Shooting Tigers – the photographers blog Number Three with Suzi Eszterhas

  • April 17, 2015

I love tigers. This enigmatic and mysterious big cat has captivated my imagination since I was a small child. Several years ago I saw and photographed my first tiger in India. I watched the beautiful orange and black stripes flash through the trees as he stealthily approached some spotted deer. I caught his eyes for a moment, and the experience filled me with wonder and awe – I was hooked. Soon after, I started leading photo tours to India, with a focus on tigers.

My den project was a two-year-long labor of love, with no promise of success at the end. After a year or so of emails, phone calls, and meetings to acquire the appropriate permissions I then spent another year waiting “on call” for a birth. Then, on a spring day in May, only days after returning home from leading my annual photo tour in India, I rushed back after receiving a tip that a female had been seen showing signs that she may have been suckling small cubs.

This was only the beginning. After touching ground in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, there were several days lost searching for the den site. Then, in the first five days at the den site the cubs emerged for only sixty seconds total. Then several agonizing days of no photographs, all while trying to cope with the summer’s 115 ˚F heat. And just when I was about to loose hope, the cubs appeared again. One day of just a few ecstatic minutes of good photography were then followed by days of torrential rains. The pattern repeated itself over and over again; it was an extreme test of patience.

My tiger portfolio is a mixture of my images taken during the den project and images I took while leading my photo tours, just as normal park visitor. Over the last several years, I have spent many months in India’s tiger parks. Especially now, with how critically endangered they are, I feel blessed to have spent so much time with these magnificent animals. Searching for tigers is challenging, and tiger photography takes great patience. But the opportunity to photograph tigers is simply a life-changing experience that should not be missed.

Supporting tiger tourism by going to India to see wild tigers certainly helps to keep tigers safe from poachers. But I wanted to do more for tiger conservation, so I chose to lend my support to TigerTime and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. I am proud to say that I help such an amazing team raise money and awareness for these magnificent cats.

As part of my support, I’ve just added a special print to benefit TigerTime to my new online baby animal print shop. This image captures a very intimate, tender moment between a mother tigress and her tiny cub. I will be donating 50% of all sales of this print to TigerTime – click here to buy online.


To find out more about Suzi’s work and her new baby animal print shop please visit: