April’s wildlife photographer of the month – Harry Blakey
- by 18 April 2023
Harry Blakey is a 28-year-old wildlife photographer from the UK, whose work we recently featured on our social media. Harry’s work caught our eyes as he was using a mixture of both photography and video, and all of it was visually stunning! So, we knew we had to reach out to Harry to ask him to do a takeover for us. You can see all of the images and videos in the blog below, as well as learning more about Harry and his experiences as a wildlife photographer.
Which wildlife do you like to photograph?
Obviously cheetah; they are probably my favourite big cat at sightings due to their playful and active nature. They are very inquisitive, particularly when in adolescence and I have often had them playing around the vehicles on game drives.
My first proper encounter with cheetah was in January 2021, in Naboisho conservancy of the Maasai Mara. A famous mother called Nashipae (meaning Happiness in Maa) was in the middle of raising two cubs. She has had a significantly difficult time, even by cheetah standards, with raising young in the Mara. Her story was very inspiring, with all the additional obstacles that she has overcome, in addition to what is already an incredibly treacherous life as a cheetah.
I recently (October-December 2022) spent 3 months on assignment with Governors Camp Collection, across 3 different locations in Kenya: Mugie Conservancy in Laikipia, Lake Naivasha and the Maasai Mara.
In December, had the pleasure of photographing a famous mother called Kweli in the Maasai Mara National Reserve with Governors Camp. She has successfully raised 3 cubs to adulthood and I had the most incredible morning photographing and observing them. They were in an incredibly playful mood and I had a good 30 minutes to myself with them, which is a huge bonus.
There was also a young male on Mugie Conservancy who I saw twice. My second interaction with him has produced some of my favourite cheetah portraits to date.
I also enjoy photographing elephants – you can never tire of seeing a massive bull coming towards you and photographing them head on. Photographing large herds is absolutely amazing and a real challenge. I have done this mostly in Tsavo in Kenya, where you get these huge herds, compared to that of smaller herds in the Maasai Mara, for example.
Leopards are an animal that has evaded me most of my photography career. I’ve had fleeting sightings but never in a situation to take decent photos. I guess that is why they are so special.
And, I love photographing lions. They probably carry my strongest latest imagery as I was very fortunate with sightings on my recent assignment. There is something incredibly humbling about being close to a fully grown adult as you are definitely not the boss in that situation.
Governors is an incredible organisation. A pioneer in the luxury safari space, they had one of the first camps in the Maasai Mara, as early as 1972. Importantly, they are heavily involved in numerous community and conservation projects in the Maasai Mara, Laikipia and the Rift Valley. One relevant to cheetah includes a close partnership with the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, a hugely important initiative in the Greater Mara Ecosystem that seeks to find the pivotal balance between wildlife and human coexistence, through the mediums of education and community management.
If you love Harry’s photography as much as we do, follow him on Instagram or Facebook, and check out his website.
11 May 2023A eulogy for Mischief
3 May 2023Meet the team: Bogdan Christescu, PhD
28 April 2023World Vet Day