Jamie C.


The Wild Side of Photography 

Animals, safari, and more! Wildlife photographer Timmy Moser does it all.


The thought of being up close and personal to a lion might be a little intimidating. But it might also seem like a life-changing experience. It's not for everyone, but for wildlife photographers, the dedicate their lives to capturing some of the most intricate moments of animals in their natural habitats. Wildlife photography gets you some once-in-a-lifetime shots of wildlife and nature. They require extreme patience but yields some of the most breathtaking results within photography, and Alphagvrd's affiliate and friend, Timmy Moser, has detailed tips and tricks, advice, and experiences throughout his time as a wildlife photographer. 

What are some challenges you faced when you first started working with wildlife? 

Before I moved to South Africa, I was a portrait photographer used to scheduling shoots in beautiful locations and positioning my subjects in the best lighting. Wildlife photography is the complete opposite for you have almost zero control of the scene. I often see the most beautiful locations for a photo and wish an animal would appear, or conversely, I have the most incredible sighting of a lion but it is almost pitch dark and I have no way to create a stunning image.Additionally, wildlife photography requires you to use a massive 600mm telephoto lens which is a challenge on its own. It has a slow aperture which degrades image quality in low light and because of its focal range it is prone to lens blur, especially when shooting from an unstable vehicle full of other photographers. Over the years these challenges have forced me to become creative and push the bounds in order to get the shot.


How do you approach habitats and wildlife respectfully?

It is important to understand that the animal will only hang around and act naturally if you let it feel comfortable. There is no need to drive as close as possible to a sighting. I like to park at a significant distance from the animal and along a likely route they might walk past. This often results in them ambling right past as we sit quietly and achieve incredibly intimate photos. This approach makes us appreciate how wild these animals are and the fact that they could have gone anywhere but for that instance decided to come past us. 


What's the greatest moment in nature you have ever encountered?

In 2022 I was at a reserve called Mongena in South Africa. We were sitting during golden hour watching impala perform these impressive hurdling jumps over a mud puddle while large, spiralled-horned antelope named kudu graze on nearby bushes. Suddenly the bush erupted with birds squawking and baboons barking in alarm. As we looked down the road three cheetahs were sprinting at full speed towards the antelope. The animals were twisting and leaping so quickly that I chose to watch only with my eyes and did not attempt to capture a photo. As the dust settled, we realized the antelopes successfully evaded and we were left in awe as we watched the cheetahs regroup and catch their breath.


How do you think wildlife photography integrates the relationship between nature and humans?

Wildlife photography requires one to sit outside and be part of nature. I sit and listen for far away calls, look for paw prints in the sand, and smell the air for fresh dung which are actions I never perform in a city. When I went on my first safari in 2018, I only hoped to see lions and photograph impressive animals but since then I have fallen in love with the intricacies of each ecosystem with a desire to conserve them. I hope all get the chance to learn about their surroundings and the value each plant and animal brings.


How do you protect yourself from the dangers of of wildlife while existing/working in the space?

The safest way to approach African animals is with a guide/ranger. These guides are trained to place you in a safe position based on the animal’s behavior. When working from a vehicle a guide will maneuver the car so that you can focus on taking photos while monitoring the animal’s comfort and mood. It is important to remember animals always have right of way and to not lean out of or exit vehicles.


What is your goal in sharing your photos and work as a wildlife photographer?

My goal will always be to inspire others to go on safari. I went on my first trip to South Africa in 2018 and my life was changed after just three days of seeing animals. I soon came to realize that going on a safari is at the top of many people’s bucket list but they are hesitant since they did not have any peers that have gone first. I strive to create wildlife content that engages my audience while sharing adventure in the bush. I am always thrilled when a stranger messages that they have just booked their first safari.


What are some tips you can share with other wildlife photographers?

Practice in your backyard with local wildlife. Start photographing house cats and common birds in all conditions and lighting scenarios until you are confident in getting the shot. This will help ensure you have an intimate knowledge of your gear and photography basics so that you can capture that dream photo when the moment comes! 

Find more for Timmy's wildlife adventures @mosertimmy!