Short Bio

Anup Shah was born and brought up in Kenya where his childhood experiences formed the foundation
for a career in photography.

Anup’s innovative and arresting photographs of wild animals captured in their natural habitat has
established him as a unique presence in the genre of fine art wildlife photography. His work has become
synonymous with originality, intimacy, and detail and has been featured in many exhibitions, carried out
eight National Geographic assigned full-length stories, has had 14 books published, as well as winning
countless prestigious awards.

Anup’s striking images reflect his key aspiration, which is to be authentic. Always looking for new and
innovative ways in which to translate what he experiences - transcendent moments – and feels – joy
especially – into photographs, he works with a range of different cameras and places himself at the heart
of every situation.

Resume

Higher Education

 

After higher education in England and three non-photographic university degrees, he returned to Kenya and developed his interest in wildlife photography.

 

Publications – Magazines

 

He received the National Geographic call that most photographers dream of for his first assignment for the magazine in 2001. This was followed by seven more assignments and having nearly 100 features spread over every major magazine in the world.

 

By now Anup had got fascinated by fine art photography and wondered if he could hit the sweet spot between documentary photography and fine art photography.

 

Books

 

This journey began with publication of three photography driven books (The Circle of Life, African Odyssey and Serengeti Spy) for the New York art publisher, Abrams.

 

This was followed by Tales from Gombe, (published by The Natural History Museum), a photographic study of wild chimpanzees with his wife, Fiona Rogers.

 

His latest project published in book form, The Mara, published also by The Natural History Museum (London), is an attempt to have the viewer feel what is it like to be intimate with wild animals and thereby feel a primeval connection. This distinctive style of photography is characterized by an unusual perspective that serves to impart immediacy, intimacy, involvement, and inclusion. The viewer might as well be immersed in the private space of a wild animal, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, breathing the special air of the wild.

Anup's latest book with his wife, Fiona Rogers, is 'Face to Face with The Great Apes' published by teNeues. It has a German edition in addition to the English edition.

 

Awards

 

Anup was featured in The World’s Top Wildlife Photographers book (Rotovision 2004) and in Horzu magazine (February 2010) as one of the five best wildlife photographers in the world. He is also one of the 10 ‘Masters’ featured in the book Masters of Nature Photography (Natural History Museum September 2013).

 

Prizes

Grand Prize Winner, National Wildlife Federation Photography Competition, December 2023

Runner-up, Wildlife Category, Black & White Contest, Refocus Awards, February 2023

Winner, Wildlife category, The Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest, 2022

Highly Honoured, Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, 2021

Grand Prize Winner, The Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest, September 2021

Honourable Mention, Shatto Gallery International Photography Awards, November 2020

Grand Prize Winner, National Wildlife Federation Photography Competition, December 2019

Second Place, Wildlife Category, Malta International Photography Awards, August 2019

Grand Prize Winner, Wild, All About Photo, June 2019

Grand Prize Winner, The Greatest Maasai Mara Photography Competition, December 2018

Second Place, Mammals Category, National Wildlife Federation Photography competition, October 2018

Featured Artist, Artsy Shark August 2018

Third Place, Dodho Black and White Photographer of The Year, July 2018

Shortlisted, CEPIC Wildlife Prize June 2018

3rd Place, EISA Mastero Prize June 2018

Recommended Artist, COCA Prize June 2018 

Highly commended, RiseArt Prize 2018

Shortlisted, PhotoX 2018

The Monochrome Prize, Photo X 2017

Monovisions Grand Prize (series) 2017

Numerous prizes prior to 2017

Exhibitions

 

In the past, Anup has exhibited (solo) at venues such as Visa Pour L’Image and (group) The Natural History Museum, London. More recent exhibitions are:

Group. Animal Art Exhibition (Bils and Rye Gallery, York, UK) November 2018-February 2019

Group. The Fence (Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Calgary, Denver, Durham, Houston, Santa Fe, Sarasota) June-December 2018

