Anyone who loves nature has a special appreciation for what wildlife photographers do, but the job isn't always as glamorous as it looks. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time to catch a glipse of your subject, and sometimes they even catch you! That's what happened to these photographers who had to be fearless as wild animals got a little too close for comfort. From lying side-by-side with a cheetah to getting sandwiched between two bears, you won't believe how up close and personal these wild animals got to their photographers.
Don't Worry, We Just Want To Give You Kisses
If two bears were on either side of our face, we would probably have a heart attack right then and there. The animals wouldn't even have to put up a fight, we would just pass out and be theirs for the taking.
How this photographer is keeping his cool is completely beyond us. He seems to have a bit of concern in his eyes, but his face is pretty nonchalant given the circumstances. As for the bears, they look like they're more interested in giving kisses than anything.
Your Shampoo Smells Delicious!
This image reminds us of Little Red Riding Hood when the grandmother has no idea that her "granddaughter" is really a wolf in disguise. We could imagine this photographer saying, "Honey, could you please stop messing with my hair, I'm trying to take a picture."
Who else beside a fictional character would be okay with a wolf mounting their head and chewing on their hair? This photographer, apparently, that's who! It better have been the shot of a lifetime.
Pay Attention To Me
This cheetah looks like a bit of an attention hog. It couldn't be lying closer to the photographer unless it was on top of him. To top it off, it's looking at the man so closely that its nose is practically pressed against his face.
Meanwhile, the photographer is just calm as can be, holding one eye shut to look through the lense and perhaps to avoid seeing the wild animal in his peripheral vision.
This Really Isn't That Funny, Man
We're not sure who we're more concerned for, the deer or the man! The photographer may be laughing now, but he won't be if the deer decided to throw a punch or shake his head loose.
It is a little funny seeing a deer stuck in a camera lens instead of being stuck in headlights. It must have been a little too curious. At least the photographer is keeping a positive attitude despite his camera lens being potentially damaged.
Don't Mind Me
We typically associate dogs with being the ones who won't stop sniffing personal areas, but apparently foxes have a thing for derrier sniffing too! This little guy is soft-footed enough that the photographer has no idea its there.
She was just trying to get the right angle for her picture. Little did she know that there was a pretty fascinated thing happening right behind her! It just goes to show that even the experts don't always know when wildlife is creeping up on them.
I'll Take That Thank You
They say that lions are the king of the jungle, so it's no surprise that this one decided to go ahead and take what wasn't theirs. It's as though the animal was asserting their power by taking the photographer's camera.
We have to wonder how the scene played out before this point. Was the person around when the lion came up and grabbed the device? Even if they were, we're guessing they wouldn't have been able to do much all things considered.
You Better Be Scared!
This photographer has a much more realistic reaction to a wild animal getting uncomfortably close. While the people we've seen so far seemed eerily calm, this guy isn't even trying to hide his fear.
The look on his face is priceless as the cheetah climbs up the back of the car to get closer to the man on its roof. The photographer isn't even attempting to take a picture; he's too busy trying to save his life.
Tag, I'm It
This poor camera crew was so spooked by the bear heading their way that they left one of their cameras and tripods behind! The massive animal seems to be barreling towards it, as though the men are of little interest.
Nevertheless, the men look terrified as they run for their lives. It's pretty humorous to see four grown men racing away from one animal, but that goes to show the power of bears. You don't want to test those odds.
Let Me See!
This fox looks like it's trying to see the photo the photographer just took to make sure it's a flattering one. We can imagine the animal saying, "No. No. Yes. No." as the photographer clicks through the different pictures.
In reality, the animal is probably doing one of two things: inspecting the camera, or getting a closer sniff of the man. Meanwhile, the photographer is incredibly calm despite having the snout of a wild animal graze his sleeve.
You Need A Tic Tac!
If a wild animal every got this close to us, the last thing we would do is pucker up for a kiss. But as these photos have shown, wildlife photographers are by and large a different breed.
This one took the opportunity to kiss the little weasel that came up close. The animal doesn't seem to quite know how to reciprocate the gesture, so it just pointed its open mouth towards the woman's nose. It's like it dodged the kiss due to some bad breathe.
I've Got Your Back
This seal must have met this photographer before, because the two look like family at this point. They're even smiling for the camera together as the seal lies longways along the man's back.
Not even house pets are willing to get this cozy for a picture with their owner. You'd be lucky to get your dog or cat to balance on top of your back like this. But seals are used to piling on top of one another.
We're A Blended Family
This photographer received the company of two adorable baby animals! One is a fawn that's standing on her back. The other one looks like a puppy, and we certainly hope it is because you don't want to mess with a young wolf.
They may be cute, but if the parents come around things can go awry very quickly. The photographer looks like a modern day snow white, which is probably why she loves taking pictures in the wild.
I Got You!
This baby tiger looks like it was messing around while its human dad was trying to work. They are so cute together that we want the photographer to take the tiger home and raise it as his pet!
Of course, that would only seem like a good idea for a few months, because the tiger would soon turn into a huge liability. Wrestling around with a tiger is a very different story when they are no longer a cub.
