We might think of hamsters as simply domestic creatures that live in our homes. But as photographer Julian Rad shows, these creatures are absolutely adorable living among wild berries and tall grasses. His ongoing series of wild hamster portraits showcase the rodent enjoying the outdoors, like taking time to stop and smell the flowers and sampling fruits. The creatures look full of joy as they engage with nature, and this makes the photographs radiate delight as well.
Rad is based in Central Europe and snaps portraits of the European hamster, which is also known as the black-bellied hamster or the common hamster. “I am living near the Danube,” he explains to My Modern Met, “where many different animals can be found, and at one point in my life I started taking images of them.” He began with insect macro photography until eventually photographing the likes of small rodents including hamsters and squirrels.
As anyone who has photographed animals before knows, wild creatures can be unpredictable and hard to shoot. Photographers must have a lot of patience and devote time to observing an animal's behaviors. “I have spent countless hours sitting in my photo-hide to photograph many different wild animal species and one thing that I’ve learned over the years is: Be patient and do not chase the animals, let them come to you,” Rad says. “That is exactly why nature photography is so challenging, you need empathy, knowledge of species, endurance, and a pinch of luck.”
Rad’s patience has led to some magical experiences. “One evening when I was lying in the meadow to take a picture of a hamster I felt something on my leg,” he recalls, “I turned around and there was a hamster that climbed on my leg and made itself comfortable there. I have never experienced something like that, moments like this and being able to be so close to the animals are the reason why I love what I do.”
Scroll down to see hamsters in the wild and get a peek into what it’s like to photograph one.
Photographer Julian Rad snaps the most adorable photos of wild hamsters.
His photos capture the little rodents stopping to smell (or eat) the flowers…
… and enjoying wild berries.
These images are the result of Rad's patience, quietly observing the creatures.
The hamsters look full of joy as they engage with nature, and this makes the photographs radiate delight as well.
Watch Rad in action in the video below:
View this post on Instagram