If you’ve been on 500px any length of time and you love animal photos, you’ve very likely seen Manuela Kulpa work. In fact, if you go to the Animals Popular Page right now you’ll see her giraffe portrait is in the second spot on that page!

The reason behind this is simple: her photos capture something of an animal’s soul that many wildlife photographs simply miss. They’re portraits, not photographs. With a few exceptions, each image captures an expression, connection, or candid moment that speaks volumes.

It’s for this reason that I chose the word “expressive” for the title… then I read Manuela’s bio:

With my pictures I want to bring the beauty and expressiveness of animals into the foreground, showing that sentient beings are hidden behind them (regardless of where they live or where the pictures were taken). Our fellow creatures feel pleasure and affection as well as fear and sadness. I love nature and I just want to protect them. For me, my photos are currently the most effective means to make it clear how important the environment is—every contribution, even the smallest, can ensure the survival of our fantastic fellow creatures and our environment!

Yeah… I’d say she’s definitely fulfilling her goal! Here are 23 of our personal favorite photos from her wonderful portfolio:

Behold... by Manuela Kulpa on 500px.com

In dreams I can fly by Manuela Kulpa on 500px.com

To see more from Manuela or keep up with her as she continues to share her work and message with the world, follow her on 500px, check out her portfolio, visit her website, or say hi on Twitter.