Claire Wood Photography

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Claire Wood Photography Films Simba the Lion at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Industry: Photography

Claire Wood usually feels infallible behind the camera. Find out how that changed slightly when photographing Simba the Lion.

Yorkshire, UK (PRUnderground) July 2nd, 2014

Claire Wood has over 12 years of professional photography experience. She has photographed many industry leaders, celebrities and worked for some of the UK’s leading corporates.

This shoot was for “Fabulous” magazine.

Claire and make up artist, Erika Swinn nervously arrived at Yorkshire Sculpture park to be shown round by owner Cheryl williams.

They were interested to hear the story of the 13 lions rescued from poor conditions in a Romanian zoo.

Claire was met by Diane Taylor (26) from Doncaster who started work as a receptionist at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Diane was then asked if she wanted to help out with the animals and is now working with the lions.

The brief, for Fabulous magazine’s ‘It happened to me feature’, was to photograph Diane as close to the lion enclosure as possible.  After a good look around Claire found that the best spot was actually inside the lions run. (their path from their night time enclosure to their outdoor space).   A few lions had yet to be released for the day and so Claire was led past their enclosures.

Claire says “Walking along their run made me a little nervous in case somehow the enclosures were opened by accident! Obviously not likely but it still made me nervous.”

She continues “I was told in no uncertain terms that nobody was ever in the same space as the lions unless they were safely sedated as they would definitely eat you.

Once round the back and facing the outdoor space we were separated by a high wire fence from 3 lions ( twin brothers and their mother).

Diane brought along great slabs of raw meat in order to tempt the lions closer.  They hadn’t been fed at that point so were quite peckish. The force of the lions strength against the fence and the loudness of his roar was amazing!

I had my camera though and although it’s daft I always feel safe behind it so I was concentrating on getting the best shot and busy directing Diane.  I became quite relaxed and really began to enjoy being so close to the lion, that is until he shook his head from side to side, like a dog coming out of the sea, and covered us all in raw meat / lion saliva!  Lovely.”

Claire managed to shoot some amazing photos, and they were featured in the magazine soon afterwards.

To find our more about Claire and her work visit Claire Wood Photography website.

About Claire Wood Photography

Claire Wood is a professional photographer based in Yorkshire. Her main work is editorial portraiture, commercial, corporate and celebrity photography.

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