Jaco Marx is a full-time dental surgeon from South Africa who moonlights as an incredibly talented nature, wildlife, and travel photographer, as well as a conservationist. Whatever free time he can scrounge, Jaco spends photographing the African wilderness.

He hopes his photos will influence people and change the way they think about wildlife. By bringing Africa into people’s living rooms, he seeks to drive home the point that nature is in a fragile state now more than ever.

You can see more of his work by following him on 500px, visiting his website, or giving him a like on Facebook. You can also purchase prints of his work at 1x.

There is no doubt that a good animal portrait can turn heads. A lot of African wildlife are shot, however, are captured from a game viewing vehicle and can present as being shot from a higher vantage point.

Although some good shots can be taken from this position, wildlife photography, in many cases, comes alive more when shooting from a low vantage point such as eye or ground level.

To achieve this, you must:

  • Leave the safety of the game viewing vehicle (if this is permissible), get on your tummy, and try to shoot with the lens resting on a bean bag on the ground.
  • Visit game reserves with animal hide facilities, be it a bird hide/mammal hide. In many cases these hides provide a low angle “mouse-view” position to shoot from.
  • Position yourself below the subject while the animal is on a small mound/elevated area.

In the example above, this vervet monkey was actually shot from a bird hide to give an engaging eye level shot.

In the example above, this vervet monkey was actually shot from a bird hide to give an engaging eye level shot.


For the picture above, I got on my tummy to get the African Wild dog running/stalking me while maintaining eye contact.


The picture above shows two hippo captured at water level.


The above hippo was shot from a close distance at water level, making it look as if I was right next to it.


Eye level shots also give strong avian photographs.


The picture above would not have been intimate when shot from above. Instead, the eye level frame makes for a very personal image.


Above: By shooting from low down, the size of the elephant can be accentuated.


Above: Another family of elephants photographed from a low angle, making for a personal and engaging image.

I hope this small tip would help you in your wildlife photography!