By Megan Carstens
I have always been the creative type, forever searching for an outlet that was right for me which I could never find until I picked up my dad’s camera in the Kruger Park for the first time. I was 16 years old when that fiery passion ignited within me. At first the photos were to capture memories, but every time I picked up that camera, I felt different, exhilarated and utterly, purely happy.
I knew then, that it was something I wanted to pursue and that I had found what was meant for me.
Photography is not only about freezing a moment in time, to me, it is so much more. I use my photos to communicate to people and send a message. I am always trying to capture an animal’s true emotions and unique personality. They all have feelings just like us and are their own one-of-a-kind being, and I strive to bring this across in my photography.
Photography is also a means to create awareness and promote conservation in my eyes.
I want to make a difference in this world – I want that difference to be for the animals. My photographs are my starting point for doing just that. An image is worth a thousand words and can have a huge impact on a person. It’s a gateway, the first step, in creating awareness for an issue – getting people’s attention and drawing them in, which will allow you to explain and expand.
Awareness is so important because without it, people don’t even know that there is an actual problem, however, once aware, action can take place, which is vital for the survival of our wildlife around the globe.
Conservation is crucial to ensure the continuity of the natural world and all the species within it. Humans have always been nature’s worst enemy and conservation is the only real defence we have, to save what is left.
It is important because it is our only way to remedy what we have destroyed and taken from the wild, a way to fix our mistakes and make things somewhat right – or at least try to.
It is a topic I feel extremely strongly about. Just think about it, this planet survived for millions of years before we existed. It was healthy and thriving before we came along and ruined it. These animals were here long before we were, they kept this Earth alive and well and they have every right, if not even more than us, to be here. We need to make a change before it is too late.