Simple Portraits Reveal the Unique Personalities of the Animal Kingdom

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Photographer Randal Ford believes that every animal has a story to tell. This compassionate perspective is at the core of his ongoing Animal Portrait Collection, a striking series that explores his subjects’ unique personalities and behaviors.

Each revealing photograph features a single animal strategically shot against a stark black or white backdrop. Described by Ford as a “deconstructive approach to portraiture,” this minimalist aesthetic prompts us to observe the subjects without distraction and places emphasis on eliciting emotion.

This focus on feelings is also evident in the expressions and poses of the animals. Some—like the upside-down sloth and lounging chimpanzee—showcase their silly side, while others—including the black bull and Bengal tiger—appear powerful and pensive. In any case, “whether it’s beauty, power, or humor,” Ford explains, “I want to give animals the opportunity to tell their story and to connect with you.”

To achieve this goal, Ford has a fascinating  approach: he does not try to dictate or guide the way the animals act. Instead, he lets them be themselves and shoots when the time is right.

“During the shooting process, it’s not uncommon that an animal gives you just a glimpse of its personality. My need to stay on point and focused is imperative in capturing that split second when an animal reveals itself,” he says. “And of course, these are animals.  We love them, we respect them, but we cannot control them.  It’s up to them to decide the story being told.”

In 2018, Ford compiled this stunning series into The Animal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits. You can find this beautiful book on Amazon.

In his ongoing Animal Portrait Collection, photographer Randal Ford captures minimalist yet emotive photos of animals.

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Chimpanzee

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Young Lion

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Black Bull

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Pink Cockatoo

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Highland Cow

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Rooster

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Skunk

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Bengal Tiger

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

White Arabian

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Black Wolf

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Mountain Lion

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Longhorn

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Black Leopard

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Flamingo

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Highland Cow

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Black Swan

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Snowy Owl

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

Chimpanzee

Randal Ford Animal Kingdom a Collection of Portraits Animal Kingdom Book

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