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Top 5 Influential Wildlife Professionals Of India

Shaaz Jung

Based out of Karnataka, Shaaz Jung is a renowned wildlife photographer. His artistic style of photography has caught a lot of eyeballs around the globe. He is known for his documentation of the Black Panther in the forests of Kabini, Karnataka. His love for wildlife was instilled in him by his parents. Being a photographer for over a decade he spent the last three years filming the black panther for a Nat Geo film. The long hours in the forest during the assignment enabled him to film and photograph the Black Panther extensively. On several occasions, he has spoken about his love for leopards and his inclination towards photographing them.

He is currently working on a draft for a new film and writing a couple of books, which he wishes to publish soon.

Shaaz also runs his family-owned resort, ‘The Bison’ in Kabini, along with running other wildlife lodges in South India and East Africa.

Sudhir Shivaram

One of the most known personalities in the Indian wildlife fraternity, he has been photographing the wild for over two decades now. He was an engineer by profession and had been working with companies such as HP and APC. He soon realised his love for wildlife photography and teaching and quit his job to become a full-time wildlife photographer.

He has won several awards over the years including, Sanctuary Asia’s wildlife photographer of the year, 2012 and Nat Geo’s Yellow Border award in 2013 for being the best cover for the magazine across 14 languages worldwide.

Sudhir has been teaching wildlife photography to hundreds of people over the years, through his courses and on-field workshops. He leads wildlife tours to several places in the country and abroad.

Rathika Ramasamy

With a degree in computer science and MBA and Rathika worked for several years as a software engineer before becoming a full-time wildlife photographer. She was conferred as one of the Top 20 Best Photographers of India in 2008, making her the only woman photographer to earn that distinction.

Her journey began in 2003 when she first visited Keoladeo Ghana Bird sanctuary. Post this she fell in love with birds and became a frequent visitor to Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Delhi, to study the behaviour of several birds. Thereafter, she took to wildlife photography as her professional interest and visited many national parks in India, Kenya, and Tanzania. She has been a role model for several budding female wildlife photographers in the country.

She also published her own book, ‘The Best of Wildlife Moments’ in 2014.

Varun Aditya

Varun is a young wildlife photographer and environmentalist, based out of Tamil Nadu. He has been enthralling his audience with his brilliant frames from the wild. His photography has earned him many accolades including the first prize at National Geographic Nature Photographer of the year in 2016.

In his own words, he has been a slow learner in school. It was with his parent’s support that he was able to pursue his love for nature and wildlife photography.

in 2013 won a small Nat Geo contest and won a trip to Panama with photographer Michael Melford. On the way back Melford asked him something regarding focus points in-camera, and Varun was shocked, that a legendary photographer was asking him for camera functionalities. Post this his parents took a loan to help him pursue his dreams.

There hasn’t been no looking back for him ever since.

Young Blood: Suyash Keshari

Suyash Keshari is a 26-year old Wildlife Presenter, Filmmaker & Conservationist. Suyash’s professional journey began in the summer of 2019, when he quit his Political Advocacy job in Washington D.C., USA, to follow his passion to be a full-time wildlife presenter – a dream he had since he was a child. Suyash spent his childhood in Central India where his deep affection for wildlife was ignited. His first series ‘Safari with Suyash-Season 1’ is inspired by this very region, its people and its animals. This show was showcased by WWF International on their platforms. Suyash is also an award-winning wildlife photographer. At the age of 19, he became one of the youngest people to win the Nature’s Best Photography Asia Award, for a photograph of a six-month-old tigress.

He is the pioneer of India’s First Virtual Safari Experience hosted on his own OTT Platform – Safari with Suyash – TV, which is the first of its kind in the world.

Along with filming and presenting he also leads wildlife tours to several destinations of the country, specialising in Central India.

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