I’m Billy Clapham, a nature photographer and filmmaker from rural Lincolnshire, currently working at the BBC Natural History Unit. Even from being tiny, a curiosity for the birds in my back garden and love for natural history television meant I was always obsessed with wildlife.
At university I studied Zoology, specialising in evolution and animal behaviour. I earned a Master’s degree, studying the behavioural ecology of promiscuity in cooperatively breeding birds. This included a month stint in the field, spying on pairs of long-tailed tits.
But after discovering an obsession for photography in my teens, I was drawn out of academia, and into the world of visual storytelling.
After graduating with a first from the University of Sheffield, I decided I needed to go and finally see some of the amazing stuff I had grown up watching on telly. For 5 months I travelled through Asia and Australia. I became much more accustomed with the underwater world, having begun learning in the UK, I completed my Dive Master in the Phillipines.
It was just a few hours after diving with mantas and sharks in Australia that I found out that I had been accepted onto the prestigious MA course at UWE in collaboration with the BBC. An MA in Wildlife Filmmaking. Moving to Bristol, I learned a ridiculous amount and poured my heart and soul into a film about a big brown bird. The curlew. I might have travelled the world, but I know where my heart lies. I was always a birder first!
After success with the film, I managed to grab my dream gig, and now work on the BBC Springwatch team as a researcher. Having a real impact on a series I grew up watching since I was 12 has meant an awful lot.
Accolades and Features
- My student film “Keeper of the Call” was shown as part of Springwatch 2019 has been screened at film festivals around the world
- 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.