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Animal Encounters Experience - Jessops Academy

Animal Encounters Experience

This one day experience takes place at Hoo Farm (near Telford) and gives you a unique opportunity to get up close to animals and capture unique photos. Unlike visiting your local zoo we get you up close and personal, taking you into the enclosures and limited access parts of the site to give you images that would be un-achievable elsewhere.

Throughout the day you will have opportunities to capture photographs up close with reptiles, birds of prey, meerkats, lemurs and finally badgers in the evening in our custom built photographic hide.


We start the day with an overview of photographic principles and controls, methodology and composition in a classroom environment. On completion of this the encounters begin with the first animals to photograph likely to be reptiles and owls. From here we move on to visit the outdoor enclosures for the lemurs and the meerkats where attendees have the opportunity to feed, hold and of course photograph the various creatures. As the sun begins to lower we head to the badger hide to spend an atmospheric evening awaiting these elusive mammals and the opportunity to capture some much sought after images.

Who will be there on the day?

The day will be led led by a member of our Award Winning Academy Training Team. All of our Trainers are experienced photographers and have a broad knowledge of all cameras to ensure you get the best from the day. As well as this, a keeper from Hoo Farm who will be able to assist with and answer any questions you may have on the animals throughout the day

Suggested equipment:

A previous knowledge of exposure including Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO is advisable for this experience. On the day you will need your camera, fully charged batteries including spares if you have them, memory cards and lenses that offer a variety of focal lengths (macro is advisable for the reptiles and owls, mid range focal lengths for the enclosure encounters and long range lenses for the badgers). It is advisable to bring waterproof clothing and protective footwear as this is an outdoor event and some of the ground areas are uneven.


16th September
13:00 - Welcome, Introductions and Photography Theory
14:00 - First animal encounters (Reptiles, birds of prey)
15:00 - Outdoor animal encounters (Meerkats, lemurs)
16:00 - Break / free time to roam Hoo Farm
17:30 - Badger Hide Session
19:00 - End of day
All times are approximate and due to the nature of working with animals subject to change


Hoo Farm, Telford, TF6 6DJ


The Animal Encounters Experience takes place at Hoo Farm, Telford, TF6 6DJ

27th May 2017
28th May 2017

Course starts at 13:00 and runs till approximately 19:00

Phil Gould was born in Southampton, UK and lived in Awbridge until he was 16 years old. Here he learned the field craft of wildlife photography, watching the many birds and mammals in their natural habitat. From years of experience of watching and photographing wildlife, Phil is able to bring his pictures to life. His work has sold all over the world and has appeared in many magazines and books. In 2007, Phil traveled around the world in 365 days and wrote the photography book “365photographydays” which has sold in over 27 countries. His favourite saying is its ‘all about the glass.’ He has joined the Jessops Academy as their wildlife expert and brings his passion and expertise to the team where he can develop new wildlife opportunities for Jessops customers.