Jean Carter is a native Oregonian with more than 20 years experience as a professional nature writer/photographer. Her love and respect for nature began at an early age when her family purchased a 55-acre stump farm in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains east of Eugene, Oregon. With trails through the forest and a year-round creek, the stump farm was an idyllic place to grow up. Jean and her twin sister picked wild strawberries for breakfast, wild blackberries for pies, and helped their dad plant a large garden every spring. Their mother, a teacher and amateur ornithologist, often added the botanical name to wildflowers they found in the woods. Trilliums were Trillium ovatum, delicate pink twin flowers that grew in mossy areas along the creek, Linnaea borealis; and there is no such thing as a sea gull no matter how many times you say it. Mom said they were to be referred to as gulls. In Oregon that is most likely to be a Western gull or California gull.
Jean graduated from McKenzie River High School at Finn Rock, Oregon, received a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon in 1960, and earned a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1971. A single mother, she raised her two children in Coos Bay where she taught in the public schools for 24 years. Her passion for photography began in 1986 after a tragic accident claimed the life of her son. She signed up for a photography class they had planned to take together.
For ten years photography was just a weekend hobby; but driving to work became more difficult with each passing year. There was always something that begged to be photographed, a sunrise over the bay, maple leaves back lit against the sky, or wildflowers blooming along the road. In 1995 she took a giant leap of faith, retired early, and began a second career in photography. Her first national sale came four years later when the editor of Outdoor Photographer selected her photos for publication in their magazine and calendar. That was followed by acceptance in the prestigious Inner Reflection calendar published by the Self-Realization Fellowship. Since then her photos have appeared in many national publications including Hallmark greeting cards, Easter Seals calendar, Sierra Club, Smith-Western postcards, Falcon Press books and have been sold worldwide in 36 countries. Jean has had many articles and photos published in Northwest Travel and Oregon Coast magazines. In 1997 she teamed up with Darrell Gulin, a professional nature photographer based in Seattle. Together they taught photography workshops on the Oregon coast and national parks throughout the west.
Her photos are currently marketed by two photo stock agencies, Danita Delimont located in Bellevue, Washington, and AGEfotostock, an international agency with offices in Barcelona, Spain, and New York. Jean is semi-retired now, enjoying her new passion creating unique art images in the digital darkroom.