Photographer / Writer / Editor

Mana Meadows


THANKS FOR VISITING

About me: I’m a writer, photographer and editor based in Harare, Zimbabwe where I live with my husband Matt, our two treasured mongrels, and our newly adopted cat Shungu – who now rules the roost. While Harare is our base, we’re usually happiest when on the road – preferably in a National Park around a camp fire – or hitting a dusty road in time for first light.

“I’m motivated by focusing on stories about the protection of wilderness areas, empowering the communities who live alongside them, and local small businesses who promote purchase-with-purpose ideals and uplift their own communities.”

 

 


PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Background

Since first getting serious about photography fifteen years ago, photojournalism has opened up vibrant new worlds for me, and most importantly, it has allowed me to stay close to the subject matters I care about.

I cut my teeth on an assorted fodder of written news and human interest stories for a weekly newspaper in my university town of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, where subject matter could range from a rabies outbreak to Obie Oberholzer’s latest book. After that I discovered my love of editing, first in Tanzania where I edited both a travel and local in-flight magazine, and then in my home country Zimbabwe, where I edited a lifestyle magazine called Inspiration Avenue. In between I have freelanced in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe and most recently, I wrote and co-edited a book on Desert & Delta Safaris, one of Botswana’s oldest and most progressive safari companies.

Conservation Storytelling: Together with Matt, I am a co-founder of Conservation Storytelling – a company and platform solely focused on telling conservation stories in Africa. This was largely inspired by the fact that Matt and I often work together as we are both storytellers with very similar interests – these mostly intersect in the conservation & independent travel realms. Matt is a videographer with a background in sustainable livelihood restoration, while I focus on stills, writing and interviewing.

Focus & Approach  

My main focus in my work is telling the stories ofconservation organisations /Humanitarian & Environmental NGOs / Purchase-with-purpose small businesses

My focus areas are varied, but they are a direct reflection of what is important to me and where I find meaning. Simply said, I tell stories about people, places and quality products –and I strive to do this in a way that evokes empathy and creates connection with the viewer or reader.

Approach:  Regardless of topic, my focus as a storyteller is always on depth, honesty, integrity, and slowing down enough to capture the unique details and spirit of a project, person or place. It is important to me to always do my work ethically, whether when approaching individuals for permission to document a community story, or photographing wildlife in a respectful, non-invasive manner.

Writing, Photography, Editing and Media Consulting & Training

Some days, my work in the field involves combining writing, editing and photography, and some days I only wear one hat. Either way, I use my background as a magazines feature editor to shape the way I tell all of the stories I work on.

 Media Consulting & Training

Aside from creating content, I also consult for businesses who need a range of content created for their marketing and social media needs. Often this goes hand in hand with conducting workshops where Matt and I train an organisation’s staff on a range of in-house content creation skills, including writing, photography, creating short videos and preparing work for social media. Please drop me a line via my contact page if you’d like to hear more of what I offer regarding these options.

Writing & Editing

Mostly I do interviews and travel and conservation-related feature stories. Occasionally I am available for editing / writing commissions on larger bodies of work such as books and magazines. Please see here for more on this part of my work.

Photography

“I tell stories about people, places and quality products” – please see here for more on my conservation, NGO and lifestyle portfolios and for more on my style and how I work. Usually I offer tailor-made packages ranging from a morning’s coverage, to a ten-day assignment. Please get in touch for more information.