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Conservation, community and the art of photography

Koru Camp was delighted to host Wild Shots Outreach for their 5-day photography course in December 2023. Alongside 8 eager students, the team conducted daily lessons in the mechanics and modes of a camera as well as the use of light, framing, depth of field and shutter speed to create the perfect picture. Each morning and afternoon, they ventured out on game drives with guide Joel to put their skills into practice and, thanks to Wild Shots leaders Rifumo and Bright, the students could analyse their best shots and learn a little about what it takes to become a professional photographer.

Although photography lies at the heart of their work, Wild Shots Outreach is also an award-winning non-profit organisation that aims to engage young adults from disadvantaged communities in nature. The workshops serve as a way to upskill and empower these individuals, improving their self-esteem and creativity whilst developing a deep appreciation for wildlife and conservation. With that in mind, Koru Camp proved to be the perfect location!

From mating lions to curious leopards, the sightings during the five-day course couldn’t have been better. One participant, Selicious, said “I’ve learned so much – that as a photographer you take a picture to tell a story, not just for the photo. My favourite part has been the game drives. They are lots of fun and we learned all about animals. Seeing the black mamba was amazing as I love snakes. This experience has inspired me to become a field guide.”

Another student, Mikateko, continued “I knew nothing about photography 5 days ago. Now, I know how to hold a camera, its body parts, about freeze motion and blur, the rule of thirds – lots! I have loved all of it.”

As past students of Wild Shots Outreach themselves, both Rifumo and Bright are testament to the life-changing capabilities of this programme. Since 2015, some of their most talented alumni have received additional support from the organisation in fields as varied as catering, film-making and guiding – including our very own intern and Wild Shots Outreach graduate, Melody. Rifumo summarised their work perfectly when he explained “Wild Shots’ objective is to teach conservation through photography. But it is also a vehicle to show young people the different opportunities in life, whether they are in school or unemployed”.

It has been an honour to partner with Wild Shots Outreach and help inspire young adults into careers that they might never have thought possible! A big thank you to Rifumo, Bright and the WSO team for the amazing opportunities you are bringing to our local communities.

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