Australian-born Shannon Wild is an award-winning wildlife photographer and cinematographer. Shannon is represented by National Geographic, and has worked for Nat Geo Wild, WildAid, and the United Nations, and has also authored three books. Shannon founded Wild In Africa® Bracelets for Wildlife, which raises money for various wildlife conservation organisations. She also gives frequent photographic workshops and is an ambassador for several other conservation charities and foundations. As a talented creative director, she has a keen eye for detail and design, and has pursued her dream career as a photographer for more than 17 years now.
Have you had any formal photography training, and if not how did you get to where you are today?
I have no formal training, I became interested in photography back in the early 2000s before social media and YouTube, so I spent a lot of time practicing, making mistakes, reading books and magazines to learn. With the abundance of technology and information now at our fingertips, it’s so much easier to educate yourself on topics you’re interested in.
What animal would you most like to capture that you haven’t already?
There are so many! I can’t wait to visit South America and see jaguars, anacondas and sloths, as well as marine iguanas on the Galapagos.
What do you love most about your work as a wildlife photographer?
I love how dynamic it is. I never know how my day will go, what animals I’ll see (if any) and what I might capture. Being in nature and around wildlife makes me so happy, and it’s a true privilege to be able to document and share these beautiful animals with the world.
Where in the world is your favourite place to capture wildlife, and why?
It’s so hard to choose one place since everywhere is unique and I enjoy them all for different reasons. If I have to choose then I think Madagascar. I’ve spent a lot of time there and it’s so incredibly unique and always so rewarding. Such a special place filled with truly unique animals.
What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out and considering pursuing a career in wildlife photography?
Persistence! It’s a hard way to earn a full-time living so be prepared to put in the time and effort, even when it gets tough, which it will. If you want it enough, then your persistence will pay off, because you’ll be the one left after so many others have given up. It takes time to develop strong networks and a solid body of work so get out there and shoot as much as possible. It’s also incredibly important to learn about your subjects in order to find them, respect them and anticipate behaviour to capture truly memorable moments.