They say variety is the proverbial spice of life, and so dancing across the genres of photography and filmmaking, despite there always being a little overlap, is always fun and insightful for us, and we hope you, to see the different styles of photographers out there. This week we chatted with our friend and stunning wildlife photographer and cinematographer, Shannon Wild!
My name is Shannon Wild and I’m a wildlife photographer and cinematographer, so far for 17 years. I’m Australian but moved to South Africa in 2013.
When you started out in the field you’re in, how did you get your first “break” / was there a defining moment you just knew “This is what I want to do!”
I was working as a graphic designer for many years and bought a camera for work. I’ve also been passionate about animals and was a volunteer wildlife carer with a focus on reptile rehabilitation, so naturally I started taking pictures of reptiles and it processed quite rapidly from there. I soon discovered that I enjoyed taking photos more than my day job so I made a concerted effort to learn and practice as much as possible so I could eventually make it my profession.
When people like me ask you that question “What’s your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken” which one do you think of first?
After 17 years there are a handful that come to mind but the first is my image called ‘White Rhino with Cattle Egrets’. The position of the birds are they fly toward the rhino make it appear as if the flight sequence of one bird, depicted by three birds. The sky was moody and I shot very low, as I like to do, to simplify the background. I audibly squealed when I saw the picture, something that I certainly don’t do often.
Do you have a photographic inspiration?
Nature is my inspiration. (And we can see why!)
What gear do you mostly use and what bags do you use mainly?
These days filming wildlife documentaries is the bulk of my work, I use various RED cameras and cinema lenses. For bags it’s Think Tank Photo, no question, they’ve lasted me for years, travelled all over the world and survived every climate imaginable. I use a mix of the Video and Production Manager bags as well as various sizes of rollers bags, cable management and filter nests.
Any advice for someone wanting to do what you do?
My best advice for young aspiring photographers and cinematographers is persistence.