04 Aug Shannon Wild
Sapmok supports the stunning woman in conservation, and we have chosen these Goddesses Of Today to celebrate all their magnificent achievements. Shannon Wild is our first Goddess from this series. She is a driven wildlife photographer, entrepreneur and a true inspiration. You will learn a little more about her by reading her answers below.
1. What inspired you to become a photographer and travel the world?
My first love is animals and that’s been a constant since I can remember, so I always looked for ways to be involved and around animals including overseas volunteer programs as I became independent. I also have a creative side and loved drawing animals when I was younger. As I approached adulthood and deciding on a career path, I became a graphic designer while fulfilling my love for wildlife and animals in my personal time. As fate would have it and my job progressed I had access to a camera and quickly fell in love with photography so it was only a matter a time that I would combine my two passions and make it into a career since 2004.
2. What would you say to someone who has never been out of their home country?
Do it, take that leap and leave fear of the unknown behind. It will nourish your soul and expand your mind. This incredible world we have is vast and fulfilling and there’s something truly humbling about experiencing how others live and perceive the world.
3. How many countries have you travelled, and which one was your favorite? Why?
I’ve lost count of how many countries I’ve travelled to, but a lot. I’ve been to some truly magical places so choosing one is almost impossible because I love each place for different reasons. Madagascar definitely stands out, given its incredible diversity of endemic species including lemur, fossa and some really fascinating reptiles. I’m a huge reptile fan and that’s also why filming Komodo dragons in Indonesia is also a memorable highlight.
4. Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met on your travels?
I’ve met a lot of really cool and inspiring people all over the world, many who are doing much needed work for wildlife and habitat protection. But I think I married the most interesting person I’ve met, fellow wildlife cinematographer, Russell Maclaughlin. Even after a decade, he continues to inspire and motivate me.
5. What would you say to other woman to inspire them to become a wildlife photographer?
If you’re truly passionate about becoming a wildlife photographer or filmmaker then you must persist. We need more female representation in this very male dominated industry. I didn’t have a female role model to look up to and see that this was even a possibility and I’m so grateful I discovered it. It’s a challenging and incredibly fulfilling career. I really hope to show aspiring female photographers and filmmakers that with commitment and hard work it is absolutely possible.
6. What is your honest opinion about your Sapmoks?
I’m a boot person, especially for work and travel. I would definitely love to see more options for those in future. Especially a calf high boot utilising a dark brown non-animal leather. That would be my dream shoe! I want coverage of my ankles for bush work and especially because I’m kneeling or laying on the ground to shoot low angles. Plus, calf boots look AMAZING. 🙂
If you enjoyed this interview, stay tuned for the other Goddesses Of Today posts!
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Written and interviewed by Annabelle Cloete