All our judges for “Africa in Focus” 2021 were chosen, not only for their remarkable skills, but also for their dedication to conservation and African communities, through photography and a number of passion projects. Judge Shannon Wild is an inspiring change-maker now living in South Africa, and her community work is as motivating as her photography.
We encourage you to take a look at her beautiful jewellery range; Wild In Africa® - Bracelets for Wildlife.
Tell us more about the documentaries you create with your husband, and your next project?
We’ve worked on many projects over the years, for a variety of networks including National Geographic, BBC, Apple TV and others. Sometimes leading the projects and sometimes contributing small parts to larger projects. Even though we are based in Africa, we’re fortunate to work all over the world. A recent release is “The Year Earth Changed” on Apple TV, which I highly recommend! We are wrapping up a long-term project focused on wild white lions in the Timbavati. Although I don’t have a release date just yet, that project is for National Geographic. There quite a few more projects coming out that I’m unable to talk about, but will be able to mention in future.
Do you have anything exciting on the horizon that you can tell us about?
I’m excited to start touring the US again for National Geographic, with speaking engagements about the making of the documentary, “The Real Black Panther”. I have a few exciting projects in the works that unfortunately I can’t disclose just yet, and I’m also excited to be able to start travelling again soon!
Tell us about any conservation or community initiatives you support, run or started.
It's impossible to be in this industry and not want to give back to it. Working as a wildlife photographer and filmmaker gives so much to me, and it makes it even better when my work can help conservation organisations to share their messages. Since before I ever picked up a camera I’ve been involved in wildlife conservation. I was a registered wildlife carer and rescuer in Australia, and volunteered with many projects both in Australia and overseas. Moving to Africa only amplified my opportunities to collaborate and give back, by working with many incredible organisations. I do this through offering my services for free and donating prints for fundraising.
I believe you are a graphic designer by trade. Do you have any other hidden talents?
I worked as a graphic designer and creative director for almost 9 years before moving over to photography full time, and it greatly influences my work. A few years ago I became very sick from burnout and illness, and was essentially bedridden for 6 months. The first few months I couldn’t do anything, but as I gradually regained strength I wanted to be able to keep giving back to the phenomenal conservation organisations that I’d met and worked with previously. I started making beaded bracelets to sell as a way to raise money for them – and Wild In Africa® - Bracelets for Wildlife was born. I wanted to create bracelets that would allow the buyer to make a truly tangible difference, so committed to donating 50% of the purchase price (rather than “of the profit”, since that would be so ambiguous and potentially amount to nothing).