Following a lifelong passion in the protection of wildlife and the conservation of natural resources, MN Jayakumar has established himself as one of India’s leading nature photographers and one among the few forest officials to take up nature photography. Born in Mysore (Karnataka, India) in 1952, it was no surprise that MN Jayakumar’s career would veer towards this cause when he graduated from the College of Agriculture, Hebbal (Bangalore, India) in 1972 and secured the 2nd rank with 2 gold medals. He was selected for the Forest Service and secured the 1st rank with Honours at the Indian Forest College, Dehradun (Now Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy).
Nature photography happened by pure chance after a colleague remarked that he was wasting the opportunities offered to him by his profession as a forest officer. The journey embarked on one pleasant morning in 1993, though tortuous initially, has led to superlative gratification. Wildlife Photography has indeed taught him a lot, the main being what is known as the 3 P’s of photography — Patience, Perseverance and Persistence.
He has had the privilege of travelling extensively across various National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, capturing the essence of nature through his camera. The years of experience he has accumulated in observing wildlife in their natural habitat, have led to some priceless images supported by incredible stories. MN Jayakumar has won numerous awards and Certificates of Merit in National and International photography salons.
His photographs have been displayed across exhibitions in India, England, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Australia, Scotland, USA and South Africa. Select images have also been published in leading newspapers, magazines and books of National and International repute.
M.N.Jayakumar retired from service as the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary, Zoo Authority of Karnataka. Having served for close to 4 decades, he is a true advocate of wildlife protection and conservation of natural resources. His wife, Asha, is also an accomplished Nature and Wildlife Photographer and has the International distinctions of ARPS and AFIAP. M.N. Jayakumar and Asha Jayakumar are perhaps the only couple in India to have both ARPS and AFIAP distinctions in nature photography.
MNJ, as he is popularly called, is spending his retired life with family alternating between Bangalore and the dense jungles of Asia and Africa.