David Yarrow

David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He took up photography at an early age and as a 20-year-old found himself working as a photographer for The London Times on the pitch at the World Cup Final in Mexico City. On that day, David took the famous picture of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup and, as a result, was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. Many years later David established himself as a fine art photographer by documenting the natural world from new perspectives and the last nine years have been career defining.

David’s evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. His large monochrome images made in Los Angeles are on display in leading galleries and museums across Europe and North America. He is now recognised as one of the best selling fine art photographers in the world and his limited edition works regularly sell at high prices at Sotheby’s and other auction houses.

Since 2019 David’s work raised $10m for philanthropic and conservation organizations. At Art Miami in December 2019, David’s photograph “The Wolves of Wall Street” broke new records. One print, signed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, featuring the real Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort – sold for $200,000. The proceeds went to conservation NGOs supported by DiCaprio.

In September 2019, Rizzoli published their second book by David Yarrow. It was Rizzoli’s flagship book and their Autumn catalogue featured David’s image on the cover. The books foreword was written by global NFL star Tom Brady and an afterword written by American cultural icon Cindy Crawford. All royalties from this book will be donated to conservation charities Tusk, in the UK and WildAid, in the US.

Exactly three years after the publication of David’s last book, Rizzoli published Storytelling in 2022. Storytelling features over 130 of David’s images taken since 2019. The book’s foreword was written by Cindy Crawford. All the profits from the copies purchased through David Yarrow Photography Ltd will be donated to the UW Health Kids Cancer Care Charity. David and Cindy’s on-going collaboration since 2019 has raised over $3m for the UW Health Kids Cancer Care Charity.

David’s position in the industry has been rewarded with a wide range of advisory and ambassadorial roles. He is an ambassador for WildArk and The Kevin Richardson Foundation. As the European ambassador for Nikon, he has recently been integral to the company’s most anticipated camera release of the last decade. In December 2017 he shot LVMH’s latest “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” campaign with Cara Delevingne, which can be seen in airports around the world. In January 2019 David was appointed as a global ambassador for UBS. Most recently, in the spring of 2020, David was appointed a Global Ambassador for Best Buddies – one of America’s most established children’s charities.

At the start of 2020, David was in Australia documenting the devastating bush fires that have destroyed communities, wildlife and wildlands. Using the striking and poignant images that he captured of the effects of the fire, Yarrow launched the #KoalaComeback Campaign to support the recovery efforts in Australia. As of early June, the campaign has raised $1.4m.

In April 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, David joined the Art For Heroes campaign, to raise money for the NHS. He released a print – Our Pride – with all proceeds going to HEROES. For every print purchased, David donated an Our Pride print to an NHS worker. The campaign has surpassed its original target of £1m.

David goes to extraordinary lengths to capture his subjects in their most raw, authentic forms, often conducting extensive research and completely immersing himself in his subject’s habitat. His dedication to portraying nature’s most precious and dangerous wildlife is truly astonishing. Yarrow is not only devoted to depicting wildlife in its most genuine state, but is also committed to protecting it through his work as the affiliated photographer of Tusk Trust, a leading African conservation charity for which HRH Prince William is the Royal Patron.

“We live in an era of content overload, and for images to engage, there needs to be not just strength and powerful documentation, but perhaps also a degree of unfamiliarity.” David lists the great war photographer, Robert Capa, as one of his major influences.

His approach to photographing wildlife is guided by Capa’s famous assertion that “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. When possible, Yarrow takes his photographs of dangerous wildlife using a well-positioned remote-controlled camera, acknowledging that a photographer can achieve perspective by capturing shots that look up at the animal from the ground.

Rizzoli publishing house in New York, has produced a flagship book named ‘Wild Encounters’ featuring work from seven continents, capturing some of the earth’s most endangered species. HRH the Duke of Cambridge wrote the foreword to the book, which was released in October 2016. All author royalties from the book will go to Tusk Trust. Amazon awarded it “The Best Art and Photography book of 2016”.

Yarrow states, ‘When conceptualizing animal shots, think laterally and strive for an image that sits outside normal boundaries. This may be to achieve perspective by capturing shots that look up at the animal from the ground, but often to get the animal at eye level and pin sharp. This can prove problematic when photographing dangerous animals but a solution is offered in the form of well-positioned remote controls.’One of David’s more unusual pieces of equipment is a custom-made 14-pound steel box. This object is used to house his camera body and then placed near the subject matter of his assignment. He then triggers the protected camera from a short distance by pressing a hand-held switch at the right moment… his timing has to be perfect. All of David’s photographs tell a story; his durable camera casing has several tales of its own, ranging from being buried in a swamp in the Camargue, doused in Old Spice aftershave in Amboseli and smothered in rhino excrement in Lewa. These ‘treatments’ have been used after extensive research into identifying the most attractive and enticing smell for the animal in question.

David used a scented remote to capture “THE PRIZE,” his iconic, pin-sharp shot of a lioness walking across the dusty plains of Lake Amboseli (Kenya) at sunrise. Shortly after taking the shot, the lioness took the camera casing in her mouth and walked 700 yards into the bush. Fortunately the stoical camera casing and enclosed camera body were retrieved.

The equipment that David takes with him on location will naturally vary according to the subject matter of the assignment and the lighting conditions/climate of the environment in which he is photographing.

David has been using Nikon camera bodies and lenses for almost 30 years, which testifies to the high regard that he has for the quality of the brand’s products. He is the brand ambassador for NIKON cameras. He is also the creative partner and brand ambassador for LAND ROVER.