Remember back in August when we reported that the legendary conservation photographer and Nikon Ambassador, Ami Vitale, would be sending a very lucky and deserving photographer to the Amazon Rainforest with mentorship from herself?
Well, now a winner has been selected. Southern California-based photographer and entrepreneur, Chris Poplawski, will soon be packing his suitcase (and his best photography gear) ready to set off as part of YACHAK Yerba Mate Energy Tea’s Amazon Assignment to document his surroundings.
• Ami Vitale is sending one lucky photographer to the Amazon Rainforest - with $25,000! (opens in new tab)
Photographer Chris Poplawski from Chino, Southern California, has bagged himself every photographer's dream opportunity - to embark on a two-week photo trip to none other than the Amazon Rainforest!
Chris will be heading out to the area, along with local guides, to document the reforestation efforts being implemented by plant-based energy tea company, YACHAK, in partnership with One Tree Planted (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
The Amazon Assignment (opens in new tab) campaign set out to challenge wildlife, nature, and conservation photographers to submit their best images to be seen by the award-winning Ami Vitale, in the hopes of receiving $25,000, plus the trip of a lifetime, and a year’s supply of Yachak Yerba Mate Energy Tea to fuel them up as they go!
It's apparent from his work that Chris Poplawski (opens in new tab) is a fantastic nature, landscape, and wildlife photographer - very deserving of the Amazon Assignment opportunity - but he's also a bit of a big deal himself, posting multiple paid partnerships to his Instagram account as a photography influencer, boasting 180K followers!(opens in new tab)
Chris is also an OM System & Olympus ambassador and frequently travels on photography adventures with his adorable woofer, Sage, and wife Meagan (who is also a photographer).
The duo work together to photograph weddings (opens in new tab) and have also previously run photography workshops in partnership with Moment, as valued guides on a Faroe Islands photo tour (opens in new tab) that costs almost $4,000.(opens in new tab)
If this weren't enough, Poplawski and Meagan are also part of The Untold Narrative (opens in new tab), a full-service media house and group of creatives that launch media campaigns for brands, with the aim of finding unique ways to tell a story. When asking Chris about what it meant to him to have earnt this opportunity and be the recipient of such an amazing and sought-after experience, he shared that:
"Capturing moments that make a difference in the world for organizations like One Tree Planted, alongside photographers like Ami who have impacted society with timeless imagery for years, and brands like YACHAK that want to make a deeper impact on this fragile earth- it really is special."
He continues, "I’m honored and can’t wait to get boots on the ground, to put my best creative ability forward and slowly live in those moments. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect, but I’m ready to help make a difference alongside these teams and do my part for humanity. "(opens in new tab)
Chris also shared his excitement about receiving mentorship from Ami Vitale: "Six years ago, when I changed my career path to photography, being fully self-taught and not knowing where the decision would ultimately take me- something like this would have been a far-fetched dream. Then to be paired with Ami and have the chance to learn from her- how she’s applied herself through the years and equips herself with the skillset needed for adventures like this."
"I’ve actually never had photography mentorship and have always leaned into myself for growth. And now finally for the first time, I get to lean into someone with a highly regarded resume like Ami Vitale. I’m excited, and really stoked to see this all unfold."
A huge congratulations to Chris for being daring enough to accept the assignment and venture out to the Amazon Rainforest, we can't wait to see the images that he creates - and the positive impact that reforestation and conservation efforts - and not forgetting photography and photojournalism - are making on our world.
You may also be interested in 10 pro tips for wildlife photography (opens in new tab), as well as the best cameras for wildlife photography (opens in new tab), check out the 10 ultimate locations for wildlife photographers (opens in new tab), and the best cellular trail cameras (opens in new tab).