Interview with Vishal Shah
Please introduce yourself, where are you based and where do you photograph wildlife?
I am Vishal Shah and am a media professional & a wildlife photographer based in Mumbai, India. Born in the city of dreams, I never had enough exposure to wildlife living in the town side of the city. Then came a time when I was mesmerized by the wonders that Mumbai holds within its garb. Leopards, Snakes, Birds, you name it, and they are found here. The famous wildlife photography strongholds in and around this city are the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and surroundings, Bhandup Pumping Station, TS Chanakya area, Green Valley Park, and the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. When I am not visiting a wildlife sanctuary out of town, I usually frequent these areas on weekends for fulfilling my wildlife photography requirements.
Did you have a goal in mind when you first got started photographing?
I have always been inspired by work done by the National Geographic Society and BBC in the field of wildlife. Documenting it has its own charm and ultimately helps in the conservation of the beautiful fauna that Mother Earth is blessed with. I wanted to do my part by capturing Indian Wildlife especially Birds and Tigers and showcasing them to the world. The hope is too eventually educating the larger half of civilization who have never been able to experience wildlife in nature. I even started my own Wildlife Conservation initiative on Facebook called Wild Mumbai. Our motto is “Conservation thru Social Media”.
What do you love most about your work as a wildlife photographer?
Travel and Conservation! – I get to visit places I would have never dreamt of. I also get to motivate the future generation through my photographs especially when I talk about them and my stories from the field. One of the best parts of this journey is the way I attain peace when I am in the field accompanied by the beautiful birds and animals and observe them live freely in the wild.
How do you think your style has evolved over the years?
There was a time when I used to just point and shoot wildlife when and as I saw them. Today I try to capture Birds and Tigers with the best possible angles and settings. Majorly I aim for portraits and at times try to make a story out of each picture especially through animal behavior.
How do you enrich your passion of wildlife photography?
I try to travel to newer places as much as possible to capture unseen wildlife. I also release my own Wildlife calendars each year using my best pictures of the year.