Usha Harish – The Journey of an Indian Female Wildlife Photographer

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Usha Harish Biography – Usha Harish is an Indian Wildlife Photographer based in Kenya, Africa. She began her professional career as a qualified Chartered Accountant and is now a Wildlife Photographer. It does sound surreal but here is all about how she landed up following her passion.

usha harish biography

Usha Harish was born on 8th May 1980 in Kerala, India. While most of her childhood days were spent in Delhi, she later moved to Coimbatore and calls it her hometown, where she was brought up and also completed her studies. After her marriage with Mr. Harish, she moved to Mumbai along with him. While she was in India, she worked as an internal auditor.

Usha Harish Biography

usha harish biography

In 2008, with a change in the location of her husband’s job from Mumbai to Nairobi, Africa, she also moved to Africa. From a new state to an entirely new continent, a lot of things changed in her life, right from culture to lifestyle to people. From hereon, she decided to take a break because settling down itself took a while. She also gave birth to her son Shashwat in Nairobi, Kenya. Then, to focus on his childhood, she decided to take a pause in her career for about 2 to 3 years. 

Usha Harish Biography

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The Inspiration to pursue Wildlife Photography for Usha Harish

usha harish biography

It all started in 2008 when she and her husband moved to Africa. That was the first time she visited the National Park in Africa as a tourist. It was a fascination for her to explore more about this new continent where they shifted and were planning to settle. Sometime after her son was born, she started going on safaris again clicking more pictures. These pictures were highly appreciated by her friends and family, after which, she started thinking of pursuing wildlife photography as a hobby. This was when she bought her first DSLR and started her journey of learning photography. She believes that it is her learning curve and her curiosity that has made a difference in what she is and does today. It was in 2012 that she seriously began following her passion for Wildlife Photography. Gradually, she invested more in equipment and kept building it up.

Wildlife Photography for Usha Harish

usha harish biography

For her, it was the nature that she fell in love with. She also believes that “Nature and animals exist together because no animal can survive without nature.” Talking more about how wildlife photography works, she said that it’s important for a photographer to understand the technical aspects, practice more, shoot often, learn more about the camera they’re using, understand the light, understand the animal’s behaviour, take on more experiences with the wildlife that is out there, and most of all, investing time and having patience.

Usha Harish Biography

usha harish biography

She also mentioned that there have been several times when she did not get good pictures and came back with nothing at all. But the base point is not to be restless and move on with an open mind that looks ahead for something fascinating.

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Usha Harish’s Career in Wildlife Photography

A career in wildlife photography is entirely different from other types of photography (like wedding, fashion photography, etc). The reason to mention this difference is to tell you that any person who pursues wildlife photography does not start earning right from the beginning itself. For Usha, she managed to gain experience and eventually began photo safaris. She taught people that took an interest in knowing more about nature and photography. Now, she curates bespoke wildlife photo safaris in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and India.

Usha Harish Biography

usha harish biography

As a woman, Usha Harish has faced several challenges. Not only in terms of taking a break from her career to grow her family but to somehow manage to build her home in another continent. It was all her curiosity and love for nature that kept her going in knowing more about the different cultures and people in Africa.

Usha Harish also believes that Acceptance plays a very major role in the life of females, especially Indians. She said that a female must accept whatever and wherever they are because only then can they enjoy. She believes that aspirations only start to come true once you leave the past behind and move on with what’s in front of you. Lastly, she suggests that for those who wish to have a career in wildlife photography, consistency to shoot and travel to wildlife destinations is a must. She suggests that you must take guidance from your mentors, work on the composition, and find your purpose.

Best experiences of Wildlife Photography for Usha Harish – Usha Harish Biography

Some of the best experiences in the life of Usha Harish as a wildlife photographer were:

Maasai Mara, Kenya:

  • A mother Cheetah with 7 tiny cheetah cubs.

usha harish biography

  • Two lionesses fighting intensely for food for a very long time.

usha harish biography

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda:

  • On the mountain gorilla trekking, a 7-day old baby gorilla was latched to her mother and sleeping.

A thing about Usha’s photography is that she captures the emotions of animals in their natural habitat. Along with spreading awareness about animal conservation, she also showcases the joy that exists for animals in their natural habitats. Although she loves everything in the wild, some of her favorites are giraffe, cheetahs, and mountain gorillas.

usha harish biography

Usha Harish Biography

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Wildlife Photography Equipment

Usha is an all-time Canon user. The equipment with which Usha began her hobby in Wildlife Photography was the Powershot SX10. She later used 60D and 6D and her current equipment kit includes:

  • Body: 1DX Mark ii, 5d Mark iv, 5d Mark iii
  • Lens: 500 mm IS ii lens, 70-200 mm IS lens, 100- 400 mm IS ii, 24-105 mm lens, 85mm, 50mm

Usha Harish for Conservation, Workshops, Mentoring and more

In October 2015, Usha participated in the Elephant conservation project where she commissioned her photographs for the Wildlife Direct, Kenya. Apart from this, she also conducted a Wildlife Photography Workshop that was hosted by Canon and Cameras Africa along-with PAK in March 2019.

Usha Harish Biography

usha harish biography

Then, in September 2019, she also presented the ‘Vanishing Wonders’ with 3 other artists. This was a Photography exhibition on the theme of recycling and conservation. Usha is also a judge in the ongoing Nature’s Treasure Photo contest conducted by Wildlife.

NewBig5: This project initiative started in April 2020. For her part in the project, Usha has been recognized as one of the top 100 leading wildlife photographers.

Usha Harish Biography


Usha is a renowned wildlife photographer. She was a finalist in the 2019 NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest. She was also awarded the ‘East African Wildlife Photographer of 2016’ by the East African Wild Life Society.


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One thought on “Usha Harish – The Journey of an Indian Female Wildlife Photographer

  • August 22, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Good day ! Adapting to change and taking up a challenging passion is well inscribed in this biography …. Inspiring journey in many ways …Could have added a question on mentors or favorite inspirational personalities in this field …✨


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