John L. Dengler’s passion for photojournalism started as a 10-year-old in a relative’s abandoned basement darkroom. By 14, he was a staff photographer for The Pioneer, the student-produced newspaper at Southwest High School. He studied photojournalism at the University of Missouri and spent his breaks as a temporary staff photographer at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. After graduation, he worked as a features page designer at the Globe-Democrat. Following Angus McDougall’s philosophy that photojournalists should produce entire packages from start to finish, he used the position to improve photo editing and usage throughout the paper. He joined the photography staff a year later where his efforts in photography and picture editing were recognized with numerous regional awards. When the paper closed, he joined the Springfield News-Leader as Graphics Editor, where he continued to push for compelling visual storytelling through design, photography, and infographic reporting. Dengler has also served on the faculty and on the staff of the Missouri Photo Workshop.In 2008, Dengler took advantage of an opportunity to start a new chapter – a freelance business combining his love of photography with his passion for the outdoors, focusing primarily on conservation and environmental issues. His freelance photography has been used by BBC Books, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, national travel and regional magazines, and he has work on permanent display at several science museums including the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.