Shaun Mousley was born in Kenya and grew up on a 24,000 acre tea farm in Kericho, Western Kenya. With neighbors far and few between he spent most of his time fly fishing the rivers and dams, going on long treks through the Mao forest satisfying his love for the outdoors. The Maasai Mara being on his doorstep, many a weekend was spent camping there with the family which is where the love of the bush was born. By the age of five he spoke more Swahili then English. Shaun went to prep school in Kenya then onto senior school in the UK. He took 2 years off after school which gave him the chance to travel Africa and work as a white water rafting guide in Kenya and Uganda. During these years Shaun discovered his need and love for new and stimulating adventures and being immersed in different cultures with people sharing their unique life stories. It was then that he chose to pursue the industry of hospitality where he completed his degree in South Africa. Whilst in South Africa Shaun was able to work and gain experience in game reserves close to Zulu Land, Kwa Zulu Natal. From then onwards many exciting opportunities arose where he then moved to the oceanside of Seychelles to fulfill one of his other passions and love for the sea. Finally, the longing of African soils under his feet lead Shaun back home to Kenya, where he was able to combine his hospitality experience and love for the bush. For four years he managed two of Kenya’s top luxury lodges in the Maasai Mara and the Chyulu Hills/Amboseli ecosystem. During these years he hosted guests from far and wide, guiding them on bush walks throughout these big game countries. With cannon cameras available in the lodges, Shaun would teach guests on the basics all the way to more detailed info on the cameras and all round photography. Finally, Shaun decided to move on and focus all his energy doing what he loves. He is now a full time private guide and photographer, taking guests on Safari throughout Africa.
Shaun has had years of photography experience in the bush where his main passion lies in wild life photography. During the last four years as a lodge manager he has tutored guests of all levels. Time spent down at the waterhole, out in the field and searching for the best sites for night photography.
Recently Shaun has had his pictures published in the Why I Love Kenya magazines, a magazine started by the Kenya Tourism Board to be sent around the world to promote tourism. All recent issues have a few of Shaun’s images. Shaun has seen three images make it to the final rounds in the Africa Geographic photographer of the year awards.
I would say my favorite subjects are elephants, such beautiful and graceful creatures it is hard not to capture a stunning image. If you find a relaxed herd of elephants or an interesting old bull you can sit with them/him for ours and take many different shots. They are generally slow moving so this helps to explain to guests about composition, rule of thirds and so on as well as practicing different settings on the same subject. I love to get guests out of the vehicle and lie on the ground to take some low level shots which really capture the size and beauty of these animals. With elephants you can focus in on the eyes, tusks and trunk or capture the full elephant with stunning African sceneries in the background.
I am also very passionate about night photography and taking long exposure shots of the milk way. We are blessed with the skies in Africa, especially when you get in to the bush you kind find areas with no light pollution. I like to spend the evenings looking for different trees, rock formations and even animals to put in the foreground of my nightscape images.
I love the idea of Wild Studio, people coming from all around the world who are interested in photography, some experienced and looking to increase their portfolio to those who want to learn a little more about photography. What better place for photography than capturing wild animals in their natural environments. Combining the love of nature with the love for photography and capturing memories that can be passed down for generations.
Many people have dreamt of coming to Africa from the time they were children, when their teacher shows them pictures of animals and birds, landscapes and the great lakes. Some would have even said, “I want to take an image like that one day”. I was lucky enough to have grown up in Kenya and have always had a passion for photography which has taken me to many places in Africa. I would like guests to experience what I have experienced and to learn how I would capture certain subjects and combine this with their particular style. With wildlife photography it is not all about the best camera gear or getting too complicated with the settings, it is about where to place the vehicle in relation the wildlife, light, backdrop etc. etc. this is something I have learnt over time. You really need to read the wildlife and predict their next movements, what time of day they are most active, when you have pushed their boundaries and need to move away. It is not as simple as just setting up a tripod or sitting in a hide waiting for them to come to you, this is what I love about wildlife photography, you really need to be at one with nature.