It would be hard to say what other kind of photography fills our hearts more or puts a bigger smile on our face than animal photography. Whether it’s capturing the sweet and subtle moments of our pets or providing us with a wonderful window into the wild animal world, animal photographers make it their life’s mission to make us appreciate the creatures we share this earth with. Today, we’ve listed six creative photographers whose unique styles set them apart from the rest. Though each has a different purpose, they’re all incredibly talented at what they do.
1. Nick Brandt
If there’s one photographer who’s able to capture Africa’s wildlife in all its glory, that person would be Nick Brandt. Photographing exclusively in Africa, this fine art photographer is in a league all his own. You’d be surprised to find out that Brandt was actually an award-winning music video director in his past life. While directing the music video of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song in Tanzania, he fell in love with the animals there and of East Africa itself. In 2000, he decided he would take on a ambitious photographic project – to create a trilogy of books to memorialize the grandeur of East Africa. His third book will be released in September 2013.
2. Sharon Montrose
One of the most sought-after commercial animal photographers, Sharon Montrose shoots beautiful animal portraits for an impressive client list that includes everyone from Iams and Purina to Harper Collins and Warner Brothers. You could spend hours looking through her portfolio of dogs, cat and other animals or you can check out her animal print shop and pick up one of her adorable prints. One of our favorite series of hers is called Little Darlings. It consists of up-close shots of sweet baby animals like a bear cub, a white tiger and a kangaroo. By setting all of her animals against a white background, Montrose really makes each animal pop, accentuating the uniqueness in all the different species.
3. Carli Davidson
Funny and heartwarming. Those are the two words that first come to mind when we think about Carli Davidson’s photos. As a freelance photographer for the Oregon Zoo, she has an impressive portfolio of wonderful zoo animal portraits. It’s Carli’s unique Shake series, however, that really caught the Internet’s attention. Her close-up photos of dogs as they’re shaking water off of themselves brought a smile to people’s faces as they got to experience their favorite furry creatures like never before. She followed up that series with the incredibly moving Pets with Disabilities saying, “I wanted to create a project showcasing differently abled pets, telling their stories in order to show the world that they are happy, thriving companions. They are not sad, they are not in pain, and the owners and animals continue to be of great value to one another.” We’re always interested in seeing where this creative photographer will take us next.
4. Ron Schmidt
Ron Schmidt takes some of the wittiest dog portraits we’ve ever seen! His online shop is called Loose Leashes and it’s where you’ll find the photos that show the secret life of dogs or what they would do if no one was looking. Schmidt works alongside his wife Amy in coming up with the dogs’ very clever names. Launched in 2005, Loose Leashes continuously puts out hilarious new prints. As animal welfare issues are extremely important to the Schmidts, a portion of all sales are donated to causes that support animal rights.
5. Rob MacInnis
Who else could give underclass barnyard animals the attention they so rightly deserve than photographer Rob MacInnis? Using his medium-format Hasselblad camera, MacInnis took both individual portraits and group shots of farm animals as if they were striking a pose. “I began photographing farm animals because I was interested in using them as a metaphor for the fashion model,” he said. “I wanted to draw parallels between literally consuming them, which we do everyday, and the way the photograph ‘consumes’ its subject.”
6. Seth Casteel
Like Carli Davidson, Seth Casteel created a very eye-catching series that became an instant hit around the web. By capturing dogs as they played fetch and jumped head first into the water, he gave us a hilarious perspective and one that we’d never seen before. His creative series has since resulted in gallery exhibitions as well as a book deal. Underwater Dogs will be released in October 23, 2012 through Little Brown. You can pre-order your copy today.
Who are some of your favorite animal photographers?
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Alice Yoo is the founder and editor in chief of My Modern Metropolis, a place where trendspotters and art enthusiasts come to connect over creative ideas. After graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in Economics, Alice received her MBA, worked in advertising for MTV and then started My Modern Met in 2008. With over 3.2 million page views per month, My Modern Met is one of the leading art and culture destinations on the web.