Carli Davidson is an award-winning photographer and an experienced animal trainer and care worker. Using her professional understanding of animal behavior, she captures the innate personalities of her subjects. She is a freelance photographer for the Oregon Zoo and works on both commercial and fine art projects.
Her photography has been featured in national and international publications, photography magazines, and websites, including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, BBC, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Photo District News, and ABC World News. Her website received over 2 million hits in 2011, and she has a worldwide fan base.
Carli shares her home with her husband Tim, a dogue de Bordeaux named Norbert, and an incredibly loud cat named Yushi. She is 31 years old and lives in Portland OR.
I love photography and have been working in the industry since I was a teenager, but it has never trumped my desire to work with animals. I’ve worked at the Oregon Zoo, animal rescues, and nature preserves taking care of exotic and native wildlife over the last sixteen years. I started taking pictures of the animals I was working with a few years ago and shortly thereafter began a photography career.
Animals are my people. They’re honest, loving, food-motivated, and do totally gross things on a regular basis. I spend much of the shoot rolling on the ground with whatever animal I’m working with, getting in their skin as much as possible, and encouraging them to open up to the camera.
I’ve found I really love working with animals people might consider problematic or damaged. I donate my time to animal rescues; one in particular works primarily with traumatized and physically disabled pets in rehabilitation. A lot of these animals are rescues—animals people at one point deemed too hard to care for or too sickly but have since found new homes with people who can appreciate their outrageous beauty.