I got my start in photography as a portrait photographer. I am primarily self taught although I have taken a number of online courses and webinars with Kelby Training through the years. I also read a lot and learned a lot from such greats as Joe McNally who is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries.
In 2006 I moved to Oregon and began photographing animals. I found that portraiture using animals was nearly identical to photographing humans. It requires the right light, composition and most important, expression. The difference between a snapshot and a good animal portrait is capturing the essence of the animal. Be patient and spend some time with the animal so you understand how they move and when they’re in a calm state so that they make eye contact with you. Capture those moments to make the viewer wonder what’s behind those eyes. What is the animal thinking the moment the shot was taken?
My photographic skills developed over the next 10 years to a point where National Geographic came knocking at my door, offering to consider my work in their many publications. The gave me my own website to upload and display my portfolio alongside 400 other photographers from around the globe.
My collection of Orangutan portraits below is one of my favorites. I became very fond of these endangered animal who come from Borneo & Sumatra. Their habitat is shrinking due to local farmers growing plants that produce palm oil.