I Claim This Man
Whoever took this photo, the baby cheetah is looking at them like, "Don't even think about coming near my man." It's like they're sitting on the photographer's back to claim him as their territory.
Meanwhile, the photographer's grin implies he finds the ordeal a little humorous. He's still trying to get his photo, but we'd imagine he's distracted by the cutie on his back. Plus, the poor guy is probably keeping a lookout for the cheetah's mom.
What Is This?
This snow-speckled fox is even more adorable as it inspects the photographer's camera lens. Even he seems under the animal's cuteness spell, as he's surprisingly comfortable with this fox being near his expensive equipment.
If the fox launched towards the camera unexpectedly, who knows what damage might be done. Then again, these photographers face a certain level of risk every day on the job since they're working with wildlife. If anyone knows how looks can be deceiving, it's them.
Wait, Is This Not My Nest?
Birds have an incredible sense of direction, especially considering that they don't mistake other nests for their own. This bird looks like it confused this photographer's grey hair for their nest.
That, or the bird just finds his head to be a comfortable perch. Either way, it makes for a hilarious picture. It's not everyday that a wildlife photographer finds themself turning around the lens to take a selfie with their subject. It takes skill to do so with that long of a lens!
He'll Never See Me Behind This Lens
This adorable squirrel is peaking at the photographer while "hiding" behing the lens. Little does the animal know that the man can see it through the very thing it's using as a hideout!
All the squirrel is doing is blocking the camera's view. The lens is practically the same size as the tiny animal. The only way this wouldn't be an inconvenience is if the photographer was actually going for a closeup of a squirrel's tummy.
You Guys Distract Him While I Mount His Back!
This photographer was so focused on the two meerkats ahead of him that a third meerkat saw it as the perfect opportunity to climb onto the man's back. When trying to take the perfect photo, you can't let anything distract you, not even a wild animal climbing on you.
The meerkat looks incredibly comfortable relaxing on the photographer's back. It's just looking around like there's nothing unusual about the situation. Perhaps the meerkat is there to help direct its model friends.
This Photography Thing Isn't So Hard
We already saw a lion steal a camera. We like to imagine that this is the same lion, and that it has managed to set up the tripod. Now the lion is pushing buttons to self-teach the art of photography.
It really looks as though the lion is snapping a photo or previewing the ones already on the camera. Either this wild animal is stellar at mimicking the actions of humans, or it has impeccable intuition when it comes to technology.
Can Everyone Squeeze In A Little Closer Please?
This picture looks like it came out of a Dr. Doolittle movie or any other film that personifies animals. The fox looks like a photographer that's taking a moment to direct the models.
In reality, the animal is probably using the camera to help hold its balance while standing on hind legs. At best, it was processing the fact that the camera is capable of displaying what is ahead. At worse, it's deciphering whether or not the device is edible.
This Thing Is Awesome
Where the fox "photographer" didn't seem completely sure of what the device he leaned on was, this bear seems surprisingly in the know. The massive animal stands at just the right height to look through the lens.
The bear even has a little grin on its face as it looks at the camera, which could be displaying the view ahead. On the other hand, the bear could just be smirking because it smells human on the camera.
The look on this beaver's face says it all. It's like the animal just discovered the magic of modern technology and it looks through the camera lens. It's easy to forget how amazing human innovation really is.
The beaver is even holding onto the tripod with one hand to stabilize itself while peaking through the lens. The position makes it look like the animal is a certified photographer who is moved by the beauty of nature.
I'm Going To Have To Retake All Of These
This monkey looks like it really knows how to work a camera! The animal is sitting on a rock with the camera between both hands and the strap wrapped around its shoulders.
The look on the monkey's face suggest it's genuinely interesting in whatever is on the display screen. We have to wonder if the photographer taught this little cutie how to operate that camera! It would be amazing to see a photographer with a monkey as their assistant.
Hey! I Can See You Through This Thing!
These chipmunks couldn't be cuter at they discover the incredible way that a camera operates. While many of the animals on this list were alone in their investigation, these two have each other to enhance their experiment.
They are both looking through opposite ends of the lens to see how this thing works. The one to the right looks like it's telling the other what it sees. They look like little kids calling into those playground talk tubes.
I Said No Photos!
Though kangaroos are adorable, anyone living in Australia will tell you that they're not the most gentle of animals. While the other photographers were relatively safe in the company of wild animals, this one is a reminder of the risk they take.
We would venture to guess that this photographer either wasn't a professional, got a little too bold, or simply had a bout of bad luck. What's impressive is that the camera is pointed at the scene even while it's mid-air!
Hello Mr. Cameraman
This polar bear seems to be fascinated by the ship drifting through its town. It was peaking through the windows when it caught a glipse of this cameraman above. The curious animal is now looking right up at the camera.
It's one thing to witness wildlife in action, but it's another to actually connect with it. This man got to look right into a polar bear's eyes through the lens of his camera. That's a moment we're sure he'll love watching over and over.
Let Me See!
