh, thanks so much for that.

[01:01:33] Jaymi: So when a photographer comes into a collaboration with a nonprofit. I always tell people like, go into it saying, how can I help? What do you need? What are things that are of importance to you that I might be able to help you with rather than being like, Hey, I wanna come in and make a calendar for you or whatever it might be.

[01:01:50] Jaymi: Find out what they really need. How, how can you really be of benefit to them? And then on the flip side, working with a collaborator who understands that you, as the photographer, maybe you're [01:02:00] donating a set of images, but you're gonna own copyright to that and be able to license that to third parties. So they can't haul off and give those photos away to any media outlet who wants them.

[01:02:09] Jaymi: There's all these like things that can come into play, whether you're donating your time or your energy, or if you're working for funds coming in. And that you're getting a really high quality split that both of you are really happy with. There has to be some sort of mutual benefit because like you guys have said so much, none of us can do this work.

[01:02:29] Jaymi: If we're not able to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, make sure our families are fed and all of. so see, I get on this soapbox too, right along with you.

[01:02:38] Becky: we all do. It's a, it is a thing. Yeah. And, and I now have a fantastic marketing team, which is really new that I I'm like, I have a marketing team. How did this happen?

[01:02:48] Becky: I'm just the girl in the jungle with the slots, but they are amazing. So now when we form new collaborations, they go in, they'll do background checks and see like what, what's the benefit that we are gonna get from [01:03:00] working with this individual? Like, are they, cause then if, if it's gonna be a great collaboration, we're not gonna ask for any donation, really?

[01:03:07] Becky: Like if they're gonna come and photograph our work and let us use the images, then they're gonna be really good. Then this is amazing. We both win. But if it's someone who just wants to photograph slots and make their own project out of those images and sort of say, they're working with us and use our following and our.

[01:03:25] Becky: Our supporters in order to raise money for themselves. That's a very common one that happens. People wanna use our social media network or our mailing list to promote their own product then yeah. That's not gonna happen. Not without, yeah. Them supporting, giving back to the slots and the, the actual animals that, that we're working

[01:03:43] Jaymi: with.

[01:03:43] Jaymi: Yeah. Well, I asked Susie this, what are some of the red flags and green flags when you're talking with a nonprofit that you wanna collaborate with, and Becky you've already kind of touched on these, but I'd love to know, like, what are your red flags or green flags when someone comes to you, whether they're a photographer [01:04:00] or someone else and says, Hey, I wanna, I wanna work with you.

[01:04:03] Jaymi: How do you know if they're gonna be one of those people who are just using the, the foundation as a leg up versus really giving back? I

[01:04:11] Becky: think you can see it in the initial email, someone who really, someone who comes at you with I've made this sloth mug, and I think your followers would like it. And we wanna give, like will give 2% of proceeds to you and will you advertise it to your followers or something?

[01:04:28] Becky: I know it's different with a photographer. If it's someone with a big following, who's very well established and they want to come. Photograph our work and they're flexible with it. And they say, we'll photograph what images you need. Then that's a green flag. That's like, they've got our interests at heart and we're happy to work with them if they wanna come in and say, I wanna come and photograph this specific behavior for this project that I'm doing.

[01:04:53] Becky: Can you help me? And I'll give you credit red flag. cause that is not like it's not equaled. We're [01:05:00] just basically a helping hand for them. And we're not about that. Right. So yeah, we're all about just giving back to the slots. As long as it's someone who's gonna do something, which, and they have this interest in giving back to the animal, that's providing them a benefit.

[01:05:13] Becky: Then, then we're happy to work with them and work out an agreement. But yeah, come in with the right emails straight off, make sure it's it's about giving back and then we're open to we open the door and we're like, yeah, let's see how we can all help the slot and work towards the same goal.

[01:05:30] Jaymi: Wonderful.

[01:05:32] Jaymi: Everything that you guys have talked about and touched on is incredibly helpful to photographers, listening who want to build strong, beautiful relationships with nonprofits and conservation organizations. My last question for the two of you is what other adventures do you guys have planned?

[01:05:50] Suzi: First of all, there's something that just recently happened, which I think is really awesome on so many levels.

[01:05:56] Suzi: But so, you know, I've got the nonprofit, I started [01:06:00] girls who click, which Becky's on my board, right? So I'm a trustee of slow co she's on the. Board for girls who click. We just partnered together on a workshop down in Costa Rica in Becky's town. It was a workshop working with indigenous kids at like a camp.

[01:06:19] Suzi: And so they were learning about science and conservation and wildlife photography. So we sent Diana cab down from Mexico. She's obviously fluent in Spanish. She's one of our partner photographers, an incredibly talented, amazing woman girls who click flew her down. And she led the photography classes for these indigenous kids.

[01:06:42] Suzi: So this was the first kind of partnership between slow co and girls who click. And I'm immensely proud of that, that our two organizations partnered together and pull this off. And so we'll probably be doing more of that in the future. We're looking at trying to get a grant to cover the cost of that in the future and blah, blah, blah.

