I have been a storyteller and media junkie all my life. I began my career as a news journalist covering crime, music and conservation at the age of 17 in New Zealand. I’d wanted to be a journalist since I was about seven years old.
I then spent several years working in the Arts (International Festival of the Arts, Royal New Zealand Ballet) as both a PR and a journalist before crossing into television where I worked as a PR, researcher and director. One of the highlights from my TV career was directing an episode about a jazz drummer for an award-winning arts show called The Living Room.
I moved to London in 2003 and worked in a variety of roles including a stint at BBC World where I managed Global PR for the channel’s airtime and sales division. From there I spent ten years in fashion magazines. First, as Head of PR for Hearst UK (Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Town & Country etc) and then at Net-A-Porter where I managed Global PR for the publishing division (Porter and The EDIT).
In 2016, I quit my career in fashion to pursue a passion in photography. It was a crazy move as I’d only been studying photography seriously for about a year. I’d planned to spend three months photographing wildlife in Africa before returning to London to start my own freelance business as a content creator, PR and photographer. I bought a DSLR, attended night courses, photographed wildlife at UK parks and sanctuaries and did what I could to perfect my craft.
Just before I resigned from Net-A-Porter, I was incredibly lucky to be invited to photograph wild elephants for conservation and research organisation, Save the Elephants (STE), at its remote research base in Samburu, Northern Kenya. STE was founded by zoologist Iain Douglas-Hamilton 27 years ago. It conducts pioneering research into the ecology and behaviour of wild elephants and uses the research to highlight the challenges affecting wild elephants and suggest solutions for a harmonious future between elephants and humans.
I immediately fell in love with the wild elephants, Samburu and STE. Little did I know that my experience there would change my life forever.
After my short but wonderful stint with STE, I travelled to Nambia where I worked as a volunteer for a couple of months, assisting with cheetah and hyena research projects in the remote Namib desert – all the while, still taking photos. I returned briefly to a wintery London, packed up my flat and then travelled to Rwanda for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph endangered mountain gorillas in the Virungas for a story on the 50th anniversary of the Dian Fossey Fund.
But it was Samburu and the wild elephants that truly captured my heart. I decided to return to Kenya and set up my own consultancy business as a photographer, communications consultant and visual storyteller. My clients now include Save the Elephants and the Elephant Crisis Fund amongst others and I am lucky to spend a lot of time in the field.
My work includes photographing wild elephant behaviour, creating films for social media, writing stories and press releases and handling international and local film crews. I’ve travelled to Zambia and Malawi to photograph conservation efforts there for the Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) and managed celebrity press trips to Samburu. My images and stories have been published around the world and I am fortunate to work with some of the most dedicated, passionate scientists, researchers and conservationists from Kenya and across the globe.
My work isn’t a job, it is an all-consuming passion and I feel like everything I’ve done in my past has led me to this point. I finally have a purpose, an all important mission which is to help organisations like Save the Elephants secure a future for wild elephants and protect the habitats where they live. I am honoured to do this work. It is quite literally a dream came true!