Where do you work?
I am self-employed and based out of Switzerland
What role/job do you do?
There are several aspects to my job: as a photojournalist, I share my knowledge and experience about wildlife conservation. I travel to different parts of the world to document conservation work such as the anti-poaching dogs in Kenya and shark conservation in the Seychelles. As a travel consultant, I create itineraries for wildlife trips in protected areas around the world as well as accompany groups as a photography guide.
How long have performed the role?
I started free lancing about two years ago.
Why did you want to perform that role?
I started out my career as a wildlife biologist, specializing in large felid conservation (leopards, jaguars, ocelots) working in the Peruvian Amazon, Yemen and India. With time, I was frustrated that news of the good and positive conservation work being done worldwide as well as problems wildlife face, was not available to the general public and so I turned to photojournalism to bridge this gap.
What educational qualifications do people need to perform your role?
Ideally a degree in wildlife conservation or journalism
What practical experience do people need to help them to obtain your role?
Extensive fieldwork in several countries/ habitat types will give you an interesting perspective and offer a unique point of view for future projects. I did the Ecotraining course in Botswana and South Africa to train as a wildlife guide and is very useful when I guide groups.
Are there any particular personal skills which people need to have to perform your role?
It is important to be approachable and social so local people feel comfortable sharing not only the good stories but the difficult ones as well.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I love travelling and meeting new people, learning about new cultures, trading knowledge and experience about wildlife conservation which can have some useful outcomes. For example, lessons on human-wildlife conflict in India can be used in another country like Mongolia.
What can be challenging about your work?
Spending time in the field requires you to be away from your family and friends can be challenging especially in areas where there is no internet connection to keep in touch. The food in some countries can be a bit of a challenge especially when one is vegetarian! This is not a job that will make you big bucks, and especially in the beginning it can be challenging to make ends meet.
What is your fondest memory?
My fondest memories are from the African protected areas and the Brazilian Pantanal where I have had some incredible wildlife experiences.
Do you have any personal advice?
Be brave and keep an open mind. If you are passionate about something, it will be very fulfilling to succeed.
Volunteering, knowing several languages, attend guests lectures at near-by universities, join a local wildlife club, be inquisitive: these are several actions that can help you have a successful career as a wildlife photojournalist.