Allan Dixon is a self-proclaimed “animal whisperer,” and if his incredible selfies are any indication, the title is one that’s well-earned. He’s posted many pictures on his wanderlust-inducing Instagram that show him posing with various creatures, both large and small. Some are more photogenic than others, but adorable animals like kangaroos, goats, ponies and quokkas are always accompanied next to a grinning Dixon.
The Australian adventurer seems to have an lovable rapport with these furry creatures—he’s a real life Doctor Doolittle! This is an impressive feat, especially since animal selfies can be notoriously unpredictable, making it hard to get a clear photo. So, how does he do it? Dixon explained to the website RT, “You have to be still, lie down, gain their trust in their environment for a while. Most of the time they’re more scared of you than you are of them.”
For anyone wanting to take an animal selfie, Dixon has some sage advice. First, turn off your flash and any sounds on the camera to avoid startling the creature. Then, enter their surroundings with your camera in hand so that they think it’s part of your body. And when the time comes for a selfie, be ready to hit the shutter button over and over again. “Once you’re in their presence for some time, they’ll usually come and check you out,” he said. “There’s a fine line between curiosity and survival. The main aim is to make them know that they are safe being around you.”