Alma Leaper

In August 2014, I was offered a chance to combine my passion for animals, education and photography by leading workshops at The Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden, Kent. I am now Lead Photographer and Head of Photography Workshops. I organise bookings, throughout the year, every day of the week. I work closely with our amazing Keepers and I have built up a great team of photographers with Chris Spurr and Sarah Medway. We are always incredibly busy.

From my research of Asian & African cultures and the more recent attempts to refocus objectives towards the conservation of species, I find working at BCS – where the mission is to “be recognised and respected as one of the best breeding centres in the world” – immensely rewarding. The Photography workshops; donations and experiences help considerably towards funding, enabling BCS to operate as a ‘Centre of Excellence, dedicated to the captive breeding of critically endangered Big Cats within the EEP’

In my photography, as in my Art, I have explored the difference between looking and seeing. The camera is a useful tool, helping you see the world in more detail. On a photography workshop, you will be shown the individual characteristics of our amazing big & small cats at a close, yet safe, distance. I have great respect for them all and, over time, I have built up a great rapport with each and every one of them. I will encourage you to look, see and not just photograph the cats. You will soon recognise the privilege of being up close. I am always asked which of the cats is my favourite. My answer “the one I’m with” – I couldn’t choose between them.

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