Guild Photographer Gains Unique Access to Wildfires

By Rob Rotten

I felt compelled to document as much of the Northern California wildfires as I could, staying on the scenes and fire lines as much as I could, rather than rushing to get some photos to the news agencies. By the afternoon of the first day, local newspapers had their staffers on the scenes, so I was aware that they would not be purchasing freelance work. I used this to my advantage, not being concerned with the typical time constraints of spot news, going deep into the fire lines and hiking with the fire strike teams, which gave me a unique perspective/photos of the fires.

A handful of my photos were picked-up by a news wire service, days after the fire, for publication in the European Union and United Kingdom, but nothing local. Having seen firsthand the utter devastation of the fires and the impact to the entire Sonoma County community, I wanted to do what I could to help raise money for the local fire relief efforts. I am actively donating all profits earned from photo licensing and photo print sales of my Sonoma County Fire Photographs to local charities, such as the Redwood Credit Union Creates North Bay Fire Relief Fund.