Lessons from the Road

How I Became a Private Guide and Filmmaker

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Hear from James Suter as he shares his story

This is our second Lessons from the Road, which focusses on my story – and how I ended up doing what I do today. It’s a long one – but I wanted to share the detail.
I get this question so often especially from people who are wanting to pursue wildlife photography or filmmaking as a career. It’s always hard to give them a concise answer – because I think my journey has been unique – like everyone else’s is and makes more sense when you hear the whole story.
Every part of this journey has been a stepping stone – from my first Field Guide Course, to my first real Game Ranger job with Singita in the Greater Kruger National Park, to the first film our Black Bean team produced together, ‘From the Frontlines, Saving our Rhino’.
It took time for me to really immerse myself in this path I’ve chosen. I’ve found that failure is often part of finding success – you’ve got to take risks, trust your gut, do what you are passionate about and work with team members that are passionate about similar things to you.
It took time to build my confidence as both a Field Guide (Game Ranger) and as a Filmmaker. There was a lot that happened along the way, and it has not always been easy. For anyone that’s working hard and feeling as though they are not quite where they want to be – remember that these things take time, shortcuts are no good – work at it every day and grab opportunities.
I still have a long way to go and am constantly learning as I go – this never ends. You will also find you have to adapt and innovate as you go – as times change, as the world changes and this also teaches one so much.
I hope this answers a lot of questions around ‘my story’ and ‘how I got here’ for anyone wanting to pursue a similar field of work – feel free to reach out to me if you have any other questions.
Best,
James Suter
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