Rajah, a male white Bengal tiger relaxes at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. This color variation is extremely rare in the wild but has been perpetuated through captive breeding.
While the tiger was completely relaxed during his photo shoot, getting the picture proved tricky. First, we had to prep an indoor space with black plywood. In this case, it was a weather shelter adjoining a large outdoor enclosure where the tiger roamed. Next, we had to disassemble our lights so that they could fit over the tiger's head in a space that was tiny. Just setting the lights took long time.
Once the tiger was shifted inside, the shoot went quickly and he calmly posed for a few minutes. I think he actually may have fallen asleep towards the end.
After this ran on National Geographic Instagram, it became known as one of the most popular images ever posted there, with millions upon millions of views.
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Photograph Date: 2014
Medium: Chromogenic Print