Ten Years of Documenting Illegal Poaching with @patrickbrownphoto

To see more photos from Patrick Brown’s forthcoming book Trading to Extinction, follow @patrickbrownphoto on Instagram.

Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownphoto) spent the past decade documenting the illicit animal trade around the world, but he actually honed his photography skills working with a different subject: dancers. “This was the best schooling if you ask me,” explains Patrick. “Well lit but low lighting, movement, pushing black and white film to its limits.”

Patrick’s focus shifted 12 years ago when he was asked to take photos for Black Market, a book documenting the trade of endangered species in Asia. “The book was completed in 18 months, but I knew I had only started to scratch the surface of this incredibly complex subject.” When Patrick’s photography won an award two years later, the prize money gave him the financial freedom to continue his work on the subject.

Trading to Extinction is the culmination of Patrick’s work, the goal of which is to stir people to action. “This is important not to me but to the subjects I photograph,” says Patrick, who turned to Instagram to give his work greater exposure. “There are a lot of people out there that won’t be able to get a copy of my book, but with Instagram I can quite literally touch tens of thousands of people. It’s a very powerful tool.”