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A journey through the lens

MAGALISSIG - Emma O'Brien's photography has taken her to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but now she has a new mountain to climb with her camera.

The Magaliessig-based photographer is joining a group of 26 adventurists who will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for the Sandton SPCA.

O’Brien said, “I was very keen to climb anyway, but thought I could make myself useful on the mountain by documenting the trip, and so I managed to persuade the committee to let me tag along.”

She will document the scenery, view from the top and the climbers’ emotions. “I hope my images of our expedition group climbing the mountain will inspire others to go out and do something to help charities that they are passionate about. While climbing the mountain is going to be a huge personal challenge for most of the group, it’s also about raising awareness for Sandton SPCA and raising funds to help them to continue with the great work they do,” she said.

She has challenged herself to raise R20 000, through sponsorship, for the association.

This is not the first time O’Brien has put her best foot forward for the SPCA. After she adopted a dog from the Sandton SPCA in 2011, she pitched a calendar that featured adopted dogs. “We’ve just finished shooting the 2014 Sandton SPCA calendar, the third one I’ve photographed, which features dogs and cats who have been adopted from Sandton SPCA in their new homes, so it has a happy feel to it which is very important.”

Neither photography nor photographic adventures are new to O’Brien, who has captured the Democratic Republic of Congo’s citizens’ trauma of dealing with rape, poverty and civil war. However, she is not typically a hiker. “I hope Kilimanjaro will lead me on even more exciting trips in the future,” she said.

O’Brien has been juggling her work schedule with running hills and up the Westcliff’s stairs to get fit. “I’m confident I can get up and down the mountain in one piece,” she added.

O’Brien will also fly her sponsor’s flags on Kilimanjaro – and said there was still space in her backpack for more sponsorship flags.

Details: www.emmaobrien.com

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