I am a secret photographer. Like many other university students my employment history is filled with various waitressing jobs and retail experience. So when I decided to apply for a job as a photographer based on my hobbies alone, I didn’t really expect much of a response. I was applying for a position as a sales photographer in a wildlife park, taking pictures of tourists and animals for six months. Not only was I surprised to get an interview I was even more surprised to be made the manager of the whole team. I got to spend six months honing my photography skills with people and wildlife as my subjects.
I wouldn’t say that I am a professional photographer by any means despite being employed as one. I was given a chance to practice a hobby which I never gave much time to, if I’m being honest. During the summer months there were good days and bad days. Since I was based in Ireland, there were mostly bad days. Torrential rain and high winds deterred the public from visiting the park, and those who did brave the elements were not too keen to stand around getting their pictures taken. It did however expose the animals’ natural instincts which were great to capture on camera. Those sunny days were the ones to remember though. On slower days myself and my colleagues had the opportunity to have what we dubbed ‘David Attenborough moments’ and just sit and observe giraffes, zebras, penguins and cheetahs. Being given that much time to work around these animals and to capture them in some moments you might never see as a visitor was something special.