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From Lions to dung beetles: incredible photography from Botswana

By World Photography Organisation | 9 months ago

William Steel is a 26 year old wildlife and travel photographer. Born in South Africa, he has spent over twenty years living and now working in Botswana. "From a young age I was captivated by the wildlife that surrounded me. Raised in Botswana, I was able to explore and discover the beauty of untamed wilderness, and it sparked in me a love for nature." 

We featured a selection of William's work on the @worldphotoorg feed. Below, we find out a little more about the motivation and work behind his stunning portolfio. 


Hi William. Please introduce yourself and your photography to our audience 

My name is William Steel and I am a wildlife and travel photographer from Botswana, where I have spent over twenty years living and now working. After completing an MBA in the UK I decided that an office job wasn’t for me, and turned my hobby into a career.

For the last few years I have worked as a freelance photographer for the Natural History Film Unit, where my images are being used in numerous projects for the National Geographic.

I have been lucky enough to have my work published locally and internationally in numerous magazines and books, including the world renowned Remembering Wildlife series. In 2017 I became a proud Ambassador for Sigma lenses.

I am passionate about wildlife and conservation, and my love for nature encompasses my photographic work. My love for photography is only matched by my desire to travel and discover the beauty of our planets natural history.


Tell us about the series of images we featured. Do you have a favourite, and why? 

The series of images highlights my eclectic style of photography. From Lions to dung beetles, I constantly find myself chasing after images in the most unlikely places. I love telling a story, and as a result giving the viewer a world to get lost in. I want the audience to be both intrigued and curious, desiring to know more about the image and characters.

Photographs are taken in a fraction of a second, but if done right can capture an insight into the subject life. I hope this series of images does that.

Often what I love most in an image may not reflect the complexity or beauty of it. I love images for their back-story; how long I waited to get it, the excitement surrounding it, the imperfections, or simply the end result of a long thought out idea finally coming to fruition. My latest series of images of Oryx negotiating the orange dunes of Namibia really is a culmination all these aspects.


Why photography? What does the medium mean to you? 

I believe that photography is a tool to inspire and captivate, and through this I hope photographers can change the way we view and appreciate the natural world. What makes photography so appealing to me is it is a tool to capture existing beauty, and the art that surrounds us. It is a form of visual storytelling that anyone can see if they look closer at the lives that are happening all around us. I find the most interesting stories to tell are those of the world’s wildlife.   


Do you have a photographic philosophy? 

For me photography is about pushing the boundaries of creativity while enjoying the freedom that taking photographs gives me. Enjoying what you do is the key. Find your passion. The rest will follow.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is nature itself. Very seldom do I find myself more intrigued, captivated and inspired than when I am immersed in the wild. The creativity comes from observing it and losing myself in the lives of the subject.