Neck and Neck, Tanzania, 2016

This photo was taken during my African safari honeymoon in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. As we left Ngorongoro Crater, we came upon a distant herd of about 25 giraffes frolicking on a hillside. By now, giraffes had quickly become my favorite safari animal but most of the ones we’d previously seen were busy eating tree leaves, which obscured a clean shot. I knew this could be special when we saw them on the open hillside under a clear blue sky, but we needed to get closer.

With a little bit of coaxing, I convinced our very experienced driver guide, James “Bond” Mwakajumba, to go off the main road and head towards the giraffes. Thankfully, his expert driving got us to this location without falling into a warthog burrow along the way. Once we were in place, we watched in awe at the scene unfolding in front of us. Then, I noticed these two young male giraffes separate from the pack, “playing.” A few seconds later, I can be heard on video pausing, and then saying, “oh, symmetrical!” and took the shot.

I was really excited to capture this image. I thought it was unique because there were so many of them together. They were on a hillside, which made it easy to get a complete photo of them, and from a composition point of view, the giraffe’s tawny colored coats would look great against a blue sky. And we were the only jeep in the area, meaning no other photographer would capture the same image.

Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Photograph Date: 2016
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 40cm

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About the Photographer

Leinani Shak Yosaitis

Born & raised in Pearl City, Hawaii, currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. Received B.S. Degree in Fashion Design but opted for a stable business career as an oil industry worker for 20 years before pursuing my true passion. In 2010, I fell in love with digital photography and went back to school to learn more about digital photography.

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