@2018 by John Shahabeddin

What's with the Bear?

The majestic brown bear has sat atop my logo for a few years now, and I often get asked why!

Obviously, my favourite animal is the Brown Bear, but there's a bit more to it that that!

Here's the answer:

1. I really feel like I connect personally with bears - I'm active during the summer months and like to hibernate, all cosy by the fire in winter, (although since I became proficient at nighttime photography, I do a lot more winter weddings, nowadays). I'm also slow to anger and don't really move all that quickly unless I have to!

2. I live in the forest, love the fresh air and foraging for mushrooms and berries, too. I love fish, and love scratching my back against trees. I draw the line at pooing there though - I'm a porcelain kinda guy!

3. I sort of look like a bear - I'm large, rotund, and hairy, and certainly at my most "bear-like" first thing in the morning.

4. I once received a card reading and it came out that my spirit animal is the bear.

5. When I was a boy, I pointed to a star constellation and asked my mum what it was called. She said it was called "The Big Dipper" or "The Plough". I love this constellation, wherever I am in the world, I can look up at it and be reminded of home and that I am loved, no matter what. This constellation is also called "Ursa Major", or the "Great Bear".

6. My wife and I named our son Arthur, which means "Bear King", and Felix, after Lady Luck herself, Felicitas, the Greek God of Good Fortune.

7. The best picture I ever took was of a Eurasian Brown Bear called "Yurka". She was splashing around in a river in the Black Forest and I captured a frame of her as she was shaking water from her head. It's not technically perfect by a long shot, a bit blurry in fact, but it really captures her majesty and power - I love it, and it's the only picture of mine I have hanging up in the house! I look at it every day, and it reminds me that the perfect picture isn't always about technical prowess - the true measure of an image is how it makes us feel when we look at it - an important lesson for a photographer.

Well there you have it!

" Yurka"