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A day in the life of a photographic guide in Namibia

July 21, 2023

By Jandré Germishuizen

Being a professional photographic guide is a beautiful career path to choose. Trading four office walls for some of the most beautiful destinations is one of many perks. As romantic as it seems, it is also a demanding job with long working hours.

So, what does a typical day in the life of a photographic guide look like? Jandre Germishuizen from GoGravel Photo Safaris lets us peek behind the scenes of such a day.

Morning Routine

As a photographic guide in Namibia, my day typically starts early, way before the sun rises over the horizon.

I usually wake up before dawn and prepare my equipment, snacks, and water for the day. Morning coffee is like liquid gold for our guides. We need it to survive! A day without coffee feels like a day without sunshine. Guests even joke that if they can’t quite pinpoint my exact location, they just need to follow the scent of freshly brewed coffee.

After a quick breakfast, my guests and I head out to our first game drive of the day, which is often the best opportunity to spot wildlife in action. We typically consider the direction of the sun when choosing the route to obtain the best lighting conditions for our photography.

Side note: As a wildlife photographer, I always make sure to use the right gear when I’m out in the field. One of my essential pieces of equipment is my clothing. Over the years, I’ve tried and tested various clothing brands, but for my Safari expedition, I always wear Craghoppers.

2. Wildlife Photography

While on our game drives, I guide my guests toward the most active wildlife areas. Namibia has various regions filled with diverse wildlife, including the Etosha National Park and Skeleton Coast, among others. Each location offers unique photography opportunities, and I always ensure to inform my guests about each area’s predominant species and how to photograph them best.

I also educate my guests on wildlife behavior and the best photography techniques to capture the planned shots. Namibia is unique as it offers subject matter that frames beautifully and offers an array of striking colors. It provides some of the most breathtaking landscape backdrops, and I often guide my guests toward capturing these backgrounds in shots to present an impressive composition.

One of the funniest things about being a photographic guide is seeing the transformation of the guests over the course of the tour. Initially, everyone is polite and formal, introducing themselves and keeping a respectful distance. By the end of the tour, however, the guests become like family. They’re cracking jokes, teasing one another, and generally having a great time. It’s a beautiful transformation to witness and be a part of.

“My goal is to ensure that my guests capture the best possible photographs of Namibian wildlife and nature throughout their expedition.”

3. Midday break

After a few hours of photographing, we take a break for lunch. It offers the chance to recharge our energy levels and hydrate, ensuring the rest of the day is productive. In between, we often use this period to explore a nearby area on foot while capturing some scenic shots of landscapes and indigenous plants.

4. Evening drives

Once we are recharged and refreshed, we head out for our evening game drives and sunset photography sessions. Evening hours offer some of the best lighting possible and provide excellent images for the classic golden hour shots. Experiencing the natural beauty of Namibia in the golden light of the sunset is truly a breathtaking sight.

After a long day filled with safari drives and wildlife photography, we head back to our lodgings, where we review and share our photos from the day. It offers a chance for guests and myself to discuss how to improve their photography and further learn from one another about the natural habitats and behaviors of the wildlife in Namibia.

Being a photographic guide in Namibia offers a fulfilling and exciting experience. Sharing the natural beauty with my guests and assisting them in capturing impressive photographs brings me a great sense of accomplishment. Knowing that the images we capture together will remain with my guests for a lifetime is one of my greatest joys in life.

All in all, being a photographic guide is a uniquely wonderful career that I’m proud to have pursued.

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