For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a deep connection with animals. My passion for documenting their lives and sharing their stories dates to when I was six years old. My family went on holiday to Bird Island, Seychelles – an island renowned for its work with sea turtles. One day we decided to help release hatchlings back into the sea. The conservationist working on the island, Robbie, asked everyone to wait while he went to collect the babies from the nest. Naturally, I kicked off my shoes and ran after him to join in on the experience. He picked me up, put me on his shoulders, and let me go with him. Upon returning, I remember telling my parents “I want to be a conservationist”. That day marked the start of my journey to be like Robbie.
How do you become a wildlife conservationist?
Growing up, I worked with a variety of beings across the animal kingdom, from wolves to dingoes to elephants – I wanted to see them all! This passion stuck with me throughout university, where I obtained a First-Class Honors degree in BSc Zoology (INT), with my research focusing on social learning and pack structure in African painted wolves (Lycaon pictus). Upon graduating, I headed to Scotland to work on a boat as a wildlife guide.
After a year of teaching myself all that I could about photography and filmmaking, I decided it was time to return to university to work toward my MA in Wildlife Filmmaking.
Currently, I am working full-time for Silverback Films on their Earthshot series, (set to broadcast October 3rd) and working alongside this as a freelancer creating my own visual content. Additionally, I am working on my own short film about an inspiring group of Muslim women paving the way to create a more diverse outdoors across the UK. Working in nature takes a lot of patience – at times I go hours upon hours outside, often covered in mud or animal feces. However, the moments and experiences with animals make everything worthwhile.
Spreading awareness about wildlife
I fell head over heels in love with wildlife photography from the moment I purchased my first camera. I quickly realised it was the perfect medium for me to share my love of biology with the world and discovered the power these visuals had in encouraging others to become involved with conservation.
My goal as a conservationist is to spread my love of nature and wildlife with others, while encouraging people to discover and explore a part of the world that speaks to them. I believe that in the western world, humans have become far too disconnected from nature, so much so that many of us don’t realise the damage caused by the way in which we have been living our lives. I hope that by sharing the stories of those across the world, we all gain further insight into this, and I can play a very small role in helping us all find a way to live more harmoniously.
How technology is helping save our planet
Technology has facilitated my ability to learn, especially throughout the pandemic. In this past year, I have been introduced to people across the world, that I otherwise may have never encountered. I have been able to listen to their unique stories, challenges and journeys, which in turn has prompted me to want to learn more and do better.
Additionally, without technology I would not be able to create and edit my content, enabling me to share insights with my followers on changes they can make. Working with Lenovo as one of their Innovators, I can work more efficiently and produce incredible content. In partnership with Lenovo, I look forward to furthering my skills as a filmmaker, content creator, and educator.