There's nothing like your first L.A. Zoo Photo Day but what about when you're first zoo day is also your first photo day? Sabrina shares her experience at her very first Zoo Day. Sabrina, thanks for sharing your story with us!
November 8, 2015 was special day for me because it was my first photo day ever. I sat in on Boot Camp a couple of times but this was my first time going to a photo event. I did not expect to take any pictures though. I was just going along as a guest with my friend Emma and my mom. Emma and I where so excited to see all the different kinds of animals and learn more about them.
When we arrived at the zoo, I noticed that there where a ton of photographers. You could tell they were photographers because they all were wearing a special zoo T-shirt with a monitor on it. My mom put on her shirt and then we looked at the schedule to figure out what we wanted to do. My mom wanted to see the lions and the chimpanzees, Emma wanted to see the reptile exhibit, and I wanted to see the tigers, but first, we were going to see the opening speech of the photo day at the zoo.
Sometimes speeches can seem like they go on and on, however, this speech was quite entertaining. Mark was doing the speech. Mark owns and works at Paul’s Photos and has a good sense of humor. Mark is also really good with cameras and teaches boot camp.
Some of the pictures on the power point he had on were really amazing. There were baby animals, adult animals, and even a special kind of animal called HUMANS! But all jokes aside, the presentations were good and everyone seemed to be able to understand what was going on. You learned who you could go to for help with cameras, and where the people would be if you wanted to ask about the animals.
So after a group photo, we were off! All the participants from photo day were let into the zoo before anyone else. It was cool to be let in before the zoo opened. It looked like we where all going around on a scavenger hunt and everyone was so excited.
We first saw the wallabies and koalas. The wallabies were eating their breakfast. One seemed to be gnawing on a carrot while the other seemed to be eating head first in its food bowl. On the other hand, the koalas were just waking up. And what better thing to do when you wake up then to munch on some eucalyptus leaves. Stretching their arms from branch to branch was neat to watch. While Mom was taking pictures, Emma and I were sharing facts about wallabies and koalas.
We decided to make our way up to the lions by passing the giraffes and chimpanzees. There was a baby giraffe that was so cute. It was nursing from its mother while the rest of its family used their long necks to reach up and eat leaves from the tree branch on the rope. When we were done with the giraffes, we went to look at the chimpanzees, which were very lively. A mom carrying a baby was picking fights with the other chimps. The fight eventually ended with no one getting hurt. It was solved by the power of the zoo keepers as they gave the animals food.
As we made our way up to the lions, we saw Mark. Mark asked us why we didn't have cameras. We said that we were guests and we were not allowed to borrow or take pictures with cameras. Mark did not take that as an excuse and sent us up to the Treetop Terrace where he told us to borrow some cameras. Emma and I slowly walked away trying to figure out where we were supposed to be going. Mark said pick up the pace and we went back and asked him where we were supposed to be going on the map. He showed us and sent us off saying, “Geeze, it is like herding cats.” Then we heard people saying things like, “There are cats?” “Where are the cats?” So we had to make it clear that we were the cats that Mark was talking about.
On our way we found a person named Maurice that worked for Paul’s Photo and he was heading for the same place we were trying to find. The three of us ended up being captured by a photographer who wanted to get the rare humans in his picture.
We ended up making it to the Treetop Terrace. There we got our cameras not knowing anything at all about cameras! The lady there, Sheryl, was nice and helped us get our cameras and even set them up for us. We made our way back to the chimpanzees and we were able to put our memory cards in higher tech camera to take picture of the chimps. To my surprise, taking pictures was a lot more fun than I expected. I took pictures of the primates. I am an artist. I draw pictures and make moving pictures from 2d and 3d animation but I never have taken pictures before. So I think my pictures aren’t that bad considering this was my first time doing this. After Emma took some pictures of the chimpanzees, we went over to take pictures of the giraffes. I took pictures of them eating and one of them was really close to me. It seemed to be greeting everyone by saying a friendly hello.
We made our way up to the lions but they were already asleep so we did not get a good shot of them. We tried to get the monkeys next to them but their cage got in the way. We heard that the camera crew were going to take their fancy cameras to see the gorillas. We where so lucky because they offered us a ride on their tram. It felt great to relax on the tram as we already spent a lot of time walking all around. We went up the hills to see the gorillas and it felt like it only took a minute.
When we go there, I got some nice close ups of the gorillas. A big gorilla came up and started making noise. It looked all big and strong. Heroically walking down off of a rock it seemed like it wanted its picture taken. That's when it decided to give us his best angle. His back. He turned around, sat down, and put his hand on his hip. Seeing that the gorillas did not want to cooperate any more we decided to search for other animals. We took pictures of many different animals some big and some small. Then we went to lunch.
After lunch we went to the close encounters for the bugs. I got pictures of scorpions, spiders, and millipedes. The cool thing about the scorpion is that if you put a black like over it, it's exoskeleton will change from black to a glowing turquoise. I took a cool picture of it before and after the light.
My mom wanted to go to a Photoshop class so Emma and I said good bye to my mom for a little while. Emma and I were debating whether to go on an aviary walk or just wander around. In the end we decided to wander around. I took a ton of pictures of meerkats. One could have filmed the entire Meerkat Manner show just from my photos. We also took pictures of the flamingos and went to the reptile exhibit that Emma wanted to go to. We cut it really close when going back. We where supposed to be at the Tree Tops at 3:00 and we got back exactly at three.
We returned our cameras and we met up with my mom. We where so excited to see our photos and share them with each other. It was the best photo day ever and I can not wait to come back next year.