With the holiday season upon us once again, it may be time to start thinking about taking this year's family portrait -- which, if you have small children, can be quite a challenge. But, if you thought screaming babies or rowdy toddlers made snapping just one decent photo a herculean task, just wait until you see what unruly models some endangered species can be in front of the camera.Veteran National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has made a career out of capturing beautiful pictures of some of the world's most endangered animals -- but it turns out, they aren't the easiest subjects to work with. In compiling photos for his recent collection of stunning wildlife portraits, Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species, Sartore sat down with 68 different species -- or rather chased them down -- to snap the perfect shot.
Thanks to his 20 years in the business, Sartore handled his difficult subjects like a pro -- even stepping in with a helping hand when a few of the models had an accident. But despite all the behind the scenes shenanigans, the photo shoots resulted in some amazing wildlife portraits that convey the beauty and fragility of endangered species like few others have before.
Sartore explains his work in the book's forward:
The photographs depict the rarest of the rare in our country. By photographing the most endangered of our plants and animals, I can make the most dramatic plea to get folks to stop and take a look at the pieces and parts that we're throwing away.
Now only if that poor portrait photographer at Sears had Sartore's patience and keen eye for great pictures, you just might have some tangible evidence to share with your friends and family that your child can do more than cry or pick their nose.