Brad Wilson did, and the world loved the result.

Just how did he manage to get so close to these exotic animals? Let’s take a look behind the scenes:

The bulk of the work was in fact the pre-production. Wilson had to find exotic animals which he could bring into a studio, trainers to come with them, and a studio space large enough to contain some of the largest mammals in the world, including African elephants and giraffes.

Then came the shooting, with Wilson and his camera just inches away from some of the most dangerous exotic animals. ”You can’t direct animals like you can people,” says Wilson. “When you’re shooting animals, you have to wait for them to do whatever it is they are going to do. You have to be patient and pick your moments. It’s completely changed the way I looked at photography.”

And we’re not surprised. These animals, whilst trained not to attack people, cannot be told what to do. Wilson explains that the animals were coaxed with treats by their trainers, and it was up to him to keep the animals interested, comfortable and find the perfect moment for his shot amongst this ‘organised chaos’. This was no easy task: whilst some animals seemed unfazed by the flash, others would become agitated, meaning that the shoot had to be paused, and some of the more intelligent creatures figured out that if they looked at Brad the flash would go off, and so they avoided looking at him directly.

Get an inside look into Brad Wilson’s studio:

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