Photographer Captures Delightfully Candid Photos of Wild Squirrels Being Very Curious

Squirrel Portraits by Geert Weggen

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Photographer Geert Weggen has a gift for getting the most out of his portrait subjects. And he’s definitely got his work cut out for him, since his subjects of choise aren’t humans—they’re red squirrels. Animals always come with a unique set of photographic challenges, but Weggen makes it look easy with effortless images of the creatures interacting with tiny props including balloons, shopping carts, and even a makeshift bow and arrow. The resulting pictures, shot with a Nikon 810, are charming squirrel photos that showcase their curiosity and gregarious personalities.

So how does Weggen capture such delightfully candid photos? It helps to have a lot of potential portrait subjects. “There are about 12 red squirrels living in the forest close to my house,” he tells My Modern Met in an email. “Many I do not recognize anymore.” While they might be wary of Weggen at first, they soon understand that he’s the one “providing the food” and quickly warm up to him.

In addition to appealing to the squirrels’ voracious appetites, Weggen has also streamlined his setup for these pictures. “At the side of my house I made an outside studio,” he explains. “Half with a roof and the rest is open for the rain and snow. From my kitchen window, I can shoot [photos].” Weggen also built a table in his studio that’s at eye level so that he can arrange his scenes, hide the food, and inconspicuously snap pictures. The location is key, too, for making it easy for the animals to approach. “The studio is directly connected with the forest and trees,” he says. “I hide a flash behind some scenes on a remote.”

Weggen teaches his techniques in workshops and sells his images in the form of books, calendars, and postcards in his online shop.

Geert Weggen captures delightfully candid squirrel photos as they interact with tiny props.

Squirrel Portraits by Geert WeggenSquirrel Portraits by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert Weggen


Animal Photography by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert WeggenSquirrel Portraits by Geert WeggenGround Squirrel Photos by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert WeggenAnimal Photography by Geert WeggenGeert Weggen: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Geert Weggen.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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