Interviewed by Feature Shoot

We have had an overwhelming response to the The Unsung Heroes. The printers/publishers in Germany forewarned that a coffee table book with a print run of 4,000 typically took up to 5 years to sell. The Unsung Heroes sold 4,500 copies in 4 months. It stunned us all. Whilst printed to the best specs in the world by an elite crew in Germany we really followed our gut and it became a special project straight from the heart.

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I haven’t had a chance to talk much about the making of the book, which was extraordinary, and so I’m grateful to FEATURE SHOOT to reaching out and showcasing my work, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and of course the book itself.

Click on the image below or THIS LINK to read the full article.

fS front page

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

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Did you witness any human/elephant bond that really stood out to you? If so, can you describe this friendship?

Quite often in Ithumba and Voi the orphan herd are joined by ex-orphans or wild elephant herds. The DSWT welcome this integration as it helps with the transition back into a wild life. On this particular shoot day in Ithumba we were joined by a completely wild herd. Full adult elephants make a large 7 year old elephant look like a baby again. The keepers intelligently distanced us humans to the other side of the orphan herd and together humans, orphans and wild elephants walked together that morning. We were all heading towards the 11am milk feed at the waterhole. This could have been potential mayhem with the volume of elephants; orphans and wild increasing the pace towards the keepers holding the milk bottles. One courageous keeper named Galagalo gently split the herd into wild and orphans and then guided the wild herd around the back entrance to the waterhole and the rest of us branched off towards the milk area. They were all then reunited after the milk feed at the waterhole. It was astonishing to witness this event.

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How much time did you spend at the nursery and Tsavo with the DSWT team? 

I spent many early mornings at the Nairobi Nursery. I’d arrive before sunrise and then wait for the keepers and elephants to wake up. I discovered that baby elephants, like humans, snore. It was a beautiful time to shoot. The elephants are just like children, they wake up at the crack of dawn then wait eagerly by their stockade doors for the keepers to wake up and let them out to play.

I traveled back and forth to their Tsavo reintegration units at Voi, Ithumba and Umani on trips that lasted between a week and 10 days at a time.

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For the full interview please READ HERE.

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