Gorilla Twins

Nope, this isn’t a portrait of my brother and me. It’s Macombo and Mosuba, identical twins photographed at the Henry Dorly Zoo in Omaha, when they were 3 years old.

It seemed weird to be photographing animals for People magazine, but proved to be a fun assignment, resulting in a favorite photograph. In fact, I’ve got a large framed print hanging in the entryway of the studio.

If you’d like to purchase a signed Fine Art print please give me a call – 303.880.8063.

I had the best time during my 20+ year run as a Contributing Photographer to the Time-Life publication, including travel to most of our 50 states and a few international gigs as well. These cute gorillas became “People Magazine newsworthy” because they were the first set of twins born in captivity.

Macombo and Mosuba at the Henry Dorly Zoo.

Behind The Scenes – Funny Story:

Zoo keepers first took me to the gorilla habitat for the photo session. Despite reassurance from the gorilla habitat staff that these little guys were fun and friendly, it was still a bit unnerving as I was led thru the labyrinth of corridors, thru several heavy steel locked doors and gates into their space.

The curious “toddlers” came right over to me tugging at the camera bag hanging from my shoulder and slapping my legs. I couldn’t make a good picture with both of them clinging to me. After a while they went back to moving around in the glass enclosure. Once they were several feet away I crouched down to get some shots of them and they’d immediately run back over to play. This routine was repeated over and over. A fun time, but the magazine was paying me to deliver a cute portrait.

As I settled into the space I had the funny feeling that I was being watched and turned my head to look over my shoulder. Remember, I was in their habitat. And looking into that habitat were all of the zoo visitors, watching the twins and yours truly. Sure wish I had a photograph of that scene. Can’t you imagine some little kid tugging at mom’s arm, “Mommy which ones are the gorillas”?

Good news as the zoo staff understood my predicament and arranged for me to enter the zoo before it opened to the public the next morning. They took Macombo and Mosuba out of the enclose to an open grassy area where I took this photograph. Just outside of the frame are 4 zoo employees keeping the animals close together. Taking them from their habitat actually scared them – the unfamiliar space – and they clung to each other for security – and this heartwarming image.

Brings a smile doesn’t it?

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