Sex on 4 legs…or 2 wings.

I know I’m not alone in search of the holy grail that is mainstream acceptance of the natural history image. Yes I know that conservation is more ‘popular’ than ever and that greetings cards of robins sell by the truckload. I’ve even noticed the trend for well established camera operators to become presenters, such is the appetite of a growing audience for contact with nature – virtual or otherwise.

But let’s be honest: it’s not mainstream, not really. Very little of what I or my contemporaries do, ever gets noticed beyond a very small niche audience. We’re simply not sexy enough. And so it was with great surprise (and cautious delight) that I picked up a copy of HELLO magazine recently (left at our holiday cottage I’ll have you know). Amongst all the glitz and the obscene conspicuous consumerism of the great and the good, an image from the Wild Wonders of Europe collection – yes, a natural history photograph in HELLO magazine! Right in there alongside a more than generous serving of designer-clad celebs sporting the latest shade of orange skin pigment.

So my quest for 2011 is to give thought (or should I say ‘more thought’) into translating this faint ember of hope into a raging inferno. Conservation has been historically conservative in its quest to sell itself. Perhaps 2011 is the year for nature photographers to prostitute ourselves; to do whatever it takes to be seen; to be conspicuous; to be less worthy; to make our subjects sexy.

Any ideas? A very safe and contented New Year to one and all.

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4 thoughts on “Sex on 4 legs…or 2 wings.

  1. As you say Pete, Wildlife watching and photography are enormously popular. I live close to Epping Forest (more populous than the Cairngorms perhaps) but I am frequently asked – usually as I am about to press the camera shutter – if I know what a given bird or more often, insect might be. TV programmes have stimulated a lot of this interest and yet they can never be a subsitute for going out in the field. So I have written a short book – Finding Wildlife in Epping Forest – I wonder if this concept could have a more general application. A network of Finding Wildlife books for a variety of local patches ? Brgds Peter

  2. Well I guess that the ordinary and abundant wildlife that surrounds us is the Hello equivalent of the great unwashed.unglitzy.unglamorous.unwashed that comprise its readership.

    But if your’re lucky enough to be enormously cute with big eyes, (no, not Katie Price) and on the Red List, rather than the Red Carpet, thats possibly the same as being an A list celeb. and it ‘might’ ‘just’ gain you entry to the pages of Hello.

    But the problem is that most Red List celebs have trouble putting together coherent sentences, don’t interview very well, can be a real pain at parties, can come over as being fairly dim and generally have to rely on PR men to get them their gigs.

    Hang on a minute, whats the difference……….where’s Max Clifford’s phone number….

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