Creative animal photography, applying to pets, farm animals and wildlife is my greatest passion. Growing up on a working farm in the countryside, I was constantly surrounded by pets, farm animals and local wildlife for as long as I can remember. As I got older and became interested in photography, capturing animals felt like a natural choice. It was then that two of my greatest passions in life were married together.
Human manipulation in the last few centuries has caused great changes in the natural world and the environment, illustrating an on-going conflict between man and nature. The animal world has also been affected with selective breeding and the extinction of wildlife species. Through my work, my aim is to encourage identification, empathy and respect.
My approach is with the animals’ safety and wellbeing always at the forefront. Spending time and establishing a relationship of trust with my animal subjects is an important aspect of my work. This is because the aim is to capture more intimate and natural images; to portray and highlight the animals’ individuality: their beauty, characters and particularities.
My inspiration comes from a variety of fields, i.e. art, history and literature, as well as a variety of animal photography styles and techniques, and photographic genres. For example creative, still life, studio and documentary photography; each genre has a different history and connotations that can be employed in animal photography to communicate something different. A recent project was concerned with the nobility of farm animals and their sacrifices. I often use macro photography to capture what animals see through reflections, e.g. a farm truck in a sheep’s eye. Techniques such as chiaroscuro, contrasting light, defines the animal as an individual. Anthropomorphism is also a central concern in my work, where I try to portray human emotions or ideas in my animal portraits.
It is only through their gaze and gestures that animals can communicate their thoughts, feelings and personalities to a human audience. As they cannot speak to people themselves, using my photography, I try to give these animals a voice.