Wildlife is one of the most technically demanding and rewarding genres of amateur and professional photography. According to Cary Wolinsky and Bob Caputo, who have a combined 64 years of experience photographing stories for National Geographic and other publications, whether you're trying to capture a herd of elephants on the Serengeti Plains or squirrels in your backyard, the name of the game is patience.

But sometimes the stars align and things just happen. Your cat gives your dog a warm hug and all you have to do is take out your phone and press the shutter button before their unexpected burst of love ends in turmoil. Sure, these photos won't make it to a competition like the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year, but there are other ways they can make people smile. Like the Instagram account, The Snuggle Is Real. It shares random animal photos that make people smile even on a rainy day, and who cares if the images aren't that high-res when you're grinning from ear to ear?

Continue scrolling and check out some of the best pics from this wholesome account.

More info: Instagram

#1

thesnuggleisrl Report

I’m A Black Cat
Community Member
2 months ago

Major blep

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#2

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Nor
Community Member
2 months ago

Got nothing but love

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To learn more about what it takes to capture a good animal photo, we contacted wildlife conservation photographer Carla Rhodes. "Of course, gear is very important, but I also believe that the best camera is the one you have with you!" Rhodes told Bored Panda. "I’m a big fan of working within the restraints of what you have available, as the majority of us cannot afford a fast, prime 600mm telephoto lens combined with the latest and greatest camera body. The important thing is to get started and start photographing."

According to Rhodes, sometimes limitations in gear is precisely what helps a person to grow as a photographer and develop creativity in their work. "For example, mobile phone cameras have gotten to be pretty amazing. Though digital zoom isn’t going to get you the same results as a telephoto lens, you can often do basic shots, landscapes, and show an animal in its larger environment."

That being said, better gear will always get you better results. If you know how to use it, of course! "Wildlife photography is a varied combination of skills," Rhodes explained. "For example: Do you understand your subject and its behavior? How is your field technique? How well do you understand your camera and the basics of photography? Gear is truly only one piece of cracking the code of this difficult art form."

#3

thesnuggleisrl Report

~hUmMuS vIbEs~
Community Member
2 months ago

Frenz

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#4

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Alexia
Community Member
2 months ago

My ancestors were fierce dinosaurs. Dinosaurs, I say!!

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#5

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boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

party time!

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Rhodes highlighted that even though all forms of photography take skill, wildlife photography in particular has a high rate of failure; there are so many variables out of the photographer's control! "Not only do you have to know how to use your gear, but you also have to know how to work within difficult situations which, from the outside, may look very limited due to the lack of control you have over the scene," she explained. "It’s paramount for me to understand the habitat, best times of day for light, subject’s behavior, and track and signs. Oh, and you have to know how to get ‘the shot’ within seconds."

A good wildlife photo usually requires long hours in the field. Some of Carla's favorite shots, for instance, took months to get. But you also get to share moments with wildlife and observe animals.

"Documenting the natural world is so incredibly important right now, and as a photographer, you can make a big impact with your work. Wildlife photography has the power to open up a secret world to the viewers, which hopefully leads to a deeper understanding of wildlife and, hopefully, conservation gains. I always shoot the natural world with the mindset it will continue on long after humans are extinct... So I approach my work with wonder, respect, and a deep level of gratitude."

#6

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Michelle Muirhead
Community Member
2 months ago

So tired.

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#7

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Friday
Community Member
2 months ago

Doggo is a Disney Princess :)

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#8

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Hphizzle
Community Member
2 months ago

Eeeep! Bee butts!!! 🐝

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The best advice Rhodes can give to wildlife photography enthusiasts is to always put the welfare of the subject first and always caption your photographs truthfully. "I’m part of a new movement of photographers who put ethics and the welfare of the subject before ‘getting the shot," she said. "My colleagues and I do not take shortcuts by baiting, luring, or calling subjects as this can modify their behavior and ultimately harm them. I believe possessing strong ethics makes one a much better wildlife photographer."

