Raptors - my first foray into avian studio photography

This was the first time I’d ever worked with avian subjects. So, of course I decided to jump into the deep end with tiny, speedy, amazing raptors. Because if you’ve got an idea, you may as well go all out. The images that I captured are some of the strongest I’ve ever created (in my humble opinion).

My goal for 2019 was to learn how to use a flash in my photography. It’s evident to anyone who’s familiar with my body of work that I’m obsessed with crisp photos of animals in action as well, so it was only a matter of (very brief) time before I sought to combine the two.

Nopalito | Aplomado Falcon

Nopalito is a ~2 year old Aplomado Falcon owned by Joanie Lamoureaux, a registered falconer from Quebec. He’s a hunting bird. I was lucky enough to be able to coordinate the photography session to correspond with her trip. He had a great disposition and worked well in a studio environment.

Aspen | Harris Hawk

Aspen is a ~2 year old Harris Hawk owned by Amy Elizabeth of Royal Canadian Falconry. Aspen is a working bird, doing both commercial bird control as well as public education demonstrations. His temperament was rock solid, coping with the studio environment with ease.

If you’re interested in seeing Aspen fly, Royal Canadian Falconry does falconry experiences. I highly recommend that you reach out to them!

How these shots came about:

I put out a random model call on my social media pages asking for avian subjects, and the reaction was pretty overwhelming. I selected two birds and their handlers that seemed as if they would be comfortable in a studio setting. I brought my portable studio to a horse arena, set it up and, well, these are the results.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who helped make this day such a great success.

Behind the scenes