Caroline Raddall is an ocean girl who loves scuba diving and all sorts of water and adventure sports, but over the last 5 years, with her husband’s persuasion, completely converted to a safari girl. Their love for Africa’s rich culture and breathtaking nature is the driving force which gravitates them towards pursuing a profession in wildlife and travel. They have a deep sense of wanting to explore our very own continent as much as they possibly can, and we are joining their journey. 

Tell us a bit about who you are and how you started?

I’m a local travel and lifestyle brand influencer, travel advisor and writer with an immense passion for luxury travel, visual content and social media management. I relish creating visual content and writing blogs that entice and encourage African travel.

Michael is a wildlife and lifestyle photographer who’s been published in Getaway magazine and Africa Geographic numerous times and is obsessed with wildlife photography. 

We’re just an adventurous, enthusiastic couple who share the same dreams, aspirations and love for travel. We encourage and support each other completely. 

Caroline and Michael 1
Caroline and Michael 2

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Michael is an ‘up and at ’em’ kind of guy who prefers to work out, shower and eat first thing in the morning. I, on the other hand, need about 30 minutes to wake up completely and a quiet corner to drink my tea. When there’s a game drive, I’m up and ready to go in minutes. 

Which items do you and Michael never travel without?

Camera gear, a tripod, spare SD cards, and my DJI gimbal. For the elements Lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or two. We always take a warm jacket when visiting the bush. Temperatures can be a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings on the game vehicle. I always have a crisp white shirt and our favourite Sapmok vellies, they’re essential bush wardrobe elements.

What gear do you and Michael use?

Mike shoots on: 

  • Olympus OMD EM1
  • Olympus 300mm F4
  • Olympus 40-150mm F2.8
  • Olympus 7-14mm F2.8
  • Olympus 12-100mm F4
  • Olympus 1240mm F2.8

I do all the video content right off my cellphone using the DJI Osmo gimbal for smooth professional-looking footage.

Caroline and Michael 3
Caroline and Michael 4

How do you produce content that stands out? 

We love experimenting with textures, light, different angles and depth of field. We spend hours taking photos and comparing what works best. I absolutely love images that look as though they were taken from behind an object or a branch, we call them our ‘stalker’ images. This gives the image a sense of realism, capturing private moments shared by a couple enjoying the scene. We’re obsessed with lifestyle photography that incorporates the human element, whether that’s an open book and hat placed on a bed or table to give the viewer the feeling that someone is staying there, enticing the viewer to experience that exact moment.

What are your favourite activities to partake in when travelling? 

We don’t miss a game drive; call it FOMO, call it an obsession. We can’t bring ourselves to miss a drive out in nature, no matter how exhausted we feel at times. 

What are the biggest challenges with your careers?

We’d love to travel and live out our dream full time, but it’s not sustainable for both of us to leave our current careers just yet. Michael is a sales and marketing professional. I have my own social media management, events and entertainment companies. We run these alongside our travel careers, but as I always say, ‘when you’re this passionate about something it never feels like work’.

Influencer marketing is still a pretty new concept in South Africa and a lot of brands and lodges still expect influencers and photographers to work on an exchange basis. We’d love to change the perception that influencers and content creators should work for free as it requires a lot of time, effort and skill – let alone expensive equipment and travel expenses that the professionals are already responsible for paying themselves. This form of marketing has proven to be a very lucrative way to promote travel establishments and definitely should be valued for how well it works when executed correctly.

Caroline and Michael 5
Caroline and Michael 6

Do you have any advice, tips, tricks, or suggestions for aspiring travel photographers and content creators?

Take photos of things you love and don’t stop learning, exploring and experimenting. Follow the best photographers and travel influencers that inspire you the most, and learn everything you can from them. Don’t stop asking questions and talk to as many like-minded people as often as you can. Lastly… travel, travel and travel some more.

Finally, looking to the future – jump to five years from now. Where are you and what are you doing?

We’re working our way towards a life of travel writing, professional lodge and wildlife photography, social media management for lodges, and being recognised as top travel experts and advisors in Africa.