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BSc Zoology, Arctic Guide and Nature Photographer

Graduating from, and leaving Swansea University was more difficult than moving there in the first place. From my perspective, living with the ocean on your doorstep, with the Gower peninsula just around the corner is a Biologists heaven. I got to work with one of the most innovative bioscience departments in the UK, who constantly encouraged me to challenge myself in the fields I was passionate about.

I had excellent supervisors during my 3 years in Swansea, who constantly tried their best to open doors for me. Whilst I was completing scientific fieldwork during various 2nd-year projects and my dissertation, I was encouraged to develop my skills as a photographer when any chance arose whilst in the field. The shared enthusiasm of my tutors pushed me to continually network. This led me to apply for a job role working as a guide in the Arctic circle, photographing the Aurora Borealis. I currently help people from all over the world observe and photograph the Northern Lights in Sweden. More recently, I have continued to use vital networking skills I learnt during my time in Swansea to start my own photographic tour company. The company helps wildlife enthusiasts and photographers to photograph some of Europe’s most elusive species of wildlife, including Brown Bears, Wolves and Wolverine. With plans to run trips to Svalbard, Russia and America in the near future.

I was able to develop certain key skills whilst living and studying in Swansea, which is helping me on a daily occurrence. Efficient communication when working as part of a team is something that takes time to refine. During the second and third-year field courses, I learnt about working amongst a broad selection of personalities, and how to encourage team members to get the most of out each other. Going out of my way to network, and being encouraged to do so at university, has led me to reach out to a number of professionals who I have learnt from. Not only has networking proved of key importance when looking for job opportunities, but also it has helped me to build a reputation for our young brand in the wildlife ecotourism market.

Travelling to the foothills of the Himalayas (Sikkim) in the second year, was the standout highlight of the entire year for me. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to work alongside Geographers and Biologists in one of the most biologically diverse environments in the world. It was here that my obsession with travelling and photography was reaffirmed. In terms of wildlife, dramatic landscapes and culture, the scientific and photographic opportunities were endless, it was heaven. In the third year, I was lucky enough to undertake my dissertation research on Skomer island, in Pembrokeshire. During 2 weeks of concentrated research, I was able to spend the evenings photographing one of the UK’s more incredible seabird colonies, an opportunity I am still hugely grateful for.

https://www.harryreadphotography.co.uk/