An exciting photo assignment made for an invitation to a wild and rocky adventure to Africa. The highlight of the trip was a three day safari in the Masai Mara region of Kenya. This short film touches on the multitude of manes, fangs, wings, horns and hoofs from this part of the journey. Accompanying the newlyweds Jen and Shawn Jenkins (Claire photographed their wedding one week prior, and continued with them for honeymoon coverage and portraits in Kenya, where Jen works as a teacher.) we saw the biggest, fastest, and most majestic megafauna the African continent has offered up in this epoch.
Expertly guided by our new friend Geoffrey at Chalkoko Birding and Wildlife Safaris, we witnessed zoology in a bewildering array of diversity - sometimes all on the same horizon: hundreds of thousands of pounds of hippos, crocodiles – and innumerable wildebeests, warthogs, zebras, gazelle, eland, and waterbuck, all galloping across the savannas during the annual migration across eastern Africa.
We held our breaths and squeezed the shutter when we came up close to the breathing and heaving of 'Big Five' of legends and lore. The Big Five was as coined by early European big-game hunters to the continent, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The African elephant, Black rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, Lion, and Leopard, all revealed themselves with little concern or threat from us little humans peering at them out the window of Geoffrey's safari van.
Throughout the assignment across Kenya, Claire photographed as we rolled over and through some of the rockiest roads and some even rockier situations. The wildest of life and unruliest of lands can help write wonderfully untamed stories. Claire captured the grand beginnings to Jen and Shawn's new adventures together as husband and wife. Claire was there to help them remember their tales for themselves and the friends and family back in the States - tales too unreal to think of them as true without the benefit of Claire's camera. At night in the safari camp, the local Maasai warriors who serve as sentries use bows and arrows to guard against leopards after dark. While escorting us to our room - the guide with his bow hung from his shoulder, and Claire with her camera on hers - I realized some shoot to kill, others shoot to save. Both are acts of preservation. Both require skill and reverence for their subjects. And both can tell mighty stories.
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