[01:06:59] Suzi: So [01:07:00] that was just really, really cool. And then we've got some other adventures planned next year with shoots that are not sloth oriented, but we're hopefully going to be heading back to Africa in January. If everything lines up properly in having a, a massive jungle adventure there secret. Yeah. And, uh,

[01:07:21] Becky: over into the safest country in the world, if it all pans out.

[01:07:24] Becky: So that's no doubt gonna provide some entertaining stories and social media content. So it's

[01:07:30] Suzi: possibly as dodgy as Venezuela, but that's okay. and then, yeah. And then in terms of the sloths, I mean, I go down almost every year, certainly every other year and do fresh imagery and obviously Becky's programs are constantly evolving and changing and she's taking on as the years go on, she's taking on more and more conservation work and starting new programs.

[01:07:54] Suzi: And so. There'll be new imagery to capture of that. And then definitely [01:08:00] Venezuela. That's gotta be done cuz we wanna do that book. So there's always, there's always sloth work to be done. It's just a matter of time. Oh. And then we've got the, uh, Costa Rica photo tour that we're gonna work together in, in January of 20, 24 with my clients.

[01:08:17] Suzi: And that'll be really fun, but this is the first time Becky's allowed around my clients actually, because we act way too unprofessional when we're together. And all we do is laugh and I was like, I cannot, I'm gonna ruin her

[01:08:27] Becky: reputation. It's gonna be fantastic.

[01:08:32] Suzi: It's a riot. So, so that'll be really, that'll be great.

[01:08:35] Suzi: I know they're gonna, they're gonna love that. And it's not just a matter of photographing, pretty wild sloths. Most of my clients are passionate about conservation and a lot of 'em are very philanthropic. So it'll be a matter of also them learning about the issues that sloths are facing in these urban areas and what Becky's doing to.

[01:08:53] Suzi: To combat that. So, so yeah, so we got a lot of, we always have loads of stuff cooking and at the moment we're [01:09:00] getting the, the next calendar is being printed right now. And. So Becky's and dad's expecting a delivery any day. yes, it's Becky's favorite time of year, cuz she gets to start dealing with Amazon on a regular basis.

[01:09:12] Suzi: You notice how

[01:09:13] Becky: Susie gives me this responsibility, by the way, she's like I don't do Amazon. I don't understand Amazon, Becky, you have to do it. So I'm responsible for all of the Amazon concert. I.

[01:09:27] Jaymi: Well, technically geographically you're closer to the Amazon anyway. So it makes more sense as well.

[01:09:34] Becky: I wish it was that Amazon I was dealing with well, so for

[01:09:37] Jaymi: anyone who wants to be able to donate, follow your work, sign up for tours, buy calendars, where all the places that people can go

[01:09:46] Becky: visit.

[01:09:47] Becky: First, the sloth stuff, it's quite an easy one. Visit is@slothconservation.org or founders on social media. We've got loads of different ways that people can get involved from like sponsoring a wildlife bridge to adopting a [01:10:00] sloth or, or buying the book and the calendar. You can do it all through, um, our online shop actually, which provides a greater benefit to the sloths because we don't have to pay Amazon loads of money.

[01:10:10] Becky: So, um, yeah, definitely. If you wanna buy merchandise for, for the sloths, if you can do it through our online shop, .

[01:10:17] Suzi: As well, I don't know if you mentioned that, but adopt sloth is, is a really great way to support slow co you're buying our book at the same time, but more importantly, you're making a donation to slow co by adopting the sloth.

[01:10:29] Suzi: Yes.

[01:10:30] Becky: For sure. Yeah.

[01:10:31] Suzi: And for your tour is Suzi. Oh yeah, my tours. It's my website. Just sutras.com, but slow coast site is a more exciting one. That's got all the sloth merchandise and everything, but yes, tours would be on mine.

[01:10:44] Jaymi: Wonderful. Well, the links will be in the show notes. So anyone who's listening wants a really quick way to access the link, hop into the show notes, and those will be there and yeah, with the adopt a sloth I'm on the website right now.

[01:10:57] Jaymi: My nephews don't know this yet, but guess what they're getting [01:11:00] for Christmas. Yeah. I already have that

[01:11:01] Becky: done. So

[01:11:03] Jaymi: thank you so much for, for just being really fun to talk to that. And then also for, of course, all of the incredible work that you guys are doing to make this world a much more beautiful, safe, Biologically diverse, happy place to be.

[01:11:19] Jaymi: You guys are really, really outstanding. I'm so glad that you met Becky. I'm so glad that your professors were like, you need to go. be in the jungle. I know. And watch sloths all day long. Thank goodness for us and for the sloths. Oh, thank you

[01:11:33] Becky: so much. It's been super nice chatting with you. Um, Susie, it's always a pleasure hanging out.

[01:11:40] Suzi: Jamie, thank you so much for doing this.

[01:11:43] Jaymi: Absolutely.

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