Stories behind the shots: Prints for Wildlife fundraiser is back with $100USD images
Prints for Wildlife, the globally successful print sale fundraiser that has raised a whopping $1.75 million USD ($2.49 million AUD) for conservation, has returned for 2022.
Created by Dutch photographer Pie Aerts and Austrian photographer Marion Payr in 2020 as a response to the global pandemic which had a devastating effect on wildlife, conservation projects, tourism and communities across Africa, the first two editions of the print sales have raised enormous sums for conservation non-profit organisation African Parks.
The fundraiser sees wildlife photographers donating one of their photos to be sold for a limited time at just $100. So far, more than 15,000 wildlife prints have been sold, and for 2022 the fundraiser includes work by well-known photographers Beverley Joubert, Drew Doggett, Karim Illya, Ami Vitale, Joachim Schmeisser, Will Burrard-Lucas, Marsel van Oosten and Gaël Ruboneka Vande weghe, among others.
100 per cent of profits will go to African Parks, who currently manage 20 parks in 11 countries, including Kafue (Zambia), Akagera (Rwanda) and Liwonde (Malawi) National Parks, on behalf of African governments for the benefit of local communities and wildlife, the largest and most ecologically diverse portfolio of protected areas in Africa under rehabilitation by any one organisation.
“The incredible success of Prints for Wildlife came as a much-needed reminder that, even in times of crisis, humanity can come together to spread hope and do good for our planet,” says Marion Payr, co-founder of Prints for Wildlife.
The charity is aiming to look after 30 parks by 2030, with future plans to sign a number of new parks, including Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga National Parks in Angola and Boma and Badingilo National Parks in South Sudan. Every print sold will help with that vital work.
Prints start at $100USD ($145AUD) plus shipping, and are printed on 290gr Hahnemühle paper at 30x45cm.
You can see some of the prints, and the stories behind them, below.
“One hour into my afternoon game drive in Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya, I suddenly started to sense that change was in the air. Wind began to rock the grass, ghostly shapes came crowding up in the skies and all the wildlife started to run for cover while some real bad mama juju started to brew over our heads. Little did I know at that point that the rumbling sound of thunder behind us was announcing one of the wildest afternoons I ever experienced in Africa.
Then it hit us: torrential rains, hectic winds, flashes everywhere. But we kept pushing, deeper into the storm, finding all sorts of angles in a landscape that felt like another planet. For a brief moment it felt as if the entire world was ours, one giant playground.
After two hours, it suddenly stopped. For one minute the entire bush went to pure silence. Animals started to emerge from the thickets, including Masai giraffes, and on the horizon the warm glow of sunshine emerged. It was as if the sky was crying and laughing at the same time, and I reminded myself once again to always run into the rain, rather than away from it.”
“We had found this cheetah family before sunrise and spent some time with them already in the half light. As the sun crested the horizon, the family moved off towards some small grazers on a distant hillside.
The cubs, however, were not cooperating with their mother’s instruction and were unable to resist stopping on a fallen log to survey their surroundings. The mother, fortunately, was able to bring down a Thomson’s gazelle a few hours later. This image was captured in the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya where I was leading a photographic safari.”
“This photo was taken on a recent assignment in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. A massive silverback known as Kigoma, head of the Kwisanga troop, was sitting in the middle of the trail through the forest, picking insects from his fur and chewing on plants, while watching over his family.
I wanted to create a portrait that gave a sense of gorillas’ gentleness and soulfulness. Mountain gorillas are a conservation success story. Thanks to conservation efforts and cooperation between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, the three countries where mountain gorillas live, their numbers have risen gradually over the past 30 years.
The Virunga population, estimated to be down to 250 gorillas in the 1980s, has more than doubled to above 600. Gorillas have been relisted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’. As long as the animals and their habitats continue to be protected, hopefully mountain gorillas will continue to thrive.”
“I took this photo of plains zebra in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a dry savanna area in north-east Botswana, one of the largest salt pans in the world. Zebra herds travel for weeks, migrating down from the Okavango Delta to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. They move with the seasons and the rainfall, always in search of lush grazing and plentiful water.”
“My image of a polar bear was taken on the pack ice north off Spitsbergen Island, Norway. It was a very warm day along the archipelago with the highest temperature ever recorded of 23.0 °C (73.4 °F).
The bear was actively hunting, searching for seals on the broken pack ice. Bears are good swimmers, and this one decided to step on an ice floe next to our boat. I decided to take a close-up photo of the water slipping off the bear's fur.”