You would not be blamed if you did a double take with these images. Yes they are what they appear to be, and no visual tricks are involved here. These amazing images do not involve Photoshop, or any other digital manipulation. These are real-life encounters between dangerous animals and real vulnerable people. It is the work of Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova who collaborated with two professional animal trainers.
The images bring to mind a fairytale world where man and beast co-exist in harmony. Plotnikova calls it “another tale about wonderland”. Her powerful images are hauntingly stunning, as she is able to evoke surrealism as well as the mythical. Subdued colors give an ethereal aura to the enchanting pictures. She is also able to strike a contrast with fragile, svelte models against strong, powerful animals. It is a totally absorbing collection where tales of fantasy are brought to life with astonishing credibility.
In one image a young woman is seen leaning her cheek on the huge head of a giraffe, while one girl is depicted tenderly caressing a snake. In yet another one a couple of freckle faced girls have raccoons playfully perched on their head and shoulder. And where do you get to see a real live grizzly bear handling a ladies hand like a refined gentleman? Only in Plotnikova’s pictures.
It is an enchanting world, no doubt, that one wishes can be found in some remote location on the planet. Kudos to the entire team, from the animal handlers to the perfectly poised female models, who certainly did justice to this marvelous project with their calm and collected demeanor.