Interview with creator of the project 'Remembering Wildlife' raising funds for Born Free Foundation.
Front Cover of books 'Remembering Elephants', (2016) and 'Remembering Rhinos' (2017) raises funds for conservation efforts through the The Born Free Foundation to projects in Africa.
I had been thinking about doing something in conservation for a while at that point because I felt like I’d been given so much happiness by wildlife and it was only right that I gave something back. But there was a particular trigger, which was seeing a poached elephant in Northern Kenya, which made me feel utterly compelled to launch this particular project. I was so upset and impotent I decided I had to find a way to channel that emotion into something positive and proactive. By that point I had quite a few wildlife photographer friends and I started asking around if any of them would be interested in donating images to a book on elephants and every single one said yes. My ambition was to create "the most beautiful book on elephants ever made” and then sell that to both raise awareness of the plight they are facing and funds to help tackle that. I had no idea quite how successful it would turn out to be - we ended up raising more than £135,000 for our charity partner The Born Free Foundation to spend on elephant protection projects. Because of that success, I felt there had to be a follow up and Remembering Rhinos was born. That launched at the end of October 2017 and in less than two months has overtaken funds raised by elephants, with a total that currently stands at £140,000 and rising.
Margot Raggett pictured photographing wildlife with her Nikon.
It has been quite a journey! My first ever safari, when I was working in marketing in London, was in the year 2000 and I became hooked after that, returning to Africa many times. But it wasn’t until 2010, when I met world-renown photographers Jonathan & Angie Scott, that I became drawn to wildlife photography itself. I became so inspired by their work that I set out to try and learn how to take pictures as beautiful as them. After an intensive few years of courses and self-teaching, I struck a deal with a camp in the Maasai Mara called Entim Camp, working with them as a resident photographer from time to time. Angie has remained a mentor to me throughout that time and her and Jonathan’s very strong views on conservation have influenced me greatly.