CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The man behind some very large artwork hanging along Charlottesville's downtown mall spent some time Tuesday with high school students in an effort to inspire future artists.

Joel Sartore is a photographer with National Geographic who advocates for social and environmental change. Teachers picked the 30 high school students to take part in a workshop with him Tuesday. They had a chance to practice shooting and editing their own photos with Sartore's help and feedback.

Sartore’s photos currently hanging along the downtown mall are of wild animals. He wanted to show the world these animals in hopes of saving them from extinction. He believes anyone can change the world through photography.

“I hope they learn that if a guy from Nebraska can do it, anybody can do it and there's environmental issues and social issues that can be worked on in any town, including Charlottesville,” Sartore said.

The workshop was sponsored by the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph as part of its mentorship program.

Sartore will also speak Wednesday night at the Paramount Theater.