Group. Siena International Photography Awards (Siena, Italy) September-October 2018

Group. Eye on The Tiger (Albert Hall, London) September-October 2018

Solo. Arezzo & Fotografica Biennal Festival (Arezzo, Italy) December 2018

Solo. Indian Photo Festival (Hyderabad, India) September 2018 

Solo. Kaunas Photo Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania)) September 2018

Solo. Serendipity Art festival (Goa, India) December 2017

Group. The Fence (Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Durham, Houston, Santa Fe) June-December 2017

Group. New Artist Fair (The Old Truman Brewery, London) September 2017

Group. Art Gemini PhotoX (The Green Rooms, London) June-July 2017

Solo. Konica-Minolta Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), October-November 2016

2-Person. Umbria World Festival (Foligno, Italy) October 2016

 

Anup now lives in United Kingdom.

 

www.anupshah.com


My Story

I was born and brought up in Kenya at a time when abundant wildlife was just outside the door so that it
was easy for the wild to imprint on the psyche of an impressionable mind. The wildlife was both exotic
and accessible in a setting of rolling plains with a sense of infinite space which was a therapy for a
wandering mind trapped in an antiquated classroom with boring teachers and disinterested fellow
students. During holidays, spending happy days driving on endless plains harboring charismatic wildlife
invoked a giddy sense of freedom. Moreover, when you are driving along without a care and you
unexpectedly come across a group of elephants just over the crest, you feel good for a long time and
thus it was with encounters with animals wild and free in an open home that stretched under an infinite
sky.

When I was 18, I went to study at The London School of Economics as per family expectations and
tradition. Armed with a doctorate, I was offered a post at a British university which, being young and
curious, I accepted. However, I got sucked into a very comfortable academic life without financial worries.
I had esoteric papers published as well as three academic books, all with critical impact.
Although I had academic success and security of lifetime tenure, I had lost faith in the system and that
meant spiritual questioning. I discovered that there was no meaning in comfort and security for me. At the
same time, I was fondly recalling childhood memories of magical moments experienced in the wild. So, in
search of purpose and meaning, I turned to wildlife photography.

Full time wildlife photography is risky in that income is highly uncertain. I came across several wildlife
photographers who had tried and failed. I was determined though, and stuck it out until I was able to
establish myself and reduce the volatility in income. This, I accomplished by doing editorial work for
magazines like Geo, Smithsonian, National Wildlife Federation, BBC Wildlife etc. It was an age in which
magazines paid well and then I got a call from National Geographic Magazine.
I carried out eight assignments for National Geographic Magazine, all of which were well received when
published. The magazine then had a readership of over 20 million and having stories published in it was
highly prestigious. Yet, I was not fulfilled.

There is a tension between success and joy, perhaps best articulated by winning the wrong game versus
finding joy in playing the right game. Editorial photography was the wrong game for me.

At about the same time, I worked on my first book with an arts book publisher in New York, Abrams. I
found pleasure in articulating the concept of the book. It was my own baby really. Thus light entered
through a crack in a closed door – I was beginning to express myself in photography.
So, the penny dropped. Documentary photography was not conducive to growth for someone like me
who wanted to express what he experienced and felt when with his subjects. My interpretation of the
natural world could be better expressed by the language of fine art photography and thus began my
search for my tastes within this medium.

The first step toward my take on fine art wildlife photography was to embrace black and white
photography since it dawned on me that the beauty of wild living is made up of light and shadow. In
addition, I realized that black and white photography interprets the mood of a place and the soul of an
animal with more intensity than color photography. Subsequently, I honed in my technique and amplified
my monochrome photography such that it uniquely expressed my feelings.

So, here I am: I get to live around moments of profound joy when in the field and then I get to express
that in my unique way. I hope that anyone who contemplates my work will experience that same sense of
awe and wonder, of transcendence.

 

Books and Reviews

This is the visual story of life in Maasai Mara, Kenya, wild home of African big game and one of the world's most famous wildlife reserves. Anup Shah's distinctive style of photography propels the reader into the middle of this evocative land and its resident animals, immediately and intimately.

