Wildlife Photography with a Twist: The Unique Zoo Portraiture of Frenchman Eric Pillot

Frenchman Eric Pillot is a photographer with a unique perspective on wildlife photography. He has traveled throughout Europe making portraits of animals posing within artificial settings reflecting their natural habitats.

Pillot took an unconventional path to his career in photography: After completing his scientific studies at the Ecole Polytechnique, he worked several years as an engineer while performing as a jazz drummer in his spare time.


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Pillot eventually rediscovered his father’s passion for photography, and embarked on that path after taking photo workshops with several notable French photographers.


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In 2004 he began photographing animals with a series capturing bears underwater, after which decided to turn his creative eye to the architecture and inhabitants of zoos. By 2008, Pillot had photographed most of the zoos in Europe with his unique “In Situ” project in mind.

Pillot’s goal was to call attention to the plight of captive animals, some endangered and some not, and the living conditions they “enjoy” in zoos. His “In Situ” project is ongoing and evolving as Pillot encourages us to question the humanity of animals in captive environments.


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Images from Pillot’s “In Situ” project are currently on display at the Galerie Dumonteil in Paris. You can see more of his fine work on an Instagram page devoted to his photography, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @ShutterbugPix where we’re sharing our favorite photos from our followers.