British photographer Tim Flach is known for his striking portraits, which feature different animals treated with the same care as any human model. Placed against a plain background, each subject becomes a highly stylized object of beauty that expresses its own unique personality. In this way, Flach's portraits strike an emotional chord with their ability to draw a line between animal and human relationships.
While Flach photographs all types of animals, both wild and domesticated, his bird portraits are particularly captivating. Often focused on endangered or vulnerable species, Flach captures each bird's unique physiognomy and allows their character to shine through. While his subjects can appear almost human, this isn't necessarily what Flach strives to achieve. Instead, he's more interested in anthropocentrism, which speaks to the human tendency to “center ourselves in relation to animals, and make ourselves the center of our worlds.”
Interestingly, Flach does not consider himself a wildlife photographer. He simply sees himself as a photographer who takes photographs of animals. By taking these animals out of their wild context, Flach works within an exciting balance between spontaneity and careful planning. It's this “controlled chaos” of working with live animals that drives him as a creative. No matter how much a shoot is researched and organized, his subjects have their own minds and spirits, which means that Flach must be open to any result.
His ability to adapt has led to an incredible body of work, which has allowed him to publish five books over the past 10 years. This includes Endangered, his 2017 publication about “remarkable animals and ecosystems facing harsh challenges.”