Photographing wildlife and big zoo animals at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
Wildlife photography endures in popularity and Bristol is a real hub for enthusiasts and talent. The BBC produces some of the world’s finest nature documentaries out of Bristol, while every year thousands of people flock to see the Natural History Museum’s touring Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxhall, Bristol, has some fantastic photo opportunities for nature-lovers and visitors enjoy coming for a family day out to capture our magnificent animals on film.
Some animals manage to hog the limelight more than others. Our big zoo animals are especially popular with our amateur photographers and professionals in the media. Lions, tigers, giraffes and rhinos are particularly impressive targets to fill the frame. Our smaller animals don’t miss out on all the fun though, as people love to take photos of our cheeky lemurs, meerkats and gibbons! Our innovative meerkat exhibit means that there are no bars or wires between visitor and animal, allowing for great photo opportunities up close with these charismatic little creatures.
One photographer in particular offers up his talent to get some wonderful shots of our animals at Noah’s Ark. Freelance photographer Dave Sullivan provides us with many of our best pictures, including all of the photos in this blog post. He’s been photographing our zoo animals voluntarily for over 3 years and provides us with many beautiful photos to use in promotions and advertising. The Portishead snapper’s work has featured on the front of local magazines, in newspapers and online. Dave often spends up to five hours on site to get high-quality images. Wildlife photography involves a great deal of patience and Dave often has to sit for hours waiting for the perfect shot capturing natural behaviour. All our animals are very active and take time to settle down and get used to a new person being in their company. Dave also comes to Noah’s Ark for special event days and the arrival of new animals to capture important moments at the zoo. His favourite animals are our tigers, gibbons and baby animals of any sort – you might be able to see why!
Some of Dave’s work is available for purchase in the Noah’s Ark shop at the zoo. He can also frame photos on request and produce smaller or larger prints, so get in touch with Noah’s Ark if there are particular animals you'd like to look for a picture of. There’s plenty of ways to get involved with photography at Noah’s Ark. Budding photographers particularly enjoy taking part in our popular Keeper Experiences, where visitors get the chance to go behind-the-scenes and experience a day in the life of a keeper and get pictures close to everything from African Lions and Bengal Tigers to our White Rhinos and Giraffes.
As well as getting to understand how we care for some of our mighty animals, visitors get the chance to take personal photos with animals. In fact people taking part in a Noah’s Ark Keeper Experience can even bring a friend along for free to take photos of them while they take part in the keeper activities. We’re also thinking about soon offering special Photography Experiences, giving individuals or small groups special access to normally off-limits areas of our flagship animal enclosures to get some really unique photographs.
Our Facebook page is a great way to get involved with photography. We run regular photo and caption competitions on our Noah’s Ark Facebook page with prizes for winners including family day tickets to the zoo and keeper experiences.
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with competitions, news and of course lots of photos of everyone at the farm!