Animals: they’re just like us — and wildlife photographer Dick van Duijn has a knack for catching them in relatable moments.
Recently, the artist’s endearing closeup of a squirrel relishing the sweet smell of a bright golden daisy captured the hearts and minds of people around the world.
Squirrel Smelling a Flower Leads to Viral Success
Van Duijn’s snapshot that went viral is of a tiny squirrel standing on its hind legs while using its front limbs to bend the fragrant part of a flower closer to its nose. But what makes the picture stand out is the joyous look on the squirrel’s face. Like many folks do when enjoying delicious smells, the animal has its eyes closed in a moment of sheer delight.
Dick van Duijn: Animal Photography
The aroma-sniffing squirrel isn’t the only enchanting animal imagery captured by the artist. In fact, the now-famous photograph was one of many taken on a trip to Vienna.
Traveling with a friend and fellow artist, van Duijn and his companion happened upon the scurrying creatures one late afternoon and scored dozens of photos. The outgoing squirrels and soft twilight haze conspired for the ideal wildlife photography shoot.
Van Duijn’s Artistic Journey: From Sporting Events to Mother Nature
Mother Nature, however, wasn’t always where van Duijn pointed his Nikon camera. For nearly a decade, he tried on different subjects ranging from sporting events to formal portraiture. Nothing stuck. But when he turned his lens toward nature, everything clicked.
Today, his portfolio includes endearing pictures of smiling foxes, dining birds, cautious cows, and minxing lynxes. When asked about his newfound popularity, van Duijn expressed shock that his work had “become so popular all over the world.”