Photographing The Exotic

Taking pictures of exotic animals in their own environment is one thing that can take years to master and even with all the experience on your side, you never know just how animals will react in front of your lens at any given moment in time. So I have compiled a list of handy tips to help you get the best from taking photos of the exotic or not so exotic.
Safety first! Try not to get into the position of injuring yourself when dealing with the animals. When in doubt, have the person responsible with the animals manipulate them. Photography will get a lot less practical if you lose your index finger.
If you dim the lights, but not so low than you end up with another problem of not enough light on your subject, this can make the environment as less stressful to the critter.


Getting down to their level will give a more natural shot of your subject, or in some cases getting high enough to your subject, say a giraffe for example. This is a general guideline that also works great on kids and pets, and usually gets you crawling on your belly.
The use of a telephoto lens will help you to get a lot closer without bing in the jaws of the beast, this will also allow you to capture some of the unique and interesting features and details.
For shots of creatures that pose no harm then getting close up with the use of a macro or close-up lens could prove to be really useful.


On the other side of the coin could be to use a wide angle lens to capture unique perspectives.
Above all, try to anticipate your subjects behaviour, this is often the key to photographing a great pose as these kinds of good shots don’t come by chance, if anything they require long stake outs as you may have seen on many a wildlife documentary.