“You must always take a moment to look up from your screen and appreciate what’s in front of you,” Suyash Keshari says when asked about that one thing that in his view a wildlife photographer or filmmaker should always remember.
If there’s one word that can define wildlife presenter-photographer Suyash Keshari, it’s surely “precocious”. The 26-year-old already runs India’s first virtual safaris, is a vocal campaigner of conservation, and a rage among wildlife enthusiasts across generations. Over the past decade, he has been stalked by tigers in Central India, charged by elephants in South Africa, and followed by dolphins in Costa Rica, reads his website bio.
For someone to have achieved all this while still in their mid-twenties, Suyash has had a circuitous journey. Born in brought up in the central India and introduced to the world of wildlife by his late grandfather, he went on to win the Nature’s Best Photography Asia Award as a 19-year-old. An accolade by the Smithsonian Natural History Museum (top 10 finalists for wildlife and sustainability tourism) followed soon after, further proof that he was destined for this life. Soon, struggling with self-doubt, as most young people are wont to, he went to the U. S. to study political advocacy.
Late last year, we caught up with Suyash to know the story behind his return to wildlife filmmaking and photography and other subjects. As one of the experts of the three photography workshops at NGTI Golden Hour, Suyash brings in a fresh, untainted perspective on documenting wildlife.
“For me, photography is all about connecting people with nature by taking a unique and attractive frame and using that shot to tell a story about the behaviour, traits and conservation of the animal and its habitat,” Suyash tells us. His stunning shots of big cats throughout Bandhavgarh National Park—his de facto base—and the African Savannah are ample testimony of his love for wildlife.
He has a booming presence on social media, routinely conducts masterclasses and his virtual safari series is garnering acclaim. Suyash surely inspires both younger and older to him, but whose work does he constantly look up to? “My entire life I have looked up to wildlife presenters such as Steve Backshall, Sir David Attenborough and late Steve Irwin. Their style of presentation is raw, relatable and full of knowledge,” pat comes the reply.