Squirrels are among the most elusive animals in the world. We often see them, yet it’s almost impossible to get close to them for more than a second, or even at all.
However, it seems to be the opposite for Dutch-Swedish photographer Geert Weggen. For the last eight years, he has been trying to earn the trust of squirrels near his home. And thankfully, all his efforts have paid off.
Weggen and his furry subjects have become famous all over the world, and it’s all because of his knack for capturing these adorable animals with his camera. Using nuts and berries, Weggen is able to attract red squirrels into his balcony every day, giving him lots of chances to take photos of them up close.
As his photography skills improved overtime, so did his squirrel photos. He used to take simple images of these furry creatures from his window, but now, he uses mini props to create different settings for his “candid” photoshoots.
And because of their innate curiosity, each squirrel couldn’t help but check out his set up and toys while searching for the snacks within them. That’s when Weggen takes his chance and snaps photos from a hidden location with cameras aimed directly at the scene, resulting in images that look straight out of a Disney film!
“I create scenes with small props and toys in which I hides [sic] nuts to attract the squirrels,” he tells Good News Network. “I then wait, often for hours, for the squirrels to find the hidden nuts and for the right moment to take my photos.”
From squirrels tinkering with a paintbrush and canvas to ones riding a skateboard, Weggen’s photos prove just how intelligent these tiny critters are and how amazing he is at what he does.
Due to the nature of his work, Weggen describes himself as “a man who lives with and in magic.” Aside from his whimsical squirrel photos, what makes his job more magical is how it all began. A fox randomly came to his doorstep almost a decade ago, and he began taking photos of it.
After two weeks of daily visits, the fox became more comfortable and started climbing onto his balcony and into the boxes there. This gave him the idea of creating scenes on his balcony where he would lay out food for the animals and capture them with his camera. Eventually, he decided to focus primarily on taking photos of red squirrels. .
Weggen’s nature photography expertise has taken him a long way. So far, several newspapers and articles have featured him and his work. His pictures have appeared on the internet and magazines in over 30 countries. He has also authored eight squirrel photo books published in four different languages.
It might seem hard to believe at first, but all of Weggen’s photos are completely real, except for the occasional removal of a wire or food. His hope is that his pictures bring magic and happiness to whoever sees them.
Check out some of his best squirrel snaps in the gallery below.