The last place Kristi Odom expected to be was in a crowd.
Shy by nature, she studied electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech, but a loss in her family led to unusual environments (for her): football games and concerts. And during those moments, she found what she’d do for the rest of her life.
“I’ve always been close to my family, very close to my grandfather. And when he passed away, he left me his camera gear. I started taking photos to feel close to him and to remember him,” Odom says. “And I realized that even in being quiet, I could have a loud voice that went far. And photography brought me out of my shell. It made me less introverted and it put me in the middle of everything and made me realize that I had a voice that I could share.”
Sleeping lion just waking up at Karongwe Game Reserve South Africa, December 2019 (Photo by Kristi Odom)
Now the introvert goes to conferences and speaks in front of thousands. She leads conservation-focused workshops. (This year, those will be in Bolivia, Kenya and New Zealand). Besides the Smithsonian, she’s had an image up in Times Square, on display at conferences like CES and Photoplus, and in various publications including Forbes, Outside magazine, People.com, Rollingstone.com, ABC news and Nikon.com.
And now she’s expanded her skillset by opening a new branch of her company, thanks to faster processors and graphics cards in laptops.
“I’ve just started doing video work over the last year and a half, and that’s because of the technology that’s now available. Currently my workstation is the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo, and this laptop opens up so many possibilities,” she says. “Being able to edit on an airplane or in a tent, and to be able to put a piece together at the height of the passion of the moment helps me put my emotion into my work. My main goal in life has always been to connect people emotionally to wildlife, to show people the beauty that there is in animals and the beauty there is in this planet that we have. And hopefully through visuals I can get people to really care more for this planet.”
Find out more about Odom at Microsoft Stories.