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 Sharon Raoli  (1979 - )

About: Sharon Raoli


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Lived/Active: Florida / Africa      Known for: animal, wildlife in landscape photography

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Biography from Robin Rile Fine Art:
Born in Durban, South Africa and raised on her parents' tall tales of adventure throughout Africa and the bush, Sharon Raoli has always felt a connection with animals and a love of nature and simplicity. A naturalist was born as her family would often holiday at the African game reserves and Sharon would read everything she could about the animals and their behavior.

When she was five years old, her family moved to Miami, Florida and although she would still visit South Africa often, her life was soon taken over by her career as a world ranked long distance swimmer.  In college, she felt like a nomad, constantly traveling to a new city every weekend for swimming competitions, and it was at this time that Sharon contracted an insatiable case of wanderlust. Although she would see little other than the hotel and the pool of the city she was in, she obsessed over National Geographic magazines and the gorgeous images of exotic and far away places and their wildlife.

Her fascination with behavior, specifically the nuances of movement and expression which convey much more than the obvious, drew Sharon into the field of psychology.  She obtained a Masters from the University of Miami and currently is in private practice as a psychotherapist.  After completing her education and heavily influenced by National Geographic, Hemingway, Tom Waits, and Kerouac, Sharon set out to experience the world.

A self-taught photographer, Sharon carries her camera everywhere.  Prior to her first SLR, she would take pictures on whatever she could, including point-and-shoots, camera phones, Polaroid, 35mm film cameras, and instant cameras. Her motive was to try and capture the things she saw, the things most people see and sometimes don't see, from different angles- the way she saw them.

Photography serves as her vehicle of expressing the world through her eyes. Due to her history as a wildlife lover, she found her photographs tended to focus mainly on animals and nature and her background in psychology has added an element of personification to the animals she photographs. Her style is very textural, elicits awe and wonder at the beauty that surrounds, and introduces an intimacy with the animals as old friends. Each of her photographs has a significant memory as a back-story.

After a safari trip to Tanzania in 2010, she submitted three of her photographs to the National Geographic Photo Contest. Two of those photographs, Rude Bull and Baboon Fight were selected to be part of the National Geographic's Photo Contest online gallery. Baboon Fight would go on to be selected by "The Big Picture" (a replacement blog for the now defunct Life magazine), as one of the top 47 photographs of the National Geographic's Photo Contest.

Sharon continues to pursue her passions for photography and travel and is adventuring to Yellowstone in winter, Iceland, and India in 2011. She is excited to experience and photograph the wildlife and landscapes with her unique perspective.

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