💬 Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long have you been studying mycology?
While I have been enamored with mushrooms since I was young, I have been unofficially studying mycology (the study of fungi) for just under 10 years and have been practicing mushroom photography during that same timeframe.
2. What camera/lens are you using?
I am using a Nikon D3500 with a 40mm Micro Nikkor lens. Every so often, I will share photos taken with my iPhone XS. You can find my camera and favorite related gear on my Amazon Storefront.
3. Where were your photos taken?
My photos have been taken in a variety of different places all over the state of California, but primarily in the oak woodlands and redwood forests of the San Francisco Bay area and Mendocino County. The vast number of locations I have been able to photograph in evidences the incredible variety of local trails, regional parks, state and even national parks that California has to offer!
4. Is this mushroom edible?
Unfortunately, I don’t give edibility advice! The health risks that may result from incorrect information are too great and I don’t wish to take on that responsibility. I strongly recommend consulting with identification books and/or mycological groups if you are seeking more accurate results. Some of my favorite ID books can be found under my “Resources” page. While I do consider myself an amateur mycologist, I am by no means an expert.
5. Can you identify the mushroom in one of my photos?
Keeping my answer to question #4 in mind, I can certainly try! One thing to note is that the level of knowledge I have when it comes to identifications depends on where the fungus has been found. I am much more knowledgable when it comes to California mushrooms than I am with mushrooms of New Zealand, for example. Please feel free to send anything my way and I will do my best to help. Photos that are not blurry and show multiple angles of the fungus, including the underside, are particularly helpful. If I do not know the answer, I will try to make some recommendations for further investigation as to where the information may be found. You can also check my “Resources” page for ideas.
6. How can I obtain permission to use your photo(s)?
Please include the following information in your request:
Name of image/web link to desired photo(s)
What you wish to use the photo(s) for
Where the photo(s) will be distributed
Who the intended audience will be
Timeframe of use
Any additional requests/requirements of me
Please note that I have thousands of photos that are not included in my public online gallery that represent over 155 different species of fungus! You can see the full list of fungi in my blog post: “A Comprehensive List of My Photographed Fungi.” I do not sell NFTs.
7. Will "Friendly Fungus Photography" be a vendor at my event?
Thanks for your interest! I have participated in a variety of festivals and fairs in Central/Northern California and love to learn about new opportunities! If you would like to have "Friendly Fungus Photography" as a vendor at your event, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use my "Contact" page, and tell me more about what you've got in mind! I'd love to hear from you.
8. How accurate are your identifications?
If I’ve noted an ID that means I feel pretty certain—but I am still learning, just as the science of mycology is still evolving. I am not at all immune to mistakes! This is part of why I prefer to avoid giving edibility advice. I welcome any corrections and new information! Please do teach me something new.
9. How did you learn where to find mushrooms?
It has been a long path of learning where to seek out the beautiful fungi I love so much! Suggestions from friends, information from classes, books and media, persistent exploration, other resources, and ultimately just lots and lots of experience have granted the biggest help! As a California native and avid traveler, I’ve extensively explored the state of California from top to bottom and during all times of year, which I believe has also provided me with a very unique perspective of California fungi.
10. Do you pick or pose the mushrooms you find?
Both yes and no. For example, sometimes I will find mushrooms growing on a stick and I will relocate the stick to a place with a greener background. This makes the mushrooms “pop” against the solid backdrop and, in my opinion, better captures the magic of the mushroom. Otherwise, the fungi I observe are generally photographed in-situ.
11. What advice do you have for hobbyists new to fungi photography?
Be prepared to have FUN! Encourage yourself to get unapologetically dirty, fiercely curious, and wholeheartedly captivated! It is easy for me to liken my mycological journey to the Alice's fall down the rabbit hole—only I haven't looked back! This has been by far one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life—one that has brought me closer to my community, my mother earth, and myself. Feel free to get familiar with my website (if you are new to mycology, my "Resources" page may be helpful for you!) and let me know if you have any questions.
12. How can I take better mushroom photos?
I hope to share a blog post very soon with some suggestions. Stay tuned!
13. Where can I learn more about you?
Thanks for your interest! There are many ways you can learn more about me here on my website! Suggestions include:
My "About" page provides a brief glimpse at who I am.
My blog post "Then and Now: Who is The Friendly Fungus" gives a more in-depth of my history.
My blog post "Things to Know About Me" includes some miscellaneous facts about my life, my experience practicing mushroom photography over time, and my relationship with nature.
My "Achievements" page lists my accomplishments as a fungi photographer.
My "Shop" page provides a glimpse at Friendly Fungus Photography products.
My "Events" page provides suggestions on how you can meet me in person.