Expert Photographic Guide

Russell MacLaughlin

About Russell MacLaughlin, National Geographic Videographer and Photographer

Growing up in the bush in South Africa, Russell MacLaughlin has always had a passion for wildlife and has developed his enthusiasm into a successful career having worked as a videographer on a number of documentaries for both National Geographic and Animal Planet. Not only is he an exceptional videographer, his still images are also award-winning and have graced the covers of publications worldwide.

Of course, being South African, he has a love of all things Africa and has extensive knowledge of the continent’s landscapes, ecosystems and wildlife.  However, he has also travelled considerably in Asia and more recently the High Arctic! Despite having numerous close encounters with wildlife - and some dangerous occasions – Russ never takes these experiences for granted and appreciates every intimate moment he spends with wild animals.

Russ appreciates that patience is the most important thing when it comes to wildlife photography.

Russell’s Instagram @russ_wildlife has garnered a strong following and he uses this platform to not only portray his photography but also tackle conservation issues that are close to his heart. These conservation projects include the LetLionsLive and JoinTheHerd campaigns in association with Wild Aid.

Together, Russell and his wife Shannon Wild run a number of Into The Wild photography workshops to impart their technical knowledge and to help ignite the passion of wildlife photography in others. Last year they ran a photographic departure aboard our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer ship charter the M/S Freya, and will be returning to the Arctic archipelago this May (and again in August 2019) on a further photo safari. October will see them leading another trip dedicated to photography, when they travel to Madagascar on a 10-day expedition.

For the majority of Russell’s film work he uses RED Digital Cinema equipment and for stills uses a Canon camera body with a selection of Canon, Tamron and Sigma lenses. Russell also enjoys using new technologies to enhance his work such as drones and camera traps.

Both Russell and Shannon have also been featured as part of RED Collective, an initiative launched by RED Digital Camera that brings visionaries into focus. The husband-and-wife team have been recognised for their efforts in documenting rare and endangered animals across the globe, helping to promote conservation efforts and bring the fragility and beauty of the natural world to a worldwide audience. Together as "The Wilds", they bring their passion for nature and dedication to conservation to everything they do, and this is never more evident than when they serve as specialist leaders on our expeditions to Svalbard and Madagascar.

You can watch the full RED Collective video below, where Russell and Shannon discuss their process in capturing nature's intimate, unscripted moments.

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