I’m Billy Clapham, a 23 year old nature photographer and filmmaker from rural Lincolnshire. I have always been in love with the natural world, inspired early on by the birds in my garden and seeing wildlife from around the world on TV. At university my passion only deepened further, as I specialised in evolution and animal behaviour, but also dabbling in ecology and conservation science. I also earned a Master’s degree, studying the behavioural ecology of promiscuity in cooperatively breeding birds. This included a month stint in the field, performing daily observations on pairs of long-tailed tits, which was easily the highlight of my time at university.
I first discovered an interest in nature photography when I started a local patch blog on a little wildlife forum and began shooting the flowers, bugs and landscapes of my village on my old-school camera phone. Since then I can barely look at anything nature-related without pointing a camera at it! Photography gave me an extra way to connect with nature and allows me to share what I love in a more meaningful way than I could before.
After graduating I decided to have a gap year and a see a bit of the world. For 5 months I traveled independently around 6 countries, spending half that time volunteering at a marine conservation/research NGO in the Philippines, where I also gained my PADI Dive Master- I have a split-personality interest in both birds and fish!
Natural History documentaries formed a huge part of how I gained an interest in nature and how I learned about it growing up. My obsession with the genre has staid with me since child hood and now I have decided to attempt to make it my career! So, back for one more year in education, I have just started an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking at the University of West England in collaboration with the BBC.
• Nikon D7100
• Nikon 70-300mm VR
• Nikon 10-24mm
• Nikon 18-55mm VR
• Previously: Fujifilm finepix S200EXR, Nikon D3200
Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust-http://www.wildsheffield.com/
While at university I was a voluntary photographer for the local wildlife trust, photographing events, nature reserves, wildlife and their conservation in action for print and online publicity.
I recently became a partner photographer with the up and coming marine conservation charity Sea-Changers, donating the use of my images and writing guest blogs. Sea-Changers is a registered charity working hard to address some of the threats the marine environment faces. Through innovative partnerships with marine businesses, they are raising thousands of pounds for marine conservation, and distribute the money raised to projects and charities around the UK where it can make the biggest difference to our seas and shores. Sea-Changers funds projects in Direct Marine Action, Education, Campaigning and Raising Awareness, and Species Protection and Research. Examples of projects and charities that have received funding include RSPB, Zoological Society of London, and British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Accolades and Features
- Society of Biology photographer of the year 2014– Published online by multiple media outlets and in print in the Daily Mirror and The Times.
- Image used by the Wildlife Trust for their “30 Day’s Wild” campaign
- Short-listed for Bird Photographer of the Year 2016 and featured in portfolio book.
- Various photos featured in: Lincolnshire Life magazine, BBC Wildlife magazine and Practical Fishkeeping magazine and on BBC Springwatch.