Having a pet you can teach things to is a beautiful experience, but doing so with an exotic animal is downright amazing. This photographer got to show a monkey what he sees when looking through the camera lens.
The monkey seems fascinated, so much so that we wouldn't be surprised if it tried to take over the photoshoot. It may take a few more lessons before the monkey is ready to put the camera in focus, though.
No More Paparazzi!
This photo was captured at China's Siberian Tiger Farm. The sanctuary enables brave visitors to hold a baby tiger! This little girl is all on her own as she cradles a tempermental tiger cub.
She has protective gloves on and an apron over he lap to help keep her safe, but we still are surprised the parents weren't more concerned. Plus, the cub doesn't exactly look happy and it cries out as if to say, "Please, no more paparazzi!"
Nothing To See Here, Just A Swan
This photographer didn't attract animals, he became one! The man created a swan-like floating device that's large enough for him and his camera to fit into. He then went into the water to take photos while in disguise.
We would think that the swan might attract more wildlife to the scene, which was probably the idea. Though it's a smart idea, the costume sure does make the man look hilarious. We have to wonder if any animals figured out what he was up to.
You Better Run!
This is a screenshot from a night vision camera that caught something you don't ever want to see in real life. That animal is a skunk and it's doing a warning dance, which is their way of saying, "You better get out of here before I spray you!"
If you've ever driven past an area where a skunk sprayed, you know how strong the smell is. If you've ever been sprayed, then you know just how difficult it is to get out the stink!
Don't Mind My Kid, Just Take The Photo
Human moms can probably relate to this photo, even though it's featuring hippos. The baby hippo is biting its mom's face, and she's looking at the camera like "Don't worry, this is normal."
Parents get so used to their little ones that they can tone out their childlike behaviour better than strangers. This hippo mom is just chewing her leaf and smiling for the camera while her little one acts like the baby it is.
Can You Move? You're In My Shot
Here we have another fox acting hilariously humanlike behind the camera. It is standing on hind legs and holding the camera for balance while leaned to one side as if to see something.
The way it's looking at a fixed point makes us imagine it saying, "Excuse me! You, back there. You're in my shot." This fox must be used to photographers coming around, because it certainly seemed comfortable playing with the equipment and being near humans.
Who Says I'm Too Small To Be A Photographer?
This little mouse is a fraction of the camera's size. That's what makes it look so adorable while playing photographer. The actual photographer must have had something creative in mind for the background, because the image is shot in front of a green screen.
The mouse is also standing on a stick overgrown with vegetation. We would guess that this image was for some sort of camera advertisement where the mouse is overlooking an incredible view.
If I Stay Still, He'll Never Know
This squirrel somehow managed to sneak onto this photographer's backpack without him realizing it. The animal is sitting tall and still as though it doesn't want to tip off the man.
It's like the squirrel wanted a free ride to wherever he's going and took the opportunity to sit back while still getting ahead. That, or maybe it just likes seeing things from up top. It's also possible that this photographer is aware of the squirrel and happy to be of service.
This Camera Tastes Funny
Our lion friend is back and this time, it looks like it's trying to munch on the device it stole from some poor photographer. We know they probably won't be getting that camera back any time in the near future.
And when they do get it back, we'd doubt it'd be in very good condition after its adventure in a lion's mouth. We don't know why the lion was interested in it in the first place!
Who's In There?
Photographer's have some funny tactics for getting the right wildlife image. This one decided to hideout in a snow mound to get the perfect shot while under cover. Little did they know that a fox would spot the camera poking out.
Wildlife photography isn't as easy as it may look. The moment a human is around, animals will often flee or become defensive. Then again, they may just walk right up to the human to say hello.
This sloth looked like it just got back from performing in a horror. It's open mouth and wide eyes aren't exactly a pleasant sight. We're not sure if this is meant to scare the camera away or is purely the sloth's reaction to being taken aback.
Wouldn't it be funny if humans went around doing this to things we didn't recognize? You see a new piece of technology and just scream at it open-mouthed until you get tired.
This Image Will Prove Them All Wrong
There have been multiple animals on this list who humorously looked like they could be a photographer. But this fox takes it a step further. Something about the determined look on its face makes us convinced it's trying to be taken seriously as an artist.
It's like the fox finally found the perfect image that will launch it into fame and acclaim. It's just looking ahead as though it's pondering everyone who ever cast doubt.
I'd Run After You, But I'm Exhausted
This cheetah looks like it's about to fall asleep. At the same time, it's leaned up and facing in the direction of the camera, so it almost seems like the animal is on high alert.
It's like the cheetah was in such a deep sleep that it's body couldn't quite wake up, even though it's subconsciously aware that a human is near. If we were this photographer, we wouldn't push our luck by getting too close.
I Will Quack You Away!
This duck is not a fan of having its picture taken. While the other two ducks in the background seem to be blissfully oblivious, this one is ready for a fight.
The animal quacking so close to the camera lens that you could practically give it a dental examination just from this photo! We would guess that the photographer got the message and backed off after this image was taken. That, or they just moved on to the calmer ducks.