kim mcleod wildlife photographer living her dream

Kim Mcleod is the resident Photographer at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game reserve.

We chat with Kim about her transition from Corporate life to Wildlife Photographer, and why she believes it’s important to live her passion.

Kim inspires us to live our dreams!

At the tender age of 36 I first started studying photography.

My life in the corporate world had definitely served a purpose but it did not make my heart happy, so I took a huge leap of faith and followed my passion and dived into the world of photography!

It wasn’t an easy transition, and I had to think out the box, look for opportunities and make it happen – failure never crossed my mind, it just wasn’t an option.

For the first year I trailed, a well-known wedding photographer while I set my business up.
I learnt about social media, pricing, websites, learned how to do wedding photography, where to be, what to do and how to creatively capture the mood of the people – the celebration, capturing human emotion.

I was finally doing what I loved and loved doing it!
Interacting with people, capturing moments in time and being able to travel and see incredible places!

I was drawn to photography because for me it was more than just capturing an image…it was a means to instantly take you back to a moment…and how you felt at that moment.
Without photography that moment would be lost in time, but I was giving people the means to hang on to that emotion and relive it for years to come!

Early on I realized I had to branch out and do other kinds of photography to create a balance and a steady income.
I started managing FB pages, doing portrait photography, new born photography and boudoir photography.

I loved the boudoir genre – it gave me the opportunity to show women how beautiful they really are and give them their confidence back.
It often brought a tear to my eye when I handed the photographs over to my clients, seeing their reaction was priceless.

Later I started contracting to an event photography company based in JHB, ZOOM photography.
This was one of the most interesting periods of my journey and exposed me to thrilling events….
I truly loved doing what I was doing. I met and photographed more events than I can remember! (the details are all on my web site)

10 years ago, I decided to start giving photography courses.
I realized that like myself, so many people have a passion for photography, but are daunted by the technical aspects.
I created the courses taking away as much of the technical side as possible, focusing rather on the creative side, allowing people to get lost in the passion of their photography, letting others see the world through their eyes.

It enables them to share their unique life story and gives them a creative outlet which we all so desperately need. In 2015 I left the big city life and joined Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game reserve in heart of Zululand.
On my first visit I fell in love with the magic of Thula Thula!
Three weeks later Francoise Malby Anthony asked me to join the team and with out a second thought I jumped at the opportunity.

Six years later, I now consider this my home and family.
I am extraordinarily privileged and grateful to live this incredible life documenting the famous herd of elephants on Thula Thula, the precious rhinos and amazing wildlife.

I now run regular Wildlife Photography courses from the Thula Thula Volunteers Academy. (see details below article) and my time at Thula Thula has led to my being privileged enough to have some of my photos used for the book covers.
  • Francoise Malby Anthony’s best seller “An Elephant in My Kitchen”
  • The cover of “The Elephant Whisperer” adapted for young readers version
  • The Silent Giants of Southern Africa by Bob Preller (6th edition)
Over the years I have travelled through many parts of Southern Africa and share these experiences across social media.
In 2022 I will be running 2 courses of the Photography Course at Koro Island Camp in Botswana. (See below article for details)

Following my heart and doing what I am passionate about allowed me to live an extraordinary life..And isn’t that what we all want and deserve?
To live a life that is fulfilling and that we are constantly grateful for.

My advice to anyone is to follow their dream. Don’t live with the regret of never having tried.

To find out more about Kim, hiring her as a photographer and her courses check out her web site:

Or simply click on the image of Kim at the top of the article.

The Wildlife Photography courses run through Thula Thula Volunteers Academy will be run on the following dates in 2022:

  • January 24 – 29
  • April 24 – 29
  • May 24 – 29
  • July 24 – 29
  • September 24 – 29
  • November 24 – 29

For more info on these courses go to:

For information on the the Photography Course at Koro Island Camp in Botswana.

Course dates:

  • 18 – 23 February
  • 17 – 22 June 

For more information on the incredible Thula Thula Exclusive Private game Reserve.

Social Media:

Facebook: Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve

Instagram:  thulthulareserve

Twiter: Thula Thula

Linkedin: Thula Thula Private Game Reserve

YouTube: Thula Thula