Biography and CV

Short Bio

Anup Shah was born and brought up in Kenya where his childhood experiences formed the foundation
for a career in photography.

Anup’s innovative and arresting photographs of wild animals captured in their natural habitat has
established him as a unique presence in the genre of fine art wildlife photography. His work has become
synonymous with originality, intimacy, and detail and has been featured in many exhibitions, carried out
eight National Geographic assigned full-length stories, has had 14 books published, as well as winning
countless prestigious awards.

Anup’s striking images reflect his key aspiration, which is to be authentic. Always looking for new and
innovative ways in which to translate what he experiences - transcendent moments – and feels – joy
especially – into photographs, he works with a range of different cameras and places himself at the heart
of every situation.

Resume

Higher Education

 

After higher education in England and three non-photographic university degrees, he returned to Kenya and developed his interest in wildlife photography.

 

Publications – Magazines

 

He received the National Geographic call that most photographers dream of for his first assignment for the magazine in 2001. This was followed by seven more assignments and having nearly 100 features spread over every major magazine in the world.

 

By now Anup had got fascinated by fine art photography and wondered if he could hit the sweet spot between documentary photography and fine art photography.

 

Books

 

This journey began with publication of three photography driven books (The Circle of Life, African Odyssey and Serengeti Spy) for the New York art publisher, Abrams.

 

This was followed by Tales from Gombe, (published by The Natural History Museum), a photographic study of wild chimpanzees with his wife, Fiona Rogers.

 

His latest project published in book form, The Mara, published also by The Natural History Museum (London), is an attempt to have the viewer feel what is it like to be intimate with wild animals and thereby feel a primeval connection. This distinctive style of photography is characterized by an unusual perspective that serves to impart immediacy, intimacy, involvement, and inclusion. The viewer might as well be immersed in the private space of a wild animal, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, breathing the special air of the wild.

Anup's latest book with his wife, Fiona Rogers, is 'Face to Face with The Great Apes' published by teNeues. It has a German edition in addition to the English edition.

 

Awards

 

Anup was featured in The World’s Top Wildlife Photographers book (Rotovision 2004) and in Horzu magazine (February 2010) as one of the five best wildlife photographers in the world. He is also one of the 10 ‘Masters’ featured in the book Masters of Nature Photography (Natural History Museum September 2013).

 

Prizes

Grand Prize Winner, National Wildlife Federation Photography Competition, December 2023

Runner-up, Wildlife Category, Black & White Contest, Refocus Awards, February 2023

Winner, Wildlife category, The Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest, 2022

Highly Honoured, Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, 2021

Grand Prize Winner, The Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest, September 2021

Honourable Mention, Shatto Gallery International Photography Awards, November 2020

Grand Prize Winner, National Wildlife Federation Photography Competition, December 2019

Second Place, Wildlife Category, Malta International Photography Awards, August 2019

Grand Prize Winner, Wild, All About Photo, June 2019

Grand Prize Winner, The Greatest Maasai Mara Photography Competition, December 2018

Second Place, Mammals Category, National Wildlife Federation Photography competition, October 2018

Featured Artist, Artsy Shark August 2018

Third Place, Dodho Black and White Photographer of The Year, July 2018

Shortlisted, CEPIC Wildlife Prize June 2018

3rd Place, EISA Mastero Prize June 2018

Recommended Artist, COCA Prize June 2018 

Highly commended, RiseArt Prize 2018

Shortlisted, PhotoX 2018

The Monochrome Prize, Photo X 2017

Monovisions Grand Prize (series) 2017

Numerous prizes prior to 2017

Exhibitions

 

In the past, Anup has exhibited (solo) at venues such as Visa Pour L’Image and (group) The Natural History Museum, London. More recent exhibitions are:

Group. Animal Art Exhibition (Bils and Rye Gallery, York, UK) November 2018-February 2019

