FIRST, LAST & NEXT


Wildlife photographer Shannon Wild has shot around the world – surviving a cheetah attack in the process

Nikon camera


First?

A Nikon D70 in the early 2000s, and I started out taking photos of my pet lizard, Raja. That started my love of animal photography, which blossomed into my career for almost two
decades now.

Last?

I recently shot a campaign for Nikon using the incredible
Z 9 and it’s convinced me to move over to mirrorless. Its responsiveness and new tracking features are mind blowing and the clarity is almost unbelievable.

Next?

Well, it’s the Z 9 for now, as that’s the newest and best.

Commission


First?

It’s really pushing my memory here, but I believe I had a Nikon D200 by the time I had my first commissioned shoot, which was likely for a reptile magazine.

Last?

My most recent commission was for my other business, Wild In Africa – Bracelets for Wildlife, photographing for our new charity collaboration, which involves documenting researchers in the field.

Next?

I had a shoot lined up in the Galapagos islands before the pandemic hit. I dream of photographing the marine iguanas, lava lizards and pink iguanas. It really is a reptile lover’s dream destination.

Location shoot


First?

I don’t remember which was my first commission involving significant travel but I do remember my favourite, which was to Komodo island in Indonesia. I was filming, using Nikon glass and
also taking stills using my Nikon D850.

Last?

I shot the Nikon Z 9 campaign at several different locations within South Africa, where I’m based. One was in KwaZulu-Natal and it was absolutely magical. I was able to document a lot of wildlife there including some young cheetah cubs.

Next?

I have shoots for several networks coming up in South Africa, India, Kenya and Zambia, so there are exciting times ahead.

Photo credit


First?

I think the first time I saw my name published in a magazine was for a commissioned shoot about koalas, back in my home country of Australia.

Last?

Most recently would be an eight-page feature of my work and an interview in AFRICAN magazine.

Next?

I have a few books that feature my work coming out, so I’m really looking forward to seeing these come to fruition. Books take a long time, so they’ve been in the works for a while.

Lucky break


First?

I collapsed at the beginning of a shoot in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. I had to be medevacked out and was bedridden for six months. But while recovering I founded Wild In Africa – Bracelets for Wildlife, my charity jewellery line. So good came out of the adversity.

Last?

I recently photographed a pangolin, an endangered and very shy animal that is also mostly nocturnal. It was already such a rare privilege. As the light rapidly faded I did my best, managed to get the shot and it disappeared into the evening.

Next?

I’m looking forward to returning to India to a region I lived in for 18
months while shooting a documentary for National Geographic. I can’t say what the subject is, but it’s a very charismatic animal.

Problem solved


First?

When I started, I did a lot
of studio work with animals and had a limited area properly lit that I needed the animal to stay within. Working out the technicalities of lighting really allowed me to capture some special images.

Last?

There are shots I captured on the Z 9 shoot that would not have been possible with my older gear, like kingfishers diving into the water to hunt. The focus tracking and responsiveness of the Z 9 allowed me to capture some truly magical images.

Next?

I’ve been mauled by a cheetah, broken my back in remote jungle and worked myself to exhaustion while dealing with chronic health issues including a heart condition. But now I’m very focused on allowing my body the time it needs to recover.