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Kalyani Lodhia - Visionary Explorer - A Freelance Photographer, Biologist, and Wildlife Filmmaker

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

In her own words:

“Hi! I'm Kalyani, a freelance photographer, biologist and wildlife filmmaker, born and raised in the city of Leicester, what felt like miles away from the countryside and the outdoors.

With no role-models or influences in my life to steer me to the natural world, it's a mystery to my whole family how I ended up loving the outdoors and everything in it, but somehow I did.

My love for nature fuelled me to pursue a BSc at the Royal Veterinary College where I studied a whole range of aspects of animal biology; from anatomy and physiology to behaviour and evolution. My research into kangaroo biomechanics and limb bone scaling was part of a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science in 2018. I then completed my MSc at Imperial College London, where I fell in love with science communication and story telling.

I first picked up a camera at 19 years old when my parents sent me to live in an ashram for 6 months (of course, as a teenager, I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect initially) and that's how I accidentally got into, and got hooked on, photography. I am self-taught and now specialise in travel and wildlife photography.

I love exploring the world, often travelling solo, and learning about different cultures beyond stereotypes. Having Indian heritage, I have a deep understanding of the need to look beyond imperialist and colonialist generalisations and I am able to truly connect with people around the world.

As a biologist, there's something so incredibly special about seeing the most breathtaking animals in their natural habitat and experiencing the sheer magnitude and magic of the world around us.

I have been fortunate enough to have been to the Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of people on Earth, the forests of Finland to photograph brown bears and the depths of the South African ocean, surrounded by thousands of hammerhead sharks.

My photography work has been featured by UNICEF and the BBC and I have had the opportunity to have worked for Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Light for the World. I have also had footage featured on BBC AutumnWatch and one of my photographs was selected for the long list of the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. I work full time as a freelancer on science and wildlife documentaries, where I am currently working as a researcher for the BBC's Natural History Unit on a landmark natural history series for National Geographic.”


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Show notes

  • Who is Kalyani

  • Her love for the outdoors and nature

  • Wanting to be a vet when she was younger

  • Being sent to India by her parents

  • Accidentally getting into photography

  • What did her daily life look like in the Ashram

  • The moment when it all came together for her and started to enjoy taking photos

  • Going back home and doing a 3-year science degree

  • Still unsure what she wanted to do

  • Getting her Master's at Imperial Science Media Production

  • Working in a restaurant

  • How did she get her first job in The Great British Bake Off

  • Starting out as a runner and what she does

  • Taking every opportunity that is given to her

  • How does she cope with the stress

  • Her trips to other countries and what was it like for her

  • Her main job as a wildlife filmmaker

  • Working on a big series for National Geographic

  • Interesting place in Africa called Mauritania

  • Doing a shoot for three and a half weeks with a small crew

  • Why she's less tired than many others and her exhaustion-coping advice

  • Biggest challenges she's faced and had to deal with

  • Kalyani's trip to Iceland and why it was one of the best wildlife moments for her

  • Taking a trip to Finland for her birthday

  • Diving in the South African ocean with the hammerhead sharks

  • Climate change and figuring out shoot dates

  • The reality of nature

  • Where to find more information about Kalyani

  • Top tips and advice


Social Media

Instagram: @kalyanilodhia

Twitter: @kalyanilodhia


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