Group. The Fence (Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Calgary, Denver, Durham, Houston, Santa Fe, Sarasota) June-December 2018

Group. Siena International Photography Awards (Siena, Italy) September-October 2018

Group. Eye on The Tiger (Albert Hall, London) September-October 2018

Solo. Arezzo & Fotografica Biennal Festival (Arezzo, Italy) December 2018

Solo. Indian Photo Festival (Hyderabad, India) September 2018 

Solo. Kaunas Photo Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania)) September 2018

Solo. Serendipity Art festival (Goa, India) December 2017

Group. The Fence (Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Durham, Houston, Santa Fe) June-December 2017

Group. New Artist Fair (The Old Truman Brewery, London) September 2017

Group. Art Gemini PhotoX (The Green Rooms, London) June-July 2017

Solo. Konica-Minolta Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), October-November 2016

2-Person. Umbria World Festival (Foligno, Italy) October 2016

 

Anup now lives in United Kingdom.

 

www.anupshah.com


My Story

I was born and brought up in Kenya at a time when abundant wildlife was just outside the door so that it
was easy for the wild to imprint on the psyche of an impressionable mind. The wildlife was both exotic
and accessible in a setting of rolling plains with a sense of infinite space which was a therapy for a
wandering mind trapped in an antiquated classroom with boring teachers and disinterested fellow
students. During holidays, spending happy days driving on endless plains harboring charismatic wildlife
invoked a giddy sense of freedom. Moreover, when you are driving along without a care and you
unexpectedly come across a group of elephants just over the crest, you feel good for a long time and
thus it was with encounters with animals wild and free in an open home that stretched under an infinite
sky.

When I was 18, I went to study at The London School of Economics as per family expectations and
tradition. Armed with a doctorate, I was offered a post at a British university which, being young and
curious, I accepted. However, I got sucked into a very comfortable academic life without financial worries.
I had esoteric papers published as well as three academic books, all with critical impact.
Although I had academic success and security of lifetime tenure, I had lost faith in the system and that
meant spiritual questioning. I discovered that there was no meaning in comfort and security for me. At the
same time, I was fondly recalling childhood memories of magical moments experienced in the wild. So, in
search of purpose and meaning, I turned to wildlife photography.

Full time wildlife photography is risky in that income is highly uncertain. I came across several wildlife
photographers who had tried and failed. I was determined though, and stuck it out until I was able to
establish myself and reduce the volatility in income. This, I accomplished by doing editorial work for
magazines like Geo, Smithsonian, National Wildlife Federation, BBC Wildlife etc. It was an age in which
magazines paid well and then I got a call from National Geographic Magazine.
I carried out eight assignments for National Geographic Magazine, all of which were well received when
published. The magazine then had a readership of over 20 million and having stories published in it was
highly prestigious. Yet, I was not fulfilled.

There is a tension between success and joy, perhaps best articulated by winning the wrong game versus
finding joy in playing the right game. Editorial photography was the wrong game for me.

At about the same time, I worked on my first book with an arts book publisher in New York, Abrams. I
found pleasure in articulating the concept of the book. It was my own baby really. Thus light entered
through a crack in a closed door – I was beginning to express myself in photography.
So, the penny dropped. Documentary photography was not conducive to growth for someone like me
who wanted to express what he experienced and felt when with his subjects. My interpretation of the
natural world could be better expressed by the language of fine art photography and thus began my
search for my tastes within this medium.

The first step toward my take on fine art wildlife photography was to embrace black and white
photography since it dawned on me that the beauty of wild living is made up of light and shadow. In
addition, I realized that black and white photography interprets the mood of a place and the soul of an
animal with more intensity than color photography. Subsequently, I honed in my technique and amplified
my monochrome photography such that it uniquely expressed my feelings.

So, here I am: I get to live around moments of profound joy when in the field and then I get to express
that in my unique way. I hope that anyone who contemplates my work will experience that same sense of
awe and wonder, of transcendence.

 

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