At the end of the day, you just have to get out there and start shooting—nothing can replace the act of actually photographing. Everything else should come naturally.

#9

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Friday
Community Member
2 months ago

Heyyy, you’re home early

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#10

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K Kalama
Community Member
2 months ago

The symmetry! The contrast! A work of art.

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#11

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R L
Community Member
2 months ago

Happiness is.

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"Storytelling to me is paramount," Carla Rhodes added. "Conventionally great shots that are tack sharp and super zoomed in of wildlife generally don’t move me as much as photos that tell a story. For me personally, I want viewers to feel engaged and curious about my subjects, hopefully turning their minds to respect and protect our natural world."

And you can see Carla's principles reveal themselves on her Instagram account too.

"Our natural world is suffering greatly right now. Visual Storytellers are more important than ever and have the power to connect viewers with wildlife, ultimately helping conservation efforts," Rhodes said.

#12

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boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

i want to know whats happening inside too!

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#13

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Michelle Muirhead
Community Member
2 months ago

I am your Overlord, you must obey!

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#14

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A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

Am I the only one not knowing what animal this is? Can someone help me out here, please?

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#15

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TmKhr
Community Member
2 months ago

Gravity? What's that?

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#16

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Quokkas really are so damn cute.

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#17

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
2 months ago

I got the moves like Jagger

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#18

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the annoying theatre kid
Community Member
2 months ago

looks like he's about to interview me for a job

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#19

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Ms.M.
Community Member
2 months ago

flying floof

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#20

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Brian Bennett
Community Member
2 months ago

I know this is a sign of what the rest of the day is gonna be like!

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#21

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Jaclyn
Community Member
2 months ago

Big blep!

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#22

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Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

"Are the sheep still there, Bob"

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#23

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Meg Curry
Community Member
2 months ago

I want what they have! ❤

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#24

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Brian Bennett
Community Member
2 months ago

With a face like this I can get anything I want, Including you.

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#25

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...
Community Member
2 months ago

Doing sit-ups

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#26

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Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

that belly is quite pettable !!!

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#27

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
2 months ago

That is just so sweet

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#28

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I’m A Black Cat
Community Member
2 months ago

Oh dear, I hope they were taken to the nearest pond

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#29

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Supriya Singh
Community Member
2 months ago

Cat the Redeemer

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#30

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JustAPanda
Community Member
2 months ago

Peace out........

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#31

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Sergy Yeltsen
Community Member
2 months ago

Firefox has encountered a problem with Windows.

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#32

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boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

somehow, dogs are always like "lemme be dirty"...

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#33

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
2 months ago

caught having a wee in the pool

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#34

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A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

Awww, what a cute and curious face <3

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#35

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Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago

You've got to be kidding me!

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#36

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Natalia
Community Member
2 months ago

Drop the phone hooman, enjoy the view.

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#37

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boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

awww. them eyes...

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#38

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Monday
Community Member
2 months ago

I swear I only had one beer ociffer.....

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#39

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A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

Shhhh, you didn't see me. It's a secret mission. *humms Mission: Impossible theme*

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#40

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A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

So SMOL 😲🥺

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#41

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boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

ohh silly thing : )

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#42

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah, this is the life, ain’t it Mamie? You’re so right, Pearl.

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#43

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Anjuli Siketi
Community Member
2 months ago

I iz tortoise

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#44

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Brian Bennett
Community Member
2 months ago

I'll just duck behind here and no one will see me.

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#45

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
2 months ago

stoatily cute

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#46

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago

You messy child, you!

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#47

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Your pad or mine?

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#48

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Brian Bennett
Community Member
2 months ago

I'll kiss your nose, if you kiss mine OK I'm game!

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#49

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago

I wuv you. I wuv you too.

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#50

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Natalia Linnik
Community Member
2 months ago

That is a photoshopped image. The original had only two foxes on the right. Still looked cute. https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/ypjxx/just_a_stack_of_fennec_foxes/

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Note: this post originally had 130 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.