Biography

I wanted to be a photographer when I was 15, but my mother said I could always take it up later – so that was that for 30 years!

I ended up reading English at Oxford and working as a strategy consultant for a few years, both full-time and freelance, before 'retiring' at the age of 29! I then travelled round the world for seven years, doing four ski seasons and working on an internet start-up in San Francisco among other things, before finally returning to London in 2005. At that point, consulting work felt too stressful, so I decided to go 'quality of life'. I'm now a private tutor and wildlife photographer, both of which came about quite by chance.

I started tutoring in 2009 when I happened to read an article in the paper called 'Ten Ways to Beat the Recession', and I started taking pictures again in 2013 when I received a random email inviting me to go on safari and climb Mount Kenya. After investing in a decent camera, I've been a wildlife photographer ever since! I’ve taken pictures in 25 countries on all seven continents and won various awards including the Sunday Times/Audley Travel Big Shot competition.

As well as taking pictures myself, I'm also available as a photographer/guide for those interested in private safaris, and you can find details of all the trips I'm leading on the Events page.

My experience as a private tutor lets me be very patient and understanding with anyone who wants to get the best possible pictures on safari. On game drives, I'm always happy to answer questions, whether it’s about camera settings, the rules of composition or just identifying all the different species of wildlife. Back at the camp or lodge, I'll run various sessions to familiarise you with camera technique, provide feedback on your images, show you my ‘Shot of the Day’ and even invite you to take part in a photo competition. 

Artist statement

I want to produce the most beautiful and powerful images I can, and I won’t be satisfied until I've captured a few images I think are worth five stars. These are my absolute favourite shots, and I've only produced around 150 of them over the years, so these are the special ones, the ones I'm most proud of. They can show any subject – not just wildlife – but they must convey the magic of being there.

I started out taking 'portraits' of animals. That was all very well, and a lion may look beautiful sitting on the African savannah or a jaguar prowling through the Brazilian Pantanal, but there isn't much energy in those pictures. What I try to do now is to produce 'action shots' when the bird or animal is in motion. I still take portraits - and sometimes you don't have a choice! - but my ideal image is much more likely to be a cheetah chasing down an impala than a bird perched on a branch!

My favourite animals are the predators, and the wonder of the long lens is that it can fool people into thinking they are right up close and personal with a very dangerous beast. It’s that sense of excitement that I try to capture in my work, and I'm happy to use whatever technology I can find to do the job. I regularly rent an 800mm Nikon lens for close-up shots, and I've just bought a Nikon D850 camera body with a 45.7 megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot nine frames per second. All that, combined with the wonders of Lightroom, gives me the best possible platform for capturing the power and beauty of the animal kingdom.

Contact

If you’d like to rent or buy a print or hire me for a talk, a lesson, a photo shoot or a safari, please contact me on +44 7942 800921 or at nick@nickdalephotography.com.

You can find more details of my trips and exhibitions plus a few articles about photographic techniques on my Blog, but here are a few highlights:

Sales

Exhibitions

Competitions

Other