I will always Fly South.
As someone who lived abroad for 5 years, I always held on to the words “Fly South”. South is where my roots grow deep. South is home. South is where my feet stay grounded to the earth like a Black Rhino’s heart.
I have so much love for this continent. The continent of stories. Africa. The place where wild animals roam the streets in the imaginations of foreigners. Growing up at the southern tip of Africa, I had quite a fortunate childhood. My deep love for animals was the original drive that pushed me in to photography. But not wildlife photography though. As a farmgirl on a cattle ranch my deep bond with critters started at an early age raising any and all orphaned baby animal.
As part of a personal project I wanted to photograph people with animals, so I was delighted when Tanya Myers, a talented ballerina told me that she and her husband own big cats! Could anything be more perfect?
So even though this is part of a personal project, these photos are sentimental to Tanya as well since her love for dancing and her love for nature and her animals are showcased together.
Tanya, you are so talented and it is always a blessing to meet someone who shares my love for animals.
Is it real?
A lot of people asked if these were composites and if the cheetahs and giraffes were added in Photoshop. I guess in South Africa many of us are fortunate enough to encounter these amazing animals so we don’t even think about why people would think these photos are not real.
So here are a few behind the scenes photos that Tanya’s husband took with a cellphone:
And of course there had to be a funny of me trying and failing to guide a real ballerina in to poses…. you can just see her in the background laughing at my Dance Attempt. Of course I blame my pants for the lack of flexibility. Haha
And one that was a test shot from my camera to check the light.