Amboseli, Kenya – 2020
Authenticity is the most demanding filter in our creative planning process and in this case, the idea scored very high. We were breaking new ground.
There have been many celebrated photographs over the years of famous women close to elephants, but most have been either circus elephants or tame Indian elephants. Big Tusker elephants in Kenya have never been used in this way. Peter Beard got closest to pulling this off – as you might expect.
Lorena Rae was my muse – a VS girl at the very top of her game. She trusted me and I trusted her – without that trust there would be no image.
The first three days yielded nothing and then one morning we had our chance. We had maybe four minutes to work this photograph and my preconception was always to have her face squarely against the elephant’s ear. Craig also needed to be head on to both of us.
The execution, in the most intense of circumstances, was close to perfect. Everything else, however, was down to luck. Kilimanjaro soaring above in the backdrop, with no cloud cover obscuring the snow – that’s a 1/10 chance at best; then the topography was kind too with no bushes in the way of any of us.
Most of all, I was lucky to have Lorena. She is both fearless and stunning and in this one moment of time she held a pose that will be remembered. It is her picture not mine. People may now try and copy this image, but we grabbed the authenticity. I would also urge caution. It is a challenge and the safety of the animal as well as the model should never be compromised. This was the result of many years of investment in Amboseli, not just those four minutes.
I took this photograph with the same lens and camera body combination that I shot Cara and the lion with nearly three years ago for the Tag Heuer campaign. This picture is as strong I think.
Standard size Archival Pigment print on 315gsm Hahnemühle photo rag Baryta paper
Numbered and handsigned and comes with signed Certificate of Authenticity.
The photograph is framed in a very exclusive handmade black wooden block frame with hand-tensioned cotton passe-partout and museum glass.
Prices are subject to change and availability.