Passionate wildlife photographers, unlike those in other branches such as fashion and portraits, face life away from civilization for most of their working life, uncertainty of results, and real danger to their persons as occupational hazards. So he is generally more than an artiste trying to find the best expression for his work and seeking recognition, fame and commercial success. These may come but there is a deeper purpose – love of wildlife, a desire for more knowledge of them, the compulsion to disseminate this knowledge and sometimes, even an obsessive commitment to conserving them and their homeland. Conservation does not happen simply because the wildlife enthusiast wants it – it needs huge support from the society and the photographer shoots images and mounts exhibitions to sell the concept and enlist converts to the cause.
So the photographer shoots and puts together a collection that would create a positive energy in favor of conservation. They should appeal to people’s better sense about how degrading the environment will come back to bite them; invoke love and compassion for other creatures big and small, beautiful and ugly; promote greater understanding that the world is not the patrimony of just humankind but the shared inheritance of all things – animate and inanimate.
The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been as true as in the case of animal stories – they transcend barriers of language and literacy, geography and politics, economics and commerce. Pictures are a potent tool that conservationists use to further their cause.