#VryheidWomanHeroes: Wildlife warrior captures perspective through her lens

Freelance photographer, Chantelle Melzer, uses her camera and creativity to improve understanding and create awareness about wildlife environmental issues.

Name: Chantelle Melzer

Age: 30

Occupation: Freelance photographer

Brief history into how you came to be in that career:

I have always had a love for art, and so, from the moment I picked up my first camera (old film camera) I fell in love. I used to take arbitrary photos of the rain and plants, which to many, seemed pointless at the time, but I personally found it fascinating. My hobby or fascination grew over time and developed into a profession.

What difference have you made in the community?

Studying to obtain a BSC Degree in Natural Sciences has had a huge impact on how I see the world around me. My goal has been, and still is, to try and send clear and important messages through my work, hoping it will improve understanding and create awareness about wildlife environmental issues. I also spend my spare time trying to find and share creative ways to help others veer towards living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

What defines a woman of substance?

Being authentic, sincere, motivated and confident in her own abilities… and persistence.

Tell us something quirky about you

I randomly quote scenes from ‘The Lion King’

What changes would you like to see in Vryheid and in South Africa?

I would like to see a bigger movement and trend towards living a more eco-friendly lifestyle which will help reduce the negative impact we have on the environment and through that improve the living conditions of many. We need large companies and corporations to get on board and switch to eco-friendly alternatives, i.e. replacing polystyrene take-away containers with compost-able alternatives and selling fresh produce that has not been wrapped in plastic. There are so many solutions and alternatives, we just need more people and companies that are keen and willing to jump on board and embrace this change.

What role are you playing in making it happen?

We are constantly making personal lifestyle changes, especially when we discover something new or have a fresh idea. We then try to share the information with others, showing how easy it can be. I also strive to try show how precious an ‘intact’ and pristine environment is, that it needs protecting and that it’s something we cannot afford to lose, for our own health and quality of life, as well as from an eco-tourism perspective.

  AUTHOR
Vryheid Herald

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