Shem Compion

Co-founder, Photo Guide and MD

Shem Compion is the co-founder and co-owner of C4 Photo Safaris. He uses his intricate knowledge of travel in Africa, its wildlife and fantastic photographic locations to give you the best photographic tour experience you will ever have. Shem grew up roaming the wilds and this interest in Nature led to him studying a National Diploma in Nature conservation and Wildlife Management.

With over 20 years of bush experience it was quite logical he was going to end up working in the natural world. A self-taught wildlife photographer, Shem quickly established himself as one of the top wildlife photographers in South Africa. His work is regularly published worldwide in magazines, calendars and books. In 2010, he supplied all 72 images to the extremely popular Africa Geographic calendar. It sold out within 4 month- the first time ever.
 He published his first book "A Landscape of Insects" in 2009 and since then has published a total of 5 books. He is a regular speaker at photo events and has presented photo workshops for organisations such as National Geographic. He too has been invited as a keynote speaker to international photographic conventions.

Shem's intricate knowledge on a variety of photographic subjects is his greatest photographic asset. An indication of this is him winning awards in various categories in National and international competitions. He has received specially commended award in the BBC Wildlife Competition: animal behaviour category. In the FujiFilm-Getaway competition he has won the birds category and was 1st runner up in the insect and reptile category.

He has received photographic acclaim for his book published on insects as well as his "Insiders guide" book series . With such an array of subject diversity, Shem confidently photographs in all wildlife genres. His intrinsic natural history knowledge combined with his exceptional photographic skills makes him a specialist for large mammals, predators, action and interaction, small mammals (suricats and ground squirrels), bird's/birds in flight and macro photography of the insect world. 

Reading and anticipating the behaviour of his subjects is Shem's other speciality-allowing you to be in the right place at the right time, and something he has become known for throughout his career. Shem too has an excellent knowledge of Lightroom and Photoshop, using them every day for his professional image library. He will easily help you with both tools to manage and enhance your images.

Shem runs the daily functioning of C4 Photo Safaris, making sure you get that personal touch which C4 Photo Safaris is all about.


Fact File

Photographic interests                        
Wildlife and nature, travel, action and interaction, birds in flight. Special interest in infrared photography.
English, Afrikaans, Zulu (basic)
Digital cameras
Country Living Magazine South Africa, Getaway Magazine, Outdoor Photography UK, Photoglob Postcards Switzerland, FHM USA, Bentley car magazine, Octane magazine, NZZ am sontag, Wiener mag, Mens health, Saab car magazine, Africa birds and Birding, Jumeriah magazine, Outdoor photography images of the year, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa and Africa Geographic magazine. Men's Health SA, Outdoor photography images of the year 2004, Africa Birds and Birding- Africa Geographic, BBC wildlife- UK, Tail wind in flight magazine, Terre Sauvage- France, Weg magazine.
Published books

A Landscape of Insects and other invertebrates by Duncan Neil MacFadyen Photographs by Shem Compion

Insider's Guide: Top Wildlife Photography Spots in South Africa

Insider's Guide Top Wildlife Photogaphy Spots in Botswana and Namibia

If Trees could Talk by Megan Emmet - Photographs by Shem Compion


 2004:  Animal behaviour, Top ten- Elephant Bull drinking. Fuji film Getaway awards
 2004:  Animal behaviour, Top ten- Elephant herd crossing plain. Fuji filmGetaway awards
 2007:  Animal behaviour, highly commended, Suricat slumber. Fuji film Getaway awards
 2007:  BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year, Category: Mammals behaviour, Specially commended- Suricat moment.
 2008:  Bird Category, Highly Commended - Sandgrouse Flutter, Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife  Awards.
 2008:  Abstract, Highly Commended - Sand Dune Curve, Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife Awards.
 2008:  People in Nature - Sand Hike, Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife Awards.
 2009:  Winner bird's category Fuji Film Getaway awards
 2009:  1st runner up reptiles Fuji Film Getaway awards

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Tours hosted by Shem Compion:

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Svalbard Photo Expedition 2020

Tour Dates
12 May 2020 - 22 May 2020   Space available

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Masai Mara Exclusive Safari 2020

Tour Dates
11 October 2020 - 18 October 2020   Space available

Full Event Info
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Ethiopia Photo Tour 2020

Tour Dates
2 October 2020 - 10 October 2020   Space available

Full Event Info
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Northern Kenya Photo Safari 2020

Tour Dates
20 June 2020 - 1 July 2020   Space available

Full Event Info
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Premier Predator Safari 2020

Tour Dates
26 August 2020 - 3 September 2020   Fully booked

Full Event Info
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Premier Predator Safari 2021

Tour Dates
2 June 2021 - 10 June 2021   1 Single space available

Full Event Info
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Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari 2020

Tour Dates
19 February 2019 - 26 February 2019   Space available

Full Event Info