In some aspects, animals can be just like humans. They can be kind, caring, affectionate, but also dangerous and ready for a fight. They can suffer or jump with joy, be happy or sad. Macedonian photographer Goran Anastasovski has devoted the past ten years of his life to capturing intimate portraits of animals at the local zoo, particularly big cats. His sepia portraits of tigers, lions, and leopards show the wide range of emotions and behaviors we can see in these magnificent creatures.
The goal of Goran’s big cat portraits is to emphasize the traits that they share with us humans. He is not only fascinated by the beauty and power of these animals. In his photos, he also wants to show people that big cats have all the traits we highly appreciate: love, bravery, sincerity, and loyalty.
Goran photographs lions, leopards, and tigers in a variety of poses and moments. In his portraits, you’ll often see them with their guard down, sharing intimate moments and cuddling like house cats. And yet, some other photos show the mighty animals roaring and showing their power in full swing.
To take these portraits, Goran has been visiting Skopje Zoo in Gradski Park (city park) for ten years now. He says that he visits them very often, and believes that they know him well by now. Still, he’s aware that the big cats wouldn’t be as gentle to him as they are to each other. He says that, even after all these years, they still try to eat him when they see the lens.
Goran points out that these animals are endangered and appealing to all humans to love them, not to kill them. Of course, I couldn’t agree more. Animals have feelings and character just like humans do, and I believe Goran’s portraits show it perfectly. Take a look at more of his photos below, and you’ll find more of his fantastic work on his website and Instagram.