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Shem Compion

Shem Compion is an adventurer, nature photographer, creative, author and photography hide builder.

Who’s passion is to share his love and experience of the natural world with other people.  His full time existence is wildlife and nature photography, one of the few remaining professionals in the field today.  Shem loves to celebrate creative photography by exploring every aspect of the natural world, making him one of the most diverse and celebrated natural history photographers, whose work has been awarded and published all over the world.  Born in Africa, Shem travels the world to share his stunning images, his knowledge and his deep natural history experience with other people.

After discovering his love of photography, Shem decided the best way to become a wildlife photographer was to live like one.  He sold his belongings, quit his work and for 7 months travelled up Africa in a Landrover exploring all the famous reserves to live his dream, namely to exist as a full time wildlife photographer, this adventurous trip to many remote and far off places is where he captured many of his first iconic images - ones that would propel his professional career forward. From those carefree days, he never looked back.

Ever the adventurer and explorer Shem still makes one trip a year to a wild and remote destination. Here he clears his mind and opens up his camera - often producing some of his best and most creative photographic work.

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In 2005 Shem formed C4 Photo Safaris to facilitate the safaris he ran. He has been leading and hosting private and scheduled photo safaris since then and C4 Photo Safaris has now grown into the largest specialist photo safari company in Africa.  He still personally hosts a number of photo workshops and photo tours each year in addition to guiding his private photo safaris.


Shem has always grounded his skills on being a naturalist and a photographer. These have been appreciated and used by the likes of the BBC Natural history Unit on the multi award winning BBC Planet Earth series.  He was involved on the Great Plains series showing lions hunting elephants in the Savuti, Botswana, of which you can see a short part of the video here.

Another example of his inherent naturalist knowledge is that Shem implemented and built the first dedicated underground photography hide in Africa from which to view animals, birds and elephants at eye level.  The experience was gleaned from years as a youngster observing birds from self-constructed hides in his back garden the hide has become a marvel throughout the photographic world, with clients travelling from every corner of the globe to capture subjects in the unique angles and perspectives that the hide allows the images taken speak of a vision not often seen by photographers today, not to mention the humbling experience of being within 1 meter of a very large elephant.  The hide is testament to Shem’s creative photographic skills combined with his deep passion for nature. This video shows more about the hide while this video shows how close elephants get to you.

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