I pre-conceived this image late last year whilst researching the behaviour of ring-tailed lemurs ahead of a shoot. I wanted to capture a head-on portrait that showed off the distinctive facial patterns of the species.
It quickly became clear that capturing the image would be tough; these animals do not like anything or anyone getting close, especially to their head.
The image would require me to invest time and emotion in gaining the groups trust. Then maybe I could get close enough to one of the members to capture my image.
I finally captured it — they are so iconic, yet so rare.
Its Been A Long Day
I like my portraiture to be powerful, and this work of a beautiful chimpanzee meets that brief. If an image is going to feel empty then surely there is no value in creating it.
I want viewers to ‘feel’ my work, to have an emotional connection to the subject and then, hopefully, feel a responsibility to care for those we share Earth with.
After all, we share many similarities with the wildlife around us.
I like my portraiture to be powerful, and this work of a beautiful colobus monkey meets that brief. If an image is going to feel empty then surely there is no value in creating it. ⠀
I want viewers to ‘feel’ my work, to have an emotional connection to the subject and then, hopefully, feel a responsibility to care for those we share Earth with. ⠀
Programs such as the recently released ‘Our Planet’ by Netflix and WWF are fantastic tools to drive this message into households across the world. We live in a society that obsessed over television and social media, if we can use those platforms then we stand a chance of instigating lasting changes in attitudes. I think the tide is beginning to change — people are starting to care.⠀
We have wiped out 83% of the wild mammals that once existed, and now 60% of all the mammals on Earth are livestock (mostly cattle and pigs), 36% are us humans and just 4% are wild animals. 70% of all the birds on Earth are farmed chickens. I pray that we soon begin to realise that Earth is not just for humans; we will forever be remembered for slaughtering the natural world.
This image clearly shows my approach to wildlife portraiture - the eyes must take centre-stage and they must be pin-sharp. There is little point in having an image that does not have the subjects eyes as it's focal point; there would be no emotional connection and no impact. ⠀
In Mothers Arms
A young black-and-white colobus monkey photographed in the arms of his proud mother.
These monkeys live in large troops with complex social systems and it's always a joy to observe and photograph these bonds - an experience that will move almost anyone that witnesses them.
I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed and captured what I have during my time as a wildlife photographer, from the rarest creatures that roam our earth to the unbreakable social bonds.
Every experience is unique and my desire to improve and continue doing what I do has never been stronger.