Sophie grew up in England, Ireland and Iran being dragged on walks by brothers and devouring books about animals…

In 1986, curiosity aroused by Peter Matthiessen’s ‘The Tree Where Man Was Born’, Sophie arrived at ‘Gibb’s Farm Safari Lodge‘ on the edge of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Highlands. Whilst there she ran into Hugh Miles and Keith Scholey, two of the BBC Natural History Unit’s finest who inspired her to become a wildlife film maker.

In 1990 Sophie was introduced to Legendary wildlife film maker Baron Hugo van Lawick by Aadje Geertsema of Ndutu Safari Lodge, who was, as luck would have it, in need of a camp manager/sound recordist.  It turned out he required a new camera operator too and Sophie studied cinematography for several years under his watchful eye in the Serengeti National Park.

Sophie left Ireland at age 19 and moved to Tanzania to chase a dream of wildlife filmmaking. That was 30 years ago, where she was one of a handful of female filmmakers working in the wild. Today, she is a BAFTA-award winner who has held the door open for other women to follow in her footsteps.

Sophie is known for her ability to capture exceptionally emotional behavioural content, with a strong focus on beauty – she believes that’s the key to it all. She is one of the Series’ Directors of Photography on National Geographic’s 2024 release ‘Queens’ focusing on female leadership in nature. Her impressive list of credits includes feature films for Disney Nature and BBC Earth, as well as landmark bluechip series for, amongst others, Netflix, National Geographic and The BBC – including Dynasties I and II, Our Planet I and II, The Hunt, Planet Earth II and Life Story, all narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough. Sophie was part of the core team that won the BAFTA for Cinematography in 2016 for The Hunt (BBC) and was accepted as a BAFTA member in 2018.

Growing up in the UK, Ireland, and Iran, Sophie traveled to East Africa in her early twenties where she met eight-time Emmy Winner & Cinematographer Hugo van Lawick. Hugo, renowned for his long-term partnership with National Geographic and Jane Goodall, took her on as a filming apprentice in the 1990’s and she spent several years learning the craft of natural history filmmaking out on the Serengeti Plains. Sophie carries on Hugo’s legacy today, in addition to filming she is actively and passionately involved in mentoring, public speaking & increasing diversity in wildlife filmmaking.

2021; ‘Perfect Planet‘ was released in January on BBC One and Discovery Stream worldwide. Filming continues on many exciting new projects and as soon as they become official you’ll see details here.

Sophie In Many Crabs

Sophie in amongst the Christmas Island Red Crab for BBC One’s Perfect Planet.

Sophie Camera

Sophie filming on ARRI super 16mm in the early 1990’s whilst being mentored by Hugo van Hawick

I’m fortunate to have worked with some amazing people and organisations…