The Maun-based photographer, Edwin Morolongof Pero Photography, wants to take his photography to another level by venturing into wildlife photography.
Morolong – a self-taught photographer – used to specialise on shooting weddings and other corporate events.
He, however, saidmoving to Maun has motivated him to change his mind and focus on wildlife photography. “I came here in 2016 and I was inspired by some landscapes and pictures from this place,” he said, adding that he shoots Botswana people, cultural activities, landscapes and landmarks.
Morolong is inspired by the need to tell Botswana story through photography as well as to help promote local tourism among the locals. He also said that the story of Botswana wildlife has been told by foreigners since independence.
All documentaries and pictures onthe local television and papers are not captured by Batswana, he regretted, stating that local television’s documentaries are from other countries while Botswana has beauty of wildlife which needs to be captured by Batswana.
Morolong said wildlife photography in Botswana has an untapped potential that can keep a lot of Batswana engaged.
He said the vocation however required expensive photography equipment, with accessing wildlife itself difficult as it requires getting a permission to go into a national park or game reserve. But despite these challenges, he is committed to grow in the profession.
Morolong said the Government’s decision to suspend issuance of environmental Research, Film and photography permit will allow Batswana to benefit from the industry. He, however, stated that although the government has suspended the filming permit nothing has been said of whether Batswana will be given preference on the matter.
Morolong also revealed that he has been invited for the Wildlife Photography Symposium at Cape Town, South Africa in December this year which he sees as a oncelife time opportunity for him to share his skills to other people. He will also be presenting on Botswana wildlife at the symposium.
He however is still looking for a sponsor to help fund the trip. Morolong has knocked at the doors of Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) to seek for sponsorship but nothing positive has come out.
Morolong stated that his most remarkable career highlight was covering the Race for Rhinos in 2016 in Makgadikgadi, Lekhubu/Kubu Island for Gaing’O Community Trust, where he rubbed shoulders with international aviation photographers.He has also done a sterling job for the ‘Girls in Aviation Commemoration Day’ in Maun and is working on imparting his photographic skills and experiences with other aspiring photographers.
Being a professional photographer is not easy in Botswana as locals still take photographers for granted. He further indicated that photography is profession like many and people can make a living from it.