Helsinki-based photographer and explorer Joachim Munter takes fairytale photos of forest animals in his native Finland. The picturesque landscapes of Finnish forests provide a home for many wild animals and birds, including foxes, red squirrels, reindeers, and even bears. Munter manages to capture up-close and intimate portraits of these forest creatures in their natural habitat, even though most of them are known to be incredibly timid when it comes to interacting with humans.
All of his subjects, be they curious foxes or scurrying squirrels, appear to look perfectly comfortable in front of his camera. In order to earn the animals’ trust, Munter explains, “The most important thing—in my opinion—is not to chase the animals. You just need time and patience; let the animal become comfortable around you.” With one particular fox, it took Munter two months to gain his trust, and reveals that he then “started giving him some nuts when taking pictures.”
Foxes stare curiously into the lens, squirrels happily munch on foraged nuts, and occasionally, woodland birds perch on Munter’s hand (with the promise of delicious seeds). In one case, the talented photographer even managed to capture an intimate moment between a mother and baby fox, framed by a red berry bush. Throughout Munter’s growing collection, the use of striking depth of field invites the viewer to focus on the beauty and charm of each animal. All of the images have their own enchanting quality, not only highlighting the personalities of these amazing animals, but they also showcase Finland’s fairytale landscape, in all its gorgeous forest hues.