How did you start photography? What motivated you?
It all began 11 years ago in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. I picked up my mum’s Canon 450D and decided I would be the “photographer” of the safari. Little did I know that this was the beginning of something very special – a journey that has connected me immensely with Mother Nature, taught me more than I could have ever imagined, and has always given me light and hope in the darkest times.
Mother Nature is my greatest motivation. Seeing the death and destruction of the last remaining wild places first-hand has made me realize that it is more important now than ever that we collectively come together and make change. I want my imagery to make people feel and understand the importance of protecting these wild places that are being eroded by human civilization.
You are quite young. How has photography influenced you over the years in your life and your views?
Photography has taught me more life lessons than anything else. I have met many people in the field that have changed my life in so many ways. I have grown increasingly connected with Mother Nature and formed a deep appreciation for the wildlife that I photograph. I have also gained a unique outlook on life and been able to travel to a variety of places to do what I love. I have been given opportunities I would have never been given if it was not for photography. I am eternally grateful for what the camera has given me – undying moments and eternal memories.
How do you balance your life as a wildlife photographer and as a student?
Balance is extremely important, but it is also easier said than done. While I am at university studying full time, I do not have much time to go out and shoot. Instead, I spend most of my free time editing old photographs – experimenting with new compositions, colours and contrasts. As well as this, I try and capture photographs on my trusty iPhone every time I am outdoors which I think keeps my creativity alive.
That said, I do often try and do road trips in Australia’s South West to photograph Marine wildlife which has become a field of growing appreciation for me. The inability to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to discover places close to home and inevitably saw me diversifying my portfolio and exploring new arenas of photography.
What are the difficulties faced by a wildlife photographer on a regular basis?
I think the main difficulty is often the inability to be out in the field every day. My niche is African wildlife, and living in Australia means I must plan my expeditions well in advance and I only have limited time out in the field.
What is it that you think is the most beneficial part of being a wildlife photographer?
Learning the importance of Mother Nature. Being able to be immersed in nature.
How important is winning awards in photography? How do you choose the right image to send for contests?
I have not actually undertaken any studies on the habitat or behavior of species, however the time I have spent out in the field has taught me an immense amount of knowledge about animal behaviour. The more time you spend out in the wilderness surrounded by wildlife, the more you will learn.
Knowledge of the subjects you are photographing is extremely important in wildlife photography. For instance, it is so important to know when a Lion or Leopard is about to get up and walk. It is also so important to always watch the behavior of herbivores, because more often than not they will lead you to a big cat.
It is difficult to avoid taking the same type of photograph especially when the subject is the same. But you have some unique images. What’s your approach to creative frame-making?
It is difficult to avoid taking the same type of photograph especially when the subject is the same. But you have some unique images.
I have seen some wildlife photographs in black and white in your work. What inspires you to make images in black and white?
I feel that black and white photographs accentuate the emotions of the subject. In many ways black and white photographs also create an aura of romanticism and reminiscence that renders them timeless.
Among aerial, eye level, and low angle photography, what’s more challenging? what’s your favorite? And why?
I would argue that low angle photography is the most difficult and challenging. Being on the ground near wild animals can be dangerous if done unethically and irresponsibly, and leaving the camera on the ground while using a remote shutter can mean the camera gets destroyed or you miss the photograph because of poor positioning of the camera or the unpredictability of your subject.
How often do you try to create out of the box experiments, and can you share some of your favorites?
I am always trying to create out of the box images. Some of the areas I have experimented with are silhouettes, ground level photographs at 16mm, and aerial photographs.
Creating unique and unseen work will make you stand out which is most important in a community that at times tends to create a lot of the same, standard imagery.
What kind of gears do you use now, and what did you start with? Your opinion about the role of gears in photography.
I started shooting with a small point and shoot camera before picking up my mum’s Canon 450D with a 100-400mm.
My current gear consists of a Canon 1DX M2, 5D M4, 100- 400mm, 70-200mm, 16-35mm and a DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone.
As a young wildlife photographer, what’s your advice to youngsters who love to get into wildlife photography?
Stand out. Do not be afraid to do things differently than the mainstream, edit your work the way you want your viewers to see the world. At the end of the day you are creating art, so focus more on the artistic side of photography over the technical side.