Colleen Wilson, otherwise known as The Crowtographer, adds some photos to her collection one day after work recently down at Robert Ostler Park. Wilson has garnered over 11,000 followers on Instagram and over 21,000 on Facebook by sharing her hobby online. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Colleen Wilson, otherwise known as The Crowtographer, adds some photos to her collection one day after work recently down at Robert Ostler Park. Wilson has garnered over 11,000 followers on Instagram and over 21,000 on Facebook by sharing her hobby online. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River ‘Crowtographer’ gaining huge social media following

Colleen Wilson says in a time of human disconnection, it can still be found in the eyes of animals

Why yes, there is an amateur photographer in Campbell River who has over 21,000 followers on Facebook and over 11,000 followers on Instagram for her photos of the local crows. Thanks for asking.

Her name is Colleen Wilson.

But she’s better known as The Crowtographer.

Her love of her inquisitive, playful feathered friends started early in life, but her photography of them certainly didn’t.

“My family’s from up in Northern Manitoba, and there’s lots of ravens and crows up there,” she says, watching the black shadowy figures dart around the tree branches at Robert Ostler Park downtown. “They were always fascinating to me because of their playfulness and their distinct personalities.

“Fast forward all these years later, I was working in Burnaby and I decided I needed to get into some kind of hobby,” she continues, “so I chose photography, bought a DSLR camera and thought, ‘now how am I going to learn to use this thing?’”

Well, she thought, crows are everywhere. Why not practice on those?

Then she met Dave.

Dave is a crow, by the way.

“Dave and I met every weekend for shoots,” she says. “He’d bring his offspring to meet me when he had them. It got to the point where they’d meet me at the train station and fly me home after work.”

She started posting her photos on social media and making friends with other crow enthusiasts, and soon started to amass quite a following.

“They get such a bad rap,” she says. “I like to try to shine a little light on them, because they are absolutely fascinating creatures.”

She ended up in Campbell River, as she says, “by winning life’s lottery. It was pure luck.”

When the contract expired for the company she worked for in the Lower Mainland, her partner – who had been wanting to move to the Island for years, Wilson says – took it as the shove that was needed.

They landed in Nanaimo, and she spent a year looking for work down there without getting much traction. Suddenly she came across an ad for a job at the North Island Employment Foundations Society.

“It’s an amazing organization,” she says, “and the team in there is just exceptional.”

These days she gets out with her camera every weekend – usually down at Frank James Park in Willow Point – and will head out once in a while after work on weeknights, as well.

But despite her moniker, she doesn’t only shoot crows.

“I love when we get the orcas coming through town, and I love going up to the Quinsam (River) when the bears are out,” she says.

She’s still working out a system for selling her work up here, but for now, she’s taken an interesting approach when people approach her wanting to buy her work.

“What I’ve been for the last year is offer high-res digital copies of my work in return for proof of donation to an organization addressing social justice, food security or COVID-19 impacts,” she says. “I’m happy to provide people with a digital copy of my work if they show me they did something good for another human. Or animal, actually. I’m not picky.”

You can see her work by searching “The Crowtographer” on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and message her there to get a digital copy of a piece you love in exchange for a donation to charity.

Or you can email her at thecrowtographer@gmail.com

More than anything else, however, she just wants people to take a few more moments here and there to interact with the natural world.

“So many people are struggling with isolation and lack of connection,” she says, “but we can actually find it in other species when we can’t find it in each other. We just need to expand our parameters a little bit. You’d be surprised what you can find if you look into the eyes of a crow.”

ALSO READ: ‘I’m very, very lucky to be doing what I do’

ALSO READ: Comox Valley photographer takes top Canadian Geographic Prize



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverPhotography

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via farhanlalji.com)
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks the new proposal will be bad for student athletes

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

‘I’m sending it back for clarification,’ mayor decides

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of April 5

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of April 5

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Dr. Bonnie Henry says Surrey immunization targeted at neighbourhoods most at risk

‘What we’ve been looking at is the case rates by neighbourhood,’ provincial health officer says

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read