When Bob Croslin asked to take portraits of the feathered tenants at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Florida, the staffers in charge thought he wanted to snap a few pictures of birds through the bars of their cages. That was not what Croslin had in mind. Instead, he planned to photograph injured birds as he might human models, setting up on-location studio at the sanctuary.
Getting birds to pose in front of a backdrop under lights is a challenging task. It was a bit easier in this case because his models were accustomed to being visited by humans. Still, birds will be birds. The injured animals would often get nervous and poop on the backdrop. Or they would simply attack Croslin and the handlers.
But after four months, and many a beak injury, he’d managed to turn even the fiestiest red-tailed hawk into an elegant model. The end result is a collection that highlights each bird’s distinctive personality, just as Croslin might with human subjects.
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