I was born and raised in the small Quebec village of Cap-Santé on the north shore of the St Lawrence River. I’ve always had a love of the outdoors and found that photography was a way to express how I felt about wildlife and the environment around me. As a young woman I migrated west to experience the mountains on horseback and while there I became enamored with the people, places and animals that define the west.
Through life’s twists and turns, I managed to work in different fields, from the Calgary Zoo flying birds of prey and visitor interpretation, to National Parks where I worked on everything from bison handlings to radio telemetry tracking of trumpeter swans, media designer and park interpretation. I worked as well with children at- risk, using outdoor recreation as a way to improve their health and well-being. I developed a career as an equine photographer and my images of horses have been featured on many magazine covers such as; Horse-Sport, Horse-Canada, Horse & Country, Western Horse Review, and Horse Care Magazine to name but a few.
Recently my focus has been more on conservation photography, providing photo documentation for biologists, conservationists, and researchers while they conduct studies on rare and endangered species and the landscapes they occupy.
Wild animals are not the only species-at-risk on the prairies; the lifestyle and culture of the people who live here is also a rapidly vanishing part of our national identity. Photographing the traditional activities of ranchers and farmers who have lived here for generations is my way of documenting the changes time brings to these people.
Images of bison can be found in the books my husband, Wes Olson and I produced, entitled, “Portraits of the Bison; An illustrated Guide to Bison Society” and "The Field Guide to Plains Bison." We also owned and operated the Broken Lantern Ranch where we raised plains bison. I brought my love for this magnificent animal to Val Marie, Saskatchewan, where we resided for 10 years. Living on the doorsteps of Grasslands National Park, in the heart of Canada’s last remaining native prairie, with a newly established herd of plains bison, provided unlimited inspiration for a nature photographer.
Johane and Wes now reside at the gateway of Elk Island National Park, where they can enjoy both subspecies, the plain and wood bison.
Enjoy the images you see here, and experience some of the fleeting beauty I have been fortunate enough to capture.