The LA Zoo Photo Day, presented by the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) and Paul’s Photo, gives photographers of all skill levels the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops, try new equipment, and get help with all their photography needs, from basic settings to making the right choices no matter where you are shooting. Best of all, popular brands are on site to help guide you in making the right equipment purchases, including what bodies and lenses you want next. Check out all the fun we had at the LA Zoo Photo Day this past weekend.
LA Zoo Photo Day 2016
The LA Zoo Photo Day kicked off with a presentation from Mark Comon, Vice President of Paul’s Photo, as he covered the day’s events, contests, and how we could go about trying some of the awesome equipment on hand direct from the photo day vendors. Whether you’re a Canon or Nikon lover, looking for the newest Lowepro bag, or wanting to learn about your camera with the help of the experts from the Creative Photo Academy, the LA Zoo Photo Day offers the perfect opportunity to delve deeper into the world of photography.
First, we headed out for a walk on the Basic Photography Tour alongside instructors from the Creative Photo Academy, who, alongside LA Zoo docent, provided a guided tour of the zoo and answered basic questions on how to use our camera. Throughout the tour was enrichment stations where you could try the camera brand of your choice, Nikon or Canon, and take advantage of one of the many telephoto lenses available.
(In full disclosure, I shoot with a Nikon so that was my brand of choice throughout the event.)
To help photographers get the best shots possible, zoo keepers encouraged the animals towards the front of the exhibits with a few surprises and sweet treats.
Besides the wealth of education from the Creative Photo Academy instructors covering the topics of Portrait & People, Travel Photography, Better Bird Photos, Nights & Star Trails, Safari Photography, Flash Workshops, and more, the highlight of my day was getting to shoot with new equipment, even though I may have left with a little lens envy.
This sweet little guy was photographed with the Nikon D810 using the 600mm prime lens, a full frame body, and lens worth more than my car, but, amazing to shoot with! Complete body and lens envy.
And how could you not fall in love with Charlie the Sloth? In addition to the enrichment events, participants of the LA Photo Day were treated to a few close encounters in a private and exclusive setting.
We couldn’t help but make a few silly faces with the giraffes.
And the zebras we absolutely stunning this morning.
One thing to remember is that wildlife extends beyond the exhibits at a zoo. We found this little squirrel enjoying breakfast in the tree above us.
Having the vendors on site to answer questions about the equipment was amazing. My burning question of the day for the Nikon exhibitors was which lenses do I need next. After chatting about what I shoot, what types of environments I shoot in, and what I want to achieve with my photos we settled on the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. These low aperture prime lenses will allow me to shoot in low light environments while allowing me to carry fewer lenses when wanted. (I usually carry 3-4 prime lenses with me.)
Even though the event is packed full of information geared towards adults, don’t let that discourage you from attending with your family, no matter how young they are.
My little budding photographer Gracie attended with me and we both had a blast. Gracie has been grabbing my cell phone the past few weeks taking photos of just about everything, from our pet Boxer Roxy to her stuffed animals. This was a great event for her to learn more about my passion and foster her love for photography.
If you missed this year’s LA Zoo Photo Day don’t worry. The annual event is set to return again next year at the Los Angeles Zoo. I know we’ll be there, and we hope to see you there too!
We were invited to attend the LA Zoo Photo Day compliments of the LA Zoo. All opinions are our own.