Guest Post: 7 Ways to Shoot great pictures at the Zoo

Going to the Zoo is something a lot of families do for fun, but it’s also an opportunity to get some great photos for those of us into photography. While it might not quite be on the same level as going on an African safari, a quick look around at some shots that people have taken at their local zoo is enough to reveal that a trip there can yield some awesome results. Photography enthusiast, Neville Lobo, kindly agreed to share some of his tips for getting that perfect shot at the zoo.

1.) Get there early – Getting to the Zoo earlier than everyone else means that you get to take photos of the animals without anyone around to disturb you. No worries about annoying kids screaming or throwing peanuts at the animals either! (You might also be lucky enough to be shooting in the Golden Hour! – Ed)

Polar bear in the sun

Photo by Mape_S.

2.) Isolate the animals – Doing this allows you to get nice clear images with a single animal as the focal point.

If I were King for just one day....

Photo by Kevin Law.

3.) Group them up – Do the opposite of the above. Animals that tend to be social also tend to look better in group shots.

Piled baboons

Photo by Tambako.

4.) Patience – This is important in all forms of photography and is equally important here. The longer you can spend watching and shooting each animal the better your chances of catching them in a wide variety of poses.

5.) The proper gear – Its hard to get a great image when your at one end and the animals you want to shoot are at the other. A decent zoom lens or a telephoto can really be very useful (along with a tripod!).

6.) Framing – Try and use the cage, a fence or a tree to frame the shot. This can make the image more appealing and draw the viewer into the image.

Sparrow on the fence

Photo by Tambako.

7.) Get friendly with the staff – This might have more to do with your personal skills that photography. Getting to know more about the staff and the work they do might get you a chance to get some nice exclusive close up shots.

Guest post by Neville Lobo – Neville is a photographer from Bangalore specialising in Landscape and Portrait photography. You can find more of his photography tips at or follow him on Twitter @NevilleLobo2

About the author


I'm Rob, the editor of Light Stalking. I try to keep this ship on course.

  • violeta says:

    oh good very good ,it is a visit to animals life .l like especially the bird ,you just go there and take a piece of his life an you make it a big momment for etenity ,l like it

  • Admin says:

    Glad you’re enjoying the site Violeta.

  • Mandy says:

    I love going to the zoo, it’s a great family day out. Although it can be tricky shooting with two kids in tow, I’ll have to sneak off on my own some time…

    Great composition on these shots, I’ll have to add a better zoom lens to my wishlist!

  • Some superb pics in the post (interestingly enough…Tambako is one of my contacts on Flickr) I would also add the telephoto can help “zoom” past the bars of the cages so you can also get an image of an animal that is behind bars.

  • Admin says:

    @Damon – that’s actually a great tip! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Emanuel Table says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I just wanted to follow up and say that they definitely helped me. I took the following picture of a white tiger…

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