Photographer of the Month

February’s wildlife photographer of the month – Alma Leaper

  • by Zila Oliveira 16 February 2024
February’s wildlife photographer of the month – Alma Leaper

Every month, we have the pleasure of showcasing the work of talented photographers who capture the beauty and wonder of the natural world. This February, we are delighted to feature the incredible talent of Alma Leaper, whose stunning wildlife photography captures the essence of different big cats, including cheetahs, in its most raw and captivating form.

Alma’s journey into wildlife photography began at a young age, fuelled by a deep-seated passion for nature and a desire to share its magnificence with the world. Her path to becoming a wildlife photographer is as diverse as the subjects she captures.

‘Cheetah Conservation is an integral part of my work as a photographer and photography tutor. Meet Willow — I’ve closely observed her transformation into the lovely lady she is today.’

Despite her diverse background and experience, Alma’s personal passion for photography has always been centred on wildlife. Working in different genres of photography, providing imagery, and examples to help students’ individual needs, she finds solace and inspiration in capturing the wonders of the natural world through her lens.

“In August 2014, I was offered a chance to combine my passion for animals, education, and photography by leading workshops at The Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden, Kent.  I am now the Lead Photographer and Head of Photography Workshops. I organise bookings, throughout the year, every day of the week. I work closely with our amazing Keepers and I have built up a great team of photographers with Sarah Medway and Ryan Stephens. We are always incredibly busy.”



But Alma’s photography isn’t just about showcasing the beauty of wildlife; it’s also about raising awareness of the challenges and threats facing many of the species she photographs. Through her work, Alma hopes to inspire others to take action to protect and preserve our planet’s precious biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.


‘On International Cheetah Day, 4th December 2023, The Big Cat Sanctuary welcomed two magnificent cheetahs, Mo and Bolt. Potential breeding partners for Willow. It’s lovely getting to know new cats.’


“In my photography, as in my Art, I have explored the difference between looking and seeing. The camera is a useful tool, helping you see the world in more detail.  On a photography workshop or a Big Cat Photography Day, you will be shown the individual characteristics of our amazing big & small cats at a close, yet safe, distance. I have great respect for them all and, over time, I have built up a great rapport with every one of them.”


‘Willow has the loudest purr, she is known to purr as soon as she spots people approaching her enclosure. It’s the cutest!’


As February’s Wildlife Photographer of the Month, Alma’s work serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation and the vital role that photography plays in helping us connect with the natural world. Through her lens, she invites us to pause, reflect, and marvel at the wonders of the world around us, inspiring us to become stewards of the earth and protectors of its inhabitants.


To see more of Alma Leaper’s stunning wildlife photography, be sure to follow her on Instagram or access her website. And stay tuned for next month’s featured photographer, as we continue to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world through the lens of talented artists like Alma.

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