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Carcinophagus the lobe-toothed crab eater seal
Copyright  Derek Kyostia/Picfair 2019   -  

You don't have to be a pro to take stunning wildlife pictures like these

By Nichola Daunton

Spending time in nature is rewarding in so many ways, so to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2022, we’ve pulled together some of the best wildlife images from amateur photographers from photography platform Picfair.

UN World Wildlife Day has been celebrated since 2014 and marks the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (also known as CITES) was signed in 1973.

This year’s theme is “recovering key species for ecosystem restoration” and it seeks to highlight the crucial re-wilding investment that's needed for the world to meet its COP26 goals.

Kate Jaconello, Picfair
sunbathing-foxKate Jaconello, Picfair

Many of the photographers featured here are amateurs, who hold down day jobs alongside their camera-clicking. Their stories show us that, while our input is crucial if we want ecosystems to recover, nature is vital for human recovery too. A fact made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic, as Kate Jaconello, explains:

“My relationship with photography has been and continues to be the most amazing journey. I had always composed [music] but found myself without much time to sit at my piano when very sadly a few family members fell ill and my attention turned to supporting them.”

After showing some photos to friends, Kate was encouraged to buy an entry-level camera.

“On my journeys and visits to my family, and in between the most stressful of times, I had windows of peace with my camera.”

The Vera Lily Gallery, Picfair
low-visibility-take-offThe Vera Lily Gallery, Picfair

Using wildlife photography to help with the pressures of everyday life is a common theme.

I use photography as a way to unwind because when I'm out with my camera I completely forget about the stresses of life.
Kate Peskett
Wildlife Photographer

"I use photography as a way to unwind because when I'm out with my camera I completely forget about the stresses of life,” says Kate Peskett from Milton Keynes in the UK who works for a scientific journal.

“It's also a great way to keep learning new things whether it's about the technicalities of the camera, or about the behaviour of an animal or bird."

Derek Kyostia, Picfair
neighbourly-disputeDerek Kyostia, Picfair

Derek Kyostia, 49, from Vancouver Island, Canada discovered photography at a young age and hasn’t looked back. Raised on the “wild shores of Lake Superior” he went on to gain a degree in biology, before migrating to the Pacific.

“For the last 15 years, I’ve been a full-time interpretative guide/naturalist, blissfully immersed in my passions”.

Cory Lescher, Picfair
Expert-fishermanCory Lescher, Picfair

Cory Lescher, a marine biologist and outdoor adventurer from Alaska began taking pictures as a way to “bring the remote wilderness closer to people who do not have the luxury to experience it in person”.

He has some advice for budding wildlife photographers too.

“If you're interested in getting into nature photography, don't wait. Get out there now and get started. Take pictures, tell your stories and your photography will grow and evolve over time, but nature is waiting for you now.”

Jenny-Louise Read, Picfair
common-frogJenny-Louise Read, Picfair

Jenny Louise Read, from Kent, UK took a more unique route into animal photography.

"I'm a pet and wildlife photographer. I’m also disabled with phocomelia, which means I have one arm. I love photography. I started because my dog was poisoned by my neighbours.”

After a few shaky months, her dog made a full recovery, but not before inspiring her to start documenting his life.

“Photography for me is also a confidence booster as due to my disability I was bullied quite a lot and always had to fight extra for a chance to do anything. Photography is my choice and my power in the world. I’m responsible for my own failure and no one can tell me no."