These striking animal portraits were not taken in a studio. Serbian-born photographer Boza Ivanovic started photographing zoo animals after he recovered from a freak motorcycle accident that left him with two cracked vertebrae in his neck. He spent four months confined to his bed and remembering a certain photo he had taken.


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“The subject of that photo was a tiger – but more than an image was shot,” Ivanovic told PetaPixel. “I was struck by what jumped out of the picture — a personality, a soul.” Upon his recovery, he returned to zoo photography to take these portraits. “It took hours of observation to get know each creature and then even more time to await the perfect opportunity for my new ‘friend’s’ persona to come shining through.”

Ivanovic grew up in Belgrade and worked as a camera assistant before relocating to Los Angeles in 1996. His work has appeared in American publications such as National Geographic, Esquire, and others. The “Out of the Wild: Zoo Portraits” photo series has also been published in book form.

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“It took hours of observation to get know each creature”

“I was struck by what jumped out of the picture — a personality, a soul”

“I hope these images similarly speak to you as they reveal each animal’s unique beauty, majesty, power, and spirit”

“Though all are in physical captivity, their irrepressible characteristics could never be shackled”

You can buy Ivanovic’s book of photos here.