‘Ahhhhhh!’ This is the reaction in our office each day as the newspapers showcase the latest crop of animal pictures from around the world.
The other day we did a count of how many animal pictures featured in the national newspapers and we were quite amazed at how many were used – we counted 34, which is quite a lot considering how much hard news there is right now. The animals ranged from polar bears, horses and tigers to rats.
These pictures aren’t your average cutsie shots of kittens in teacups; these are pictures of animals that add more than a sense of humour to the shots than any sentimental greeting card ever could:
Some are just fantastically shot images that could easily be considered as a work of art focusing on and accentuating the amazing colours of these creatures, such as the image used on the front page of The Times (below). This shot insists the viewer takes in the majestic beauty of the tigers. The photographer struck lucky when he aimed to capture the tiger and her cub as he also caught a third approaching or even spying in the background, which to me takes the image to another level.
Back in August, which is traditionally ‘silly season’ – an optimum time of the year to get the lightest, picture-led stories into the papers – I noticed that instead of the expected seasonal shots of giant tomatoes and the like, the papers were full of stand-alone images of animals – exotic creatures in their natural habitats and the latest additions to a zoo. This trend didn’t stop in September when the news agenda traditionally returns to its normal pace and content, it just kept going.
Photographers and newspapers have got wise to the impact animals have on humans – especially cubs and baby monkeys, and it seems as though photographers are increasingly being allowed access to nature reserves and zoos spending hours waiting to get the right shots:
Animal pictures in newspapers act as great antidotes to the horrors and misery of what is the majority of the news. It seems that these kinds of pictures are competing with the usual PR images, so with this in mind, stand-alone images need to be impressive and eye-catching enough to get picture editors’ attention – making them choose the synthetic over the natural.
Post by Nicola Charalambous, Head of Photography @ TNR Communications