My name is Olaf Goldbecker, I was born in 1976 in Germany. Neither am I a professional photographer, nor am I a zoologist. Yet how do you get the idea for such a project, how does a German relate to primates, and why do you offer a calendar whose profit is going to species conservation projects?
Well, I have been travelling pretty much in the recent years. My main job is a merchant, on the side I am running a small sports service company. To get new and maintain old contacts it is a good idea to travel – to the USA, within Europe or within Germany. Between appointments there often is time to be filled, and I use to spend it in zoos. Animals have always interested and fascinated me. Since some years I gained a deeper insight into the work of a scientifically led zoo, which increased my interest. While visiting I do what many visitors do: I take photographs. In the course of the time there is quite an amount of photos, and alos the quality of the pictures grew, so that at some point I asked myself the question “is there anything useful you can do with these pictures?!?”
Last Christmas I donated a small calendar to family and friends, to see how the quality looks like on print. The result convinced me and so the decision grew to start an attempt establshing and marketing such a project. It was clear to me that the profit of this project has to go to the free living relatives of the models – the species living in the wild. I will document the result of this campaign here on this website.
Yet why of all animals did you opt on primates? Well, I did not want a simple animal collection, but a firm motto. Of course there would have been other options – and who knows, if this is turning to be a success it can happen that a next edition shows predators, hoofed animals or sea animals. Yet the current choice are primates. About half of all primate species are listed as endangered by IUCN, more than 10% are threatened by extinction. Next to collecting money for some of these species, it is an aim to further the knowledge on the problems these animals have, which partially could be improved by our consuming in the everyday life.
I wish everyone lots of fun with the calendar and the pictures. If you like calendar and this project I would be happy if you told other people about it and spread the word.