December 18th, 2009
Trailing the life of various animals is not only a rewarding career to have in the photography industry, but can be applicable in so many different sectors of photography. Andrew Zuckerman is one such photographer who has transferred his love of animals into the prints of his photography, even creating a children’s book, “Creature ABC”. He is a clear demonstration that photography jobs can take on any type of cover and transcend many different boundaries.
Children’s books seem to revolve around animals and photographers have realized this in recent years, essentially tailoring their art to become implanted into children literature. Animals in the alphabet is one of the first ways children learn how to recite the alphabet; Zuckerman’s book is no different as each of his animals match a letter in a manner that draws children’s eyes to the entirety of the animal. The ability of photographers to connect with their subjects, whether they be animate, inanimate, human, or animal, is an important part of pursuing a successful photography career. Zuckerman has mastered this effect, as his animals take on the effect of terror (in the photograph of the lion), or companionship (in the photograph of the seal).
These photographs draw children into the world of animals, essentially bringing the zoo to them. Children who read these books are typically younger than five and many cannot recognize the difference between a horse and a zebra or a jaguar and a leopard. These books and photographs bring the animal world to children through their photographs. Another artist, Teruyuki Komiya, has played with this idea, creating “Life-Size Zoo”, a compilation of life-size photographs of smaller animals, with close ups of larger animals. These photographs give children an outlet into the natural world, one which has been stricken from many of their metropolitan lives in lieu of city-life.
While photographs cannot replace the effect of essentially being at the zoo, there is still a large niche for photography jobs in the children’s literature industry. Children have always related well to animals (Disney anyone?) and nearly every children’s book depicts this. Allowing children the opportunity to view first hand photographs of exotic animals which they do not see on an everyday basis boosts their knowledge of the world and bridges the gap between the natural world and the urban city life. It has now only become a matter of snapping pictures of animals in a more creative fashion to make a name for themselves as photographers. Children are one of the easiest audiences to entertain and animals have the perfect backdrop to pursue photography jobs in; it is only a matter of capturing the essence of the photograph to make it relevant to both children and even adults (who are really just children at heart).
While illustrations were typically the art form of choice within children’s books, technology has evolved in such a way that we can now manipulate photographs into more child-like illustrations, essentially creating a mix of fantasy and reality. Photography does not always have to be about capturing what is truly there, but only capturing the underlying message.