Life through a lens with the legendary fine art photographer.

David Yarrow is a fine art photographer and the host of brand new podcast, In Focus with David Yarrow, which launches on 3 February. His portfolio groans with extraordinarily beautiful images, which span those of wildlife and the natural world to collaborations with high-profile people.



He is also a committed philanthropist, most recently raising huge amounts of money for the NHS via the virtual Art for Heroes exhibition at Maddox Gallery, as well as tirelessly campaigning for Tusk in the UK and WildAid in the US. In 2018 and 2019, his work raised over $4.5m for philanthropic and conservation organisations. Indeed, one photograph alone – The Wolves of Wall Street – broke records; signed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese and featuring Jordan Belfort, it sold for $200,000, proceeds from which went to conservation NGOs supported by DiCaprio. Similarly, during the devastating Australian bush fires of 2020, David raised $1.4m for his #koalacomeback campaign in support of recovery efforts. Not only, then, does he capture wildlife; he fights for it too.



Born in 1966 in Glasgow, David made his name as the then twenty-year-old photographer who took that iconic image of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup on the pitch for The London Times. He hasn’t looked back since. Hot on the heels of that triumph, he covered the Olympics, but has since gone on to train his unerring eye on the endless beauty and poetry found in nature.

His immersive practice of documenting life, and especially endangered life, on this planet – often putting himself in harm’s way to do so – has duly garnered a loyal following and his arresting images can be found in galleries and museums across Europe and North America, as well as in the homes of an ever-growing crop of collectors, who snap up his work through Sotheby’s and other high-end auction houses.

They can also be found within the glossy pages of David Yarrow Photography: Americas Africa Antarctica Arctic Asia Europe. As The American Way magazine wrote of his work when the book came out: ‘David Yarrow doesn’t take pictures; he makes them. Critical of typical, documentary-style wildlife photography, the British fine-art photographer is known for getting up close to his subjects—even when they’re apex predators. ‘The biggest difference between art and reportage is proximity and emotion,’ he says. To achieve that difference, Yarrow might face a charging elephant, wait for the perfect 10 minutes of light, or spend 99 hours tracking a tiger.’

Here he shares the farcical story of attempting to contact an influencer, how lockdown has helped his team and who he thinks has the thickest skin on the internet.



My favourite website...


I’m a news junky and I love the BBC and The Times, so one of those two.

My favourite app...


I have an app called Sun Seeker which tells me the trajectory and timing of sunlight on shoots. Dark Sky is also very good for the weather.

My favourite blog...


I think Tim Ferriss does some good stuff and it’s hugely diverse.

My favourite podcast...


This would have to be The Money Maze podcast set up by a good friend. It’s about the investment business.



My favourite YouTuber...


One of the models we work with dates Logan Paul, so we have seen a bit of his stuff!

My most recent buy online...


Pocket Wizard for remote camera work.

Last book you downloaded or read...


Right now, I’m reading about the history of the American push west, looking for inspiration for our latest photographic project.

Favourite tweeter...


Piers Morgan – the man has the toughest skin on the internet.

Favourite Instagrammer...


I like to follow fellow photographers, and the work of Paul Nicklen is powerful.

Favourite tech gadget...


I’m the most tech illiterate person, so I will have to say my Nikon camera.

The most useful gadget/item on your desk...


A pen and paper – sometimes you have to keep it old school.



Most useful digital resource during lockdown...


We obviously got acquainted with all of the video conferencing platforms. This is good for our team because we are often all remote regardless of COVID-19. Now we have a better system in place for communicating.

First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up in the morning...


The news – I like to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world and in the markets.

Last thing you binge-watched...


I thought Big Little Lies was excellent. Reese Witherspoon is one of my favourites and I’d love to work with her one day.

Social media allowed me to meet...


Tim Ferriss. I tweeted him and a year later we were sat down doing a podcast together.

The best digital advice I've been given...


I think we have to be thick-skinned in the modern age. There are always people that want to hate on social media but overall, it’s overwhelmingly positive. You can’t let the negative stuff influence you.



My screensaver is...


A picture of Diego Maradona, the first big shot of my career. Also given his tragic and recent passing I found it appropriate.

My standout online memory...


My colleague and I were in Los Angeles and he was messaging an influencer via my Instagram account trying to set up a meeting. I didn’t realise he was on my account and I saw the messages he had sent and thought they were from the influencer. We preceded to have a half an hour conversation with each other.

My pet online hate is...


I think it has to be trolls again. You can’t listen to them, but they certainly try and make their presence known.

Do you have any online rules or resolutions (such as a time you religiously switch off devices, for example?)


Not really. I travel in a lot of different time zones and I find it difficult to switch off. I like being able to be ‘on it’ any time of day, but it’s a double-edged sword, of course.

The Internet. On balance, a force for good or ill?


I think there’s a lot of learning to be done for everyone. We are still at a maturing stage of the internet and my hope is that we are learning about the dangers. I think over the next decade we will see a counter balancing force. Whether that’s from government regulation or through popular demand, I think there has to be a change. On the whole, I think it’s a force for good. We just need to respect it as what it is: a powerful new tool that can change the fabric of society for better or worse and make sure the better angles of our nature win in the end.

By Nancy Alsop
January 2021

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