Dancing with the Wolves

Every now and then I track the work of a photographer who gets my tail wagging. That happened recently when I saw an image of two wolves howling at the sky. The person behind the image is wildlife photographer John Ramer and once you see his work, it’s evident he has a knack for capturing wildlife in its most fleeting moments.


Into the Wild with John Ramer

Davi: Why did you choose wildlife photography in particular?

John: When I was first introduced to wolves in a New Mexico sanctuary, it had a profound impact on me. I wanted to capture the power and beauty that animal has which is often overlooked.


Talk about the most memorable wildlife photo you’ve shot. What made it special?

It was well below zero outside and snowing heavily as I watched a male wolf and his partner begin to settle down for the evening. I had been outside for far too long watching them and I was chilled to the core. After the black male wolf circled a tree, he came to a stop, staring directly at me, and began to howl. Afterward, he locked eyes with my camera and one of my most iconic images was captured. I wasn’t cold anymore.


What is the main challenge you face as a wildlife photographer?

Learning animals’ unique behavior patterns.


What do you love most about your work?

I love learning the distinct personalities of each species.


What are your top tips for capturing wildlife in its natural habitat?

Patience, lots of patience. Educate yourself to the animals’ behaviors and environment.

Any close encounters of the furry kind?

The only time I’ve been in danger was when photographing elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. Long story, but don’t end up between two angry males!


Do you have anything exciting on the horizon you can tell us?

I’m currently working on new photo and video content for Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Gainesville.


When I look at incredible photos of wildlife, I feel an instant connection with my inner wolf. But what I don’t see is the tremendous effort that was put into capturing that magical moment. There’s only one word to describe the wildlife photographers who risk life and limb to capture these shots:  passion. Passion, just like a wild animal, cannot be tamed.

The best wildlife photographers are masters at getting close to the animals they photograph, yet keep their distance and respect nature. Taking steps to make sure no harm is done to the creatures and the environment is important, not only for the animals being photographed but for the photographer’s work, too. When done right, wildlife photography can inspire a love of wildlife and the desire to protect it.

You can support National Wildlife Conservation Day by celebrating the many beautiful and different forms of nature. Without plants and animals, our lives would not be possible.


Davi the Dachshund does a little howling himself now and then.