Charming Squirrel Portraits Showcase Sillier Side of the Cute Creatures

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

The right photographer can bring out a surprising side of their subject. Photographer Johnny Kääpä reveals the different emotions of his local red squirrels. His portraits showcase the multiple facets of their personalities, from sassy to silly to surprised. Kääpä's animal portraits feel relatable to us humans, making each image a delight.

Kääpä has spent a lot of time befriending the squirrels that live near his home in Sweden. Over the past year, however, he observed and photographed his friend Wonky and her babies. The creature and her kids had just moved to a new squirrel drey, aka their tree nest.

Kääpä photographed them using his outdoor squirrel studio, which includes lights and a reflector. Each portrait requires him to wait for the rodents to “step inside his studio” which he’s planned for by arranging flowers and greenery. But ultimately, the shot is up to the squirrel. “I try to find the best camera settings and angles to see what I can get,” he writes.

While there are many adorable moments in photographing squirrels, one stand-out memory is when Kääpä had the fleeting chance to capture the babies at play. “Some may worry that they would be disturbed, but if I get too close, they stop playing and just sit still. So, to get the playful pictures, you need a long lens, to keep still, and not have them notice you. This period doesn't last more than one to two weeks.”

Scroll down to see Kääpä’s charming photos and then follow him on Instagram to see what he’s photographing next.

Photographer Johnny Kääpä reveals the different emotions of his local red squirrels.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

His portraits showcase the multiple facets of their personalities, from sassy to silly to surprised.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Kääpä's animal portraits feel relatable to us humans, making each image a delight.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Kääpä photographs the squirrels using his outdoor squirrel studio, which includes lights and a reflector.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Each portrait requires him to wait for the rodents to “step inside his studio” which he’s planned for by arranging flowers and greenery.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

But ultimately, each shot is up to the squirrel.

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Squirrel Portrait by Johnny Kääpä

Johnny Kääpä: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Johnny Kääpä.

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Curious Red Squirrels Interact With Tiny Props To Create the Most Adorable Photos

Photographer Captures Adorable Moment Squirrel Takes in Sweet Smell of Flower

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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