Photographer Is Accompanied by an Adorable ‘Assistant’ While Taking Photos in the Wild

Photographer Is Accompanied by an Adorable ‘Assistant’ While Taking Photos in the Wild
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)
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A North African wildlife photographer who took the cutest and most unexpected “assistant” to a photo shoot in the wild has wowed netizens.

Wildlife photographer Djamel Hadj Aissa from Ghardaïa in Algeria, is a member of the famous family that founded the first private zoo in Algeria. Today, the Hadj Aissa family owns six zoos, in Ghardaïa, Tlemcen, Oran, Sétif, Djelfa, and Oum Bouaghi.

Preparing to photograph lions in the wild one day, Djamel, who currently lives in the capital city of Algiers, was inspired to bring along a companion: a friendly lion cub that was born in his backyard.

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/djamel_hadj_aissa_photography/">Djamel Hadj Aissa</a>)
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)

“As it was the first time for her, she sat on my chair and observed what I was doing,” Djamel told The Epoch Times. “My nephew Fayçal took the opportunity to take pictures and videos of us at this incredible moment. Seeing our position and us gazing together in the same direction, the public loved the photo.”

Sharing an exceptional photo and video of himself and the curious lion cub on Instagram, Djamel was pleased to reach a new audience and further share his reverence for wildlife.
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)

Djamel’s passion for photography began at the age of 15 when his father’s friend, a Belgian professional photographer, gifted him a camera after a trip to Ghardaïa on the proviso that Djamel “take care of it and take beautiful pictures.”

“It was at this precise moment that I had the ‘click,’” he said. “I knew that photography was going to punctuate my life and that I would no doubt be a photographer.”

After a long career that began in the ‘90s as a press photographer, he decided to work on his personal account. Djamel, who now covers events as a publicity photographer, first ventured into wildlife photography in 2015 after an inspiring meeting with an ornithologist.

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/djamel_hadj_aissa_photography/">Djamel Hadj Aissa</a>)
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)

Today, Djamel has upgraded his equipment to Canon 5D IV and 1DX II camera bodies and a 400mm F2.8 Canon lens with X1.4 and X2 extenders. He often uses Adobe Lightroom in post-processing to improve general image quality.

Most wildlife photographers in Algeria are hobby photographers, Djamel says, since there is “no budget” to support the profession. He hopes to become a correspondent for a foreign photo agency or magazine to cover his expenses.

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/djamel_hadj_aissa_photography/">Djamel Hadj Aissa</a>)
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)

In the meantime, he often talks with researchers and specialists in the field to expand his knowledge.

“Animals like the lynx, the porcupine, the serval, the golden wolf, or even the desert cat are mythical, and make many nature enthusiasts fantasize, including me,” Djamel told The Epoch Times. “The majority of them go out to hunt at night. Taking a picture of them, therefore, requires a complete investment, which is not on the agenda for all of us.”

Algeria boasts around 107 mammal species, 47 of which are protected while 30 are falling toward extinction. Just 100 bird species are protected from the more than 430 species present in the country.

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/djamel_hadj_aissa_photography/">Djamel Hadj Aissa</a>)
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)

“I remain in awe of the landscapes and biodiversity enjoyed by our country,” Djamel said. “This heritage deserves to be protected.”

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/djamel_hadj_aissa_photography/">Djamel Hadj Aissa</a>)
(Courtesy of Djamel Hadj Aissa)
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