Calgary wildlife photographer
I am a Calgary wildlife photographer, with travels taking me from Alberta to Africa and back. Choosing a safari for the purpose of wildlife photography, and committing to travel all the way to Africa is not done lightly. Finding the right safari company with the ability to focus entirely on the photographic elements of it is even harder. As a woman travelling alone internationally, I want to be sure every detail in my destination is covered, my safety is always a priority, and that I’m getting what I want and expect out of the travel experience. It is for these reasons and more why I feel incredibly fortunate to have gone with the Wild-Eye group on the 2014 Big Cats and Tuskers safari in Kenya. When a person forks out the kind of money one must for a special travel experience that includes wildlife photography like a safari, most, including myself, expected to be given photographic opportunities of short encounters with animals, maybe a lucky shot here or there. What I did not expect to receive was the ability to constantly draw upon expert advice, be offered wonderful and creative composition suggestions, and taking away a wealth of learning opportunities- particularly addressing the wildlife behavior and patterns like I did from this safari. Our group’s leaders would have, many times, spotted something magnificent going on in nature, and thereby attracting other safari companies to pull up, take a token photo, and depart. By contrast, Wild-Eye guides would give our group the opportunity to remain and watch perhaps a hunt go down, or get that one shot of the leopard climbing up the tree, or watch an aggressive buffalo chase two lions off a mound. Patience, knowledge, technical expertise and precise timing were all brought to the safari table, day after day. Furthermore, if I spotted an opportunity myself, it was nothing for the vehicle to stop, back up, and facilitate the photo I wanted to take too, allowing us to have input into how our experience would unfold on this amazing itinerary.
Despite being very highly regarded photographic talents themselves, Wild-Eye guides are more focused on *you* getting the shot you want, than concerned about their own. However, it’s easy to see why it was such a fabulous photographic experience when you can observe the passion for the craft behind each skilled Wild-Eye professional. Whether it’s Gerry forever keeping his eyes peeled for killer lighting and unusual shot opportunities, Tim or one of his drivers meticulously noting bird species to populate the Kenyan online database, Penny offering beautiful composition ideas and angles, you are covered. Each one can also offer advice and knowledge on your gear, how to get the most out of your camera, to in turn get the most out of your results. Instead of coming home with several photos I was proud of, I am kind of blown away with the sheer volume of amazing shots I have as a wonderful souvenir of this trip. And as far as a safari being a one-time experience, Wild-Eye has so many diverse safari offerings and flexibility that it would be foolish not to return for another one, soon!! I had full confidence in Gerry and his team managing all the small details, rolling with the adversities and obstacles such travel can throw at you, and evolving and adapting my trip as we went, taking into account everyone’s input, ensuring that we had a magnificent stay. I came home with beautiful images, wonderful new friends, an experience that is hard to even articulate adequately, and a renewed love of Africa and its people. All I’ve been doing in Calgary and amongst my social media friends is talking up this amazing company, this amazing experience, and the skilled professionals behind it. Make an informed choice when growing your library of wildlife photography.
Link to my full African safari images Full Album