Suzi is not only a highly accomplished photographer she is also a leader in community conservation efforts as well as wildlife conservation, making her a great role model for all aspiring photographers and philanthropists alike.
Tell us about your book on baby animals, your experience at Tubu Tree and where we can buy this book?
My book, New on Earth: Baby Animals in the Wild, is a photo book that is collection of my life’s work so far. It covers subjects from all over the world, from images of tiger cubs in their den in India, to newborn leopards at Tubu Tree, to brown bear cubs seeing the world for the first time in the Alaskan wilderness. I am donating 30% of my proceeds from this book to the Wildlife Conservation Network.
Tell us about any conservation or community initiatives you support, run or started.
One of the few things that I am truly proud of in my life is the work I have done for conservation. I use my imagery to raise awareness and funds for a handful of non-profits that I have chosen to partner with, like the Sloth Conservation Foundation, Sumatran Orangutan Society and Wildlife Conservation Network. Over the years through direct sales of my books, prints, and photo tours, I have managed to raise over USD200 000 for conservation.
Tell us more about Girls Who Click?
I started a non-profit organisation called Girls Who Click in 2017. It has not been easy being a woman in this male-dominated profession, and I decided I wanted to do something to create change, to make it easier for future women coming into this field. With the help of some of the top female nature photographers in the world, we empower young women in nature photography and conservation through free workshops and mentorship. You can learn more about our work at www.girlswhoclick.org.
What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out and considering pursuing a career in wildlife photography?
In the words of Joseph Campbell, “follow your bliss”. That is what I have always done throughout my life, and it has gotten me through adversity early in my career, including massive debt, rejection, and personal struggles. There is nothing better in life than waking up every day to a job you love.
For aspiring photographers, and those of us who simply point and shoot, what would your recommended settings be? Shutter speed, ISO… and what would you suggest to a novice who wants to try something other than the standard setting?
This is impossible to answer as it completely depends on the situation you are photographing. But what I will say is that in the beginning I think it is most important to really focus on composition, light, and other artistic aspects of photography. These are the most critical, the technical stuff can come later.
What are your top tips for capturing wildlife in its natural habitat? Research your subject ahead of time so that you are familiar with that species’ behaviour.
Always put the welfare of your subjects first. And approach any subject, especially sensitive ones like shy animals or mothers and babies, in a careful, calm, and gentle manner.