Jimmy Gets Bitten By the Photography Bug

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Meet Jimmy.

Wild Eye - Great Migration Photo Safari

If you have been in Kenya on a Wild Eye photo safari you probably know Jimmy.  He is one of our guides and has been with us from the very beginning.

Jimmy is good at finding animals, has an incredible radio voice and – like we recently found out – has an interest and natural eye for photography.

Like Tim, one of our new guides and who was featured in this blog post, Jimmy got stuck into doing some photography during the last few weeks in the Mara and the results have been amazing!

This was the image that made us all sit up and take notice.

Wild Eye photo safari

Pretty awesome don’t you think?

So here’s what happened.

One of our guests, Nancy, did two back to back photo safaris and on one afternoon in between the two trips she and Jimmy head out for an afternoon drive.   Nancy gave her second camera body to Jimmy and told him to basically fire at will.  As luck would have it all hell broke out at the peninsula crossing point and Nancy and Jimmy found themselves with a massive, dusty crossing all to themselves.

No sorry, I lie.

There were also two young lions at the crossing.

Here are two of the other images Jimmy got during that afternoon.

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

As we scrolled through Jimmy’s images on the camera we saw a lot of pretty awesome images.  Jimmy has been listening to us teach and share photography advise for almost 4 years and it was awesome to see that he was applying some of the basics and actually focus on composition.  Sure, he was shooting on Auto but the images are the important thing and he definitely had a knack for picking his shots.

Placement in the frame.  Implying movement by having the animals foot up in the air.  Jimmy was definitely listening to what we have been sharing with our guests.

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

As with Tim, seeing these guys getting involved in the photography side of things is immensely rewarding and the fact that this all came from their side makes it even more special.

Here are a few more of Jimmy’s wildlife images – unedited with only a slight crop – that I received from Nancy.

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

Wild Eye photo safari

Seems like Jimmy has a thing for cats don’t you think?

During the second half of our Great Migration safaris we encourage the guests to not forget to take pictures of the entire experience and also focus on people, the camp and other behind the scenes type images that will help them to remember their time with us in the Mara.

This message was not lost on Jimmy and, unbeknown to us, he continued to shoot images whenever he had a chance.

Wild Eye - Photographic Safaris

Wild Eye - Photographic Safaris

Wild Eye - Photographic Safaris

Wild Eye - Photographic Safaris

At every opportunity Jimmy had ‘his’ camera and was taking pictures along with the rest of us. At our Out of Africa breakfast, one of the very special moments during any of our Mara safaris, Jimmy was right there with Andrew as we set up the group shots.


Yip, that’s Jimmy on the floor getting, as he mentioned, a better angle.   You gotta just love it!

I had a good chuckle when I saw this image that Jimmy took of some of our Maasai staff members.

Wild Eye - Photographic Safaris

That’s Tim on the left hand side of the frame and the look of his face is just priceless!!  It seems that we might have a bit of friendly photographic rivalry coming up so watch this space as we develop these two guides into better photographers and even better guides!  Like I mentioned in my Tim post, I am going to make it my pet project to somehow get cameras into all our guides’ hands.  Apart from regular content from East Africa the idea of these guys truly enjoying what they do and having a creative outlet to show their passion really gets me excited.

A big thanks to Nancy for letting Jimmy use your camera during the safari.

Wild Eye - Great Migration Safari

Yes, that’s another one of Jimmy’s images.

I’m going to echo the ending of my Tim blog below as my feelings are exactly the same.

As with any safari, photographic or otherwise, your local guide plays an integral part in creating memorable experiences and we are extremely proud of Jimmy, Sammy, James and Tim who continue to go above and beyond to change the way people see East Africa.

Now, with the added interest in photography I am sure that the experience of being out in the field with our Wild Eye East Africa guides will be even better and a shared interest in photography and the wonders of nature will be the cornerstones on which we build lifelong memories.

There are no secrets when it comes to creating great wildlife images.

Passion, time out in the field, a little bit of learning and the occasional bit of luck can have anybody create striking images.  Stay tuned for more images from our guides in East Africa!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt 

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