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Meet Anthony Ochieng, director of Tony Wild

How did you develop an interest in birds?

Growing up, I had a chance to visit Nairobi National Park almost twice a month, which built a vivid memory of what is now my career. The passion for environmental conservation grew with every level of my education. Environmental conservation took centre stage in all aspects of my life.

Currently, I run Tony Wild a photo-led platform for sharing stories that enables relevant sharing of everything nature and wildlife. My vision is to nurture a generation that will influence sustainable natural resource management through photography, travel and art.

What inspired the project?

A newly published book, Top 50 Birding Sites in Kenya by Catherine Ngarachu, inspired the project. The author gives a detailed description of 50 key bird sites around Kenya. The information in each site include; the habitat, key species, birds and other wildlife, where the sites are located and how to get to the sites.  This has given us a great guide on areas to visit for photography and videography.

How did you nurture your interest in conservation photography? 

I  practised using the camera and learning through YouTube. I also attend networking sessions organised by Photographers’ Association of Kenya (PAK)

What is your typical day at work?

My day involves travelling and expedition in various sites to photograph birds. Later in the evening, I review the images and share them through the Facebook Page and get to learn more about the birds seen that day.

What has been your impact so far?

I have inspired a few young conservationists on how diverse the conservation career is. I love seeing my images in both local and international platforms.

What challenges have you faced and how do you overcome them?

Few Kenyans appreciate art and to make a living out of wildlife photography is not easy. You will be forced to do other jobs on the side to get some extra income. I balance my conservation projects by covering events such as weddings, portraits and fashion shoots. Travelling is also expensive and the best way is to use your networks and share new ideas to accommodate support from conservationists. 

What are your plans?

I am expected to visit 50 Top Birding sites in Kenya and do a Bird Photo Exhibition as a platform to promote public appreciation of birds and engagement of key stakeholders in bird conservation. Show proceeds will go towards buying bird guidebooks and binoculars to support various schools and community groups.

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