David Yarrow’s artwork presents the viewer with photographs that embody the magnificence and harsh realities of captivating global ecosystems. Through the pursuit of undaunted photo sessions, in the most inaccessible areas on the planet, his photographs give up a sense of vitality and dignity as they demonstrate the humanity of animals and ask us to consider our universal connections. As a photographer and a conservationist, Yarrow has become an ambassador, able to uniquely present an imperfect but mesmerizing world.
His work has been the subject of numerous museum and gallery exhibitions in the U.S, Europe, and Scandinavia. He has received multiple international awards. He is the spokesman for NIKON and has raised over $2 million dollars for wildlife charities and conservation groups.
David Yarrow started his photographic career precociously with a phenomenal moment; in 1986, he took a picture of football legend Diego Maradona raising the FIFA World Cup aloft in a stadium of more than 100,000 spectators. The image was published extensively and made him an accredited and often requested sports photographer who had begun to capture mankind’s salient moments. Yarrow’s focus later shifted to landscape and wildlife photography, citing a degree of maturation as a photographer and as a citizen. His desire for a fresh image in a world exposed to almost endless image making drew him to remote locations around the world. The stimulation and prospect of remote and unspoiled places, far from the familiarity of the day to day, offers new challenges for the photographer.
Through intimate and telling wildlife portraits, David Yarrow capitalizes on his relentlessness to get close. His photographs are a result of extensive research and preparation. When it was not possible to get physically near enough to the animal, he developed a technique with remote-controlled cameras and unorthodox angles to allow a closer and more intimate portraying of his subjects. Yarrow’s methodology requires that he immerses himself completely in the process of the shoot, whether that means encountering bears head on in Alaska, having his camera carried away by lions or surviving a plane crash in the Sahara. The images he produces are a testament to the dedication and originality that his methods capture.
“I fully understand that for photography to be evocative, the emotional intelligence of the practitioner must be fully engaged, and for the subject matter to be fresh, logistical intelligence must also be employed. Striking images tend not to happen by accident; they tend to be the result of prep work and research…”
His work likewise requires access; how does he get to remote locations? What special situations does the photographer negotiate to gain entry? Yarrow was given permission by the Chinese government to take pictures of Tigers in Siberia, through his philanthropic relationship with HRH the Duke of Cambridge, who had previously gifted the president of China one of his images on a State visit. For his shooting of a wolf in a bar, he coordinated the photograph after “long conversations with the Montana government…and access, preparation, homework.”
Yarrow’s recent work builds upon his previous accomplishments. He continues to strive for intimacy with every image but he concurrently “weighs in” as a conservationist who presents meaningful images that highlight the fragile balance of our planet. Ultimately, Yarrow becomes a visual messenger that allows the grandeur of nature to be presented. It is in the “telling” of his stories that his artistry is revealed; his photographic images are a labor of love tempered through preparation and hard work.