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Meet Guest Juror, Torie Hilley

Tori Hilley holding her painting of a lioness head in profile. The painting is called Regal. It is a grayscale painting.

Born and raised in California, Torie Hilley is a wildlife conservationist, artist, and self-taught photographer. She was originally a wildlife researcher studying the behavior of predators throughout Southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana), before she switched to visual arts. First studying the behavior of lions, she then got her master’s degree in Animal Behavior and specialized in the second most endangered carnivore in Africa, the African Wild / Painted Dog.

Just before the pandemic hit, Torie began to realize that her passion for the African bush was due to capturing the behavior of predators and other wildlife through her lens. She felt that she could spread more awareness and send a message about endangered species more effectively through imagery, whether that was through her photography or oil paintings. She then made the decision to dedicate her work to wildlife conservation.

Since the pandemic, she learned from some of the best wildlife photographers so that she could improve her photography to evoke more emotion from her viewers. Since 2014, while researching lions in Zimbabwe and Zambia, her photography has been featured in National Geographic, Remembering African Wild Dogs, The Nature Conservancy, BBC Wildlife, and counting. Her photography and oil paintings have also won several awards, including Best of Show, in the Professional Art Show of Ventura County in California.

Her photography has now been published in

-Remembering African Wild Dogs

-The Nature Conservancy

-BBC Wildlife

-The Guardian

-The Times

-and more!

Her photography has also won several awards, including

-Category Winner in Animals in their Environment in the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) 2023

-Highly Commended in Nature Photographer of the Year Awards 2023

-Top 100 in the Mammals Category in NANPA 2022

-Top 250 in Share the View 2022

-Finalist in Comedy Photo Awards 2022

-Honorable Mention in The Nature Conservancy Photo Awards 2022

-Finalist in Big Picture Photo Awards 2023

-Finalist and Runner Up in Explorer’s Against Extinction’s Focus for Survival 2023

She also donates 10% of her sales to various smaller wildlife conservation organizations because she believes in supporting the “little guys” on the ground protecting wildlife. She is currently exploring the world of wildlife conservation photojournalism to bridge the gap of the visual arts and the sciences.

Visit for more information and how you can help protect wildlife through the visual arts.


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