Moments on Safari
Almost 3 years ago I started my Youtube Channel with a series of very short videos to highlight some of the thoughts around my career as a Wildlife Photographer. Get some special insight into my love for photography and the African Continent.
I’ve called Cape Town my home for 20 years now. On that first trip here to work I realised that this is where I want to be. Cape town may not exactly be comparable to the landscapes Namibia or Kenya provide, but it makes me feel close. It’s warm, beautiful and has been the springboard into Fine Art Photography.
In this article I want to share 10 insights into my journey as a wildlife photographer. This may be helpful to read for up-and-coming photographers… lots of things to think about.
Fascination with African Wildlife
My Camera has always been my medium of choice. Ive worked in many countries across the world on many types of shoots, but African Wildlife has to this day gripped me the most. Being in the outdoors, working with mother nature and bearing first hand witness to the magnificence of the wild cats, elephants, rhinos… I just cant get enough of it.
Unique Moment in time
Nowadays there are so many great images originating from safaris. The question is how do you stand out above the rest? How do you find a moment that is not likely to occur again. For this you must always be ready – on high alert. Sometimes the moment only last a few seconds and if you were not paying attention you will miss it.
It’s not always about what the animal is doing, but also is your position right? Do you have the right lens and settings on the camera? Is the Landscape and the weather playing along?
An important part of my job is inspiring others. This is why i like to tell my stories of how things happen – why i do what i do and how i do it. Honestly I know people say just do it for yourself, and in some way i do – but at the end of the day I love my work even more because i get to inspire others.
Inspiration to follow your dreams, to get better pictures and to appreciate all that Africa has to offer. I hope my art can stir emotions and bring back memories of a long forgotten family safari trip or a personal life experience. This is what I call: sharing my passion.
They say patience is a virtue. I couldn’t agree more. The photographic industry lives by the rule of hurry up and wait. Highly stressful situations are a daily occurrence. If something goes wrong it can be a costly mistake. In those years I learnt to try and be calm in heightened situations – one had to learn to work fast and then also to slow down and have the patience to wait for things to materialise.
Nature Photography is an entire different kettle of fish. Here one must often wait for hours and even days on end before you get what you came for. I thought I knew what patience was until mother nature thought me the true meaning. I am grateful for this lesson as it has thought me a lot about how to live a more mindful life.
There are constantly new challenges with wildlife photography. If it’s not dealing with things like bad weather, language barriers or permits while on safari it’s about building a brand, selling art and balancing family life.
There are constantly new challenges as one goes forward and one must welcome these despite how hard it is. These will make you stronger and able to overcome all obstacles.
There is nothing better than a road trip with family and friends. It’s not about the destination but about sharing those moments with people that matter to you. I love taking people with me on Safari. especially my family.
Always try and remember that you must seek adventure, it doest come to you. Life can get pretty mundane if you don’t get out of your comfort zones.
Creativity by Inspiration
The best thing i ever learned on the plains of Africa is that when you are in a place you love you become inspired and that leads to enhanced creativity. Many times I said to John my guide, let’s try this or that. And at first we both laugh because it sounds absurd but some of the best images in the Pride of Africa Collection are from spontaneous moments of fun.
The Maasai Mara in Kenya is highest on my list of Happy places. But Amboseli (also Kenya), The Okavango Delta in Botswana and the incredible landscapes of Namibia are right up there too.
There are many brilliant guides out there in the world, but sometimes a special friendship forms with a person. This is the case with me and my first Maasai Guide John Masek. I’ve known and worked with John for many years now and our friendship continues to grow.
Having a good Team
It’s not just a good Guide that helps me achieve success, but rather a larger support team. My wife Sandra is a vital part of my growth and support. I also make sure that my printers, distributors, galleries and even couriers are all people and reputable companies that help support and grow my brand.
In summary I’d like to say that it is important to take pride in one’s own work. Set goals that keep pushing the bar higher. Demand the quality you seek to achieve and never stop learning new things or be willing to experiment. Work on developing special bonds with people that you gel with and always seek adventure.
I take extreme pride in my work and it’s sometimes hard working with me – but i know what i want and i will not compromise until I achieve my goals. It’s no coincidence that my Limited Edition Collection is called: PRIDE OF AFRICA.