How I Became a Baby Gorilla Photographer

Baby Bomassa

People seem to wonder how I got involved in my current passion. This photo had a great deal to do with it. I was getting ready for a photography workshop and needed to practice using a new piece of equipment. There's really no sense in showing up for an advanced workshop if you don't even know how to use your new tripod, after all. You really don't want to be fumbling with the knobs and wondering what they do, when everyone else is running off after those prancing pronghorn to get the once in a lifetime shot. So I planned a trip to a place where I knew I would be able to find some animals. The zoo is quite a distance from my house and therefore I had originally planned just to spend the one day out there, just to gain a little familiarity with that new tripod. But as I traveled from exhibit to exhibit, I happened upon the most endearing situation!

There were two gorilla moms, each holding a baby gorilla, both of these practically newborn! I took 25 or 30 shots and then wandered on ahead to the next exhibit. When I got home, I spent a long time looking at those photos and it occurred to me that I had just photographed something fairly rare. Sure enough, as I read up on the topic, I learned that not very many baby gorillas are born in any given year at a North American Zoo.

So I decided to go out to the zoo, over and over again, and see if I couldn't get shots of those babies at all the stages of their infancy. I would get home and post some of my best shots on Google Plus and pretty soon, one of my contacts there mentioned that I really ought to be keeping a blog about all this. He was so RIGHT! So I went ahead and started my Baby Gorilla Blog and now you can find about a hundred posts and even more photos, each chronicling those adorable babies, Bomassa and Apollo, and the events, complete with ups and downs, of their first year of life. It was a fantastic way to spend a year. But I am not quite done yet. Those boys are still growing and are only getting more intriguing to watch. Keep checking over there at the Baby Gorilla Blog for more as they grow. You can sign up for email updates, or can follow along on Facebook or Google Plus or Pinterest for various kinds of updates.