California-based wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas spends nine months of the year shooting a wide variety of wildlife in the field. So she knows about travel! Not to mention, she takes amazing pictures that you can’t get enough of, i.e. the baby monkey below!
In recent years, she has specialized in documenting family life and has become well known for her work with newborn animals. Most recently, her iconic picture of an Adelie penguin was featured on the front cover of Time Magazine. Suzi photographs primarily in Africa, but leads photography tours to beautiful destinations around the world.
We asked Suzi for her insight on the life of a travel photographer:
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I have always wanted to be a wildlife photographer, ever since I was a small child. Traveling to remote ends of the earth to photograph wildlife always seemed like the best job, and it is!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Dedicated, compassionate and patient
How do these words inspire your photography?
In order to become a wildlife photographer you have to work hard and be completely dedicated. Wildlife photography is incredibly challenging, and sometimes dangerous, and you really have to love it in order to keep doing it. Extreme patience is also key, as you sometimes have to wait hours, days, or weeks to capture the perfect moment. I have enormous compassion for both people and animals. I strive to convey the beauty and fragility of the creatures that share our planet. When an animal allows me to photograph its daily life, I see this as a privilege and not a right. And I treat my animal photo subjects with kindness and respect.
What were your first photographic assignments?
Africa. And year after year, I can’t seem to stay away. It is in my blood now.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
Animal families. Photographing animals and their young can present the most magical moments, such as a lion cub meeting his father for the first time.
What’s the craziest experience you’ve had while traveling?
Crazy things happen to wildlife photographers all the time. We all have loads of snake stories, tales of various parasites, etc. But most of my most dangerous situations have been with humans and not animals!
How do you deal with stress while traveling?
I don’t! I tend to tuck it away and then deal with it when I get home.
What is the best advice you would like to share?
I feel unbelievably blessed to have a job that I enjoy and family and friends that love me. I think if everyone had this, the world would be a much better place.
Suzi’s photographs have been published in books, magazines and newspapers all over the world, including Smithsonian, Audubon, Ranger Rick, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Scientific American, National Geographic Kids, and Your Big Backyard. A Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, she has won an award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition and most recently from Ranger Rick Magazine as the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year.