About the Photographer
My first lesson in wildlife photography came from my father when I was 10 years old. There was a gaggle of peafowl chicks running around in our backyard in India and, inspired by my family’s monthly subscription to National Geographic, I was trying to photograph them by, unwisely, running after them myself!
“Why do they keep doing that?” I asked my dad as I chased them across the yard.
“Because you’re scaring them! Look, you need to hide and be patient,” he replied, taking the camera and crouching behind a bush to demonstrate. I followed suit and spent the next hour in that bush, clicking away.
Birds had always fascinated me and I started carrying my hand-me-down Olympus C-740 UZ along everywhere from the terrace of my house, to photograph Rose-ringed Parakeets and Green Bee-eaters, to Pangong Lake at 14,270 feet in the Himalayas to capture a flock of Black-headed Gulls on impossibly blue water.
After high school I upgraded to an SLR and lugged it across two oceans to Cornell, where I currently shoot for the Cornell Daily Sun while continuing to pursue my passion for photographing birds.
This summer I interned at Shoals Marine Lab for two months, working with gulls, and had the opportunity to observe and shoot a variety of birds, from gulls to sandpipers to kingbirds, on the beautiful island of Appledore. Read the full story of that summer on the Cornell Lab’s blog.
-Shailee Shah, Cornell University '14
See more of Shailee's photography at her Flickr site
Read Shailee's blog about gull research, The Yeow Call