Rachelle Mackintosh may fancy herself as some kind of Davina Attenborough/ Bev Grylls hybrid, but … well … she’s a bit of a sook. Whenever she’s photographing humpback whales or dolphins, she has to wear large sunglasses to hide her feelings. Unruly emotions aside, photographing wild animals, and telling their stories, is Rachelle’s greatest joy.
Right now she’s enjoying the freelance life, most recently contributing stories and images to the likes of Escape (Sunday Telegraph); The Guardian; Signature Luxury Travel & Style; Destination New South Wales and Tourism Australia. Before that, she spent a couple of decades working on staff for a variety of high-profile titles. These include Travel Content Director of New Idea; Managing Editor of Who; Editor of Women’s Health; Travel Editor of Aussie POST; Features Editor at Travel Week, and Chief Subeditor at Girlfriend and Cosmopolitan magazines, while also freelancing for a range of other titles.
Her wildlife images have also appeared in The Times, The Sun, 7 News, ABC Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today, The Daily Telegraph, Tourism Australia, Hello BC, The Daily Mail, news.com.au, The Huffington Post, Harper’s Bazaar and even Bride To Be. Plus, in 2020, her photograph of an elephant saluting the sunset at Kapama Reserve was named Travel Photo of the Year at the prestigious Australian Society Of Travel Writers’ annual awards.
And, a while ago, she was invited to appear on TV’s The Daily Edition, to talk about her wildlife photography and experiences in the field:
Throughout her career Rachelle has lapped the world a few times to get close to animals and share their stories. Favourite adventures include tracking tigers in Siberia, gorillas in Rwanda, chimps in Uganda, cheetahs in Namibia, big cats in India and polar bears in the subarctic; plus there’s been several trips across outback Australia, Iceland, the US, Africa, Jordan, Canada, New Zealand, the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Japan and Finland. Other highlights include swimming with humpbacks, whale sharks, dwarf minke whales, great white sharks and giant manta rays … but that time an agro Galapagos sea lion tried to fight her was a bit iffy.
Today Rachelle divides her time between freelance wildlife photography, writing/editing commissions, producing her Wild Lives podcast and creating fine art prints of her favourite wildlife images.