“I’m beyond excited for this opportunity — my first time to Africa. I hope to be inspired. To always be curious. To learn as much as I can about this new (to me) environment. I’m looking forward to getting to know the people, the land, the culture — and tying it all back together. Protecting and conserving it for generations to come — and to share a little bit about our culture with them. An exchanging of stories, and experiences you could call it. I can’t wait to share this adventure with you all”.
Who is Andrew Ling?
Andrew Ling — born and raised in Seattle, Washington — is a renowned photographer who has worked for the likes of Adidas, Adobe, National Geographic, Volvo, and more. Throughout December, Ling will be sharing his passion for storytelling with us as he travels to Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Antarctica. Ling’s specialty is moving others through his stills imagery.
“It’s always rewarding when we’re able to impact someone, no matter how little or how big, just by having them see an image. Sometimes it’s something as big and life-changing as helping a student realize what they want to do in life, and other times it’s just making someone’s day a little brighter. Both are great outcomes.
“As a commercial photographer, a lot of my work is tied into ‘selling’ products, services, etc., but over the years I’ve learned that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. The best type of business is win-win, where both parties leave happy. That’s sustainability, and those are the stories I’m in love with sharing. When someone travels with White Desert they get to see and experience some of the most special moments we can have as human beings. It’s good for them, it’s good for the animals, and the environment. It’s good for everyone”.
Always being up for a challenge, Africa will be an entirely new experience for Andrew. When Ling is telling stories for some of the world’s biggest brands, he often finds himself tasked not so much with competing with other brands, but competing with the future. “How can we tell this story, in a way that has never been done before?” It will be fascinating to share Andrew’s first time seeing a magnificent wilderness, through his lens.
One of Andrew’s recent projects took him to remote stretches of Alaska, with temperatures of 40° Celsius, below zero. We’re excited to flip his world upside down, to the peak of summer in Zimbabwe, where temperatures can reach up to 40° Celsius above zero. We are excited to share this transformative journey through Andrew’s eyes, and inspire others to explore the wonders of Africa.
Andrew Ling Conservation
“Photography is a medium we can communicate through. Words are great, but they are more powerful in combination with visuals. The beauty of photography is that the viewer has the freedom to interpret each photograph however they choose to. My hope is to leave them inspired in some way.”
“In 2016, I had an opportunity to travel to Patagonia, where I saw my first glacier up close. Behind these massive stretches of ice, were beautiful mountainsides — carved out by the glaciers below. But wait, I thought to myself — that’s where the glaciers were. That’s where they have been, for millions of years. But they’re not there anymore. Forever.”
“It was like a row of dominoes had all lined up and collapsed in synchrony. Drops of water landed on my face — but it wasn’t raining. It was from the glacial melt. I think that was the exact moment that I discovered what I wanted my work to do. I wanted my images to contribute to protecting these beautiful places so others would get to experience them”.