Anyone who takes beautiful photographs of wild animals and sends them out into the world is doing a service for animals. In so many ways, the animals are completely capable of making their own case for why they deserve to live and prosper. All they need is someone to write their story. And sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words of blogging blather.
So we were thrilled to find Kansas photographer Chris Taylor’s beautiful collection of wildlife photographs. As John Muir once said, “Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” Chris gives us the gift of being able to share her extraordinary glimpses.
But we were particularly intrigued to see Chris’s advice to others on how to take these photographs so that they truly are a glimpse into the life of these animals, and not in any way contrived or, worst of all, exploitative. Her advice on what she calls “vegan nature photography” should be shared with anyone who is in the habit of photographing animals in the wild. It outlines all the considerations that should be taken into account to make sure that your photographs are recording, not detracting from, the animals’ own experience. Here are a few examples:
…Never intentionally flush groups of birds to “get a better look.” Particularly during migration, birds are stopping to rest on a very long journey. Avoid causing them more stress…
…If you run into a nest, den, or any other home, be respectful of that animal’s space. Most humans would not be too happy about people coming by and opening the doors to their houses just to see what/who is inside. Have the same respect for nonhuman animals…
…No matter how much of “purist” one thinks he or she is, using a film camera is not vegan. Film and film processing are not vegan. Use digital equipment and vegan photo paper
We love that Chris is not only using her talents to share these animals with all of us, but doing it in a way that attempts to understand and respect them and their lives.