After graduating from her studies in Advertising and Public Relations, Cristina Abilleira had a feeling that the normal protocol was not going to be for her. Now, she is known for taking the whole family out on her trips with the intention to locate and photograph wild animals in their natural habitats. Read the story below about their vanlife blog and wildlife photography.
“So I suppose that ending up as a nature photographer was something that just came up,” says the mother from Galicia in Spain.
“Our first getaways were by car and we would stay in accommodation, but in a short time, we realised that it was impossible to see the animals, who are always early risers. Waking my little girl too early was not very appealing so we considered buying a campervan. In this way, my husband and daughter could be left sleeping and I could go and hide out at night, which increased my chances of being able to photograph the animals. Given the wilderness on which we usually circulate and often inclement weather, it was essential that we find a four-wheel drive and made the search a bit more complicated for us.”
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Finally, the perfect van appeared, a blue Marco Polo in her daughter’s favourite colour, and it came to change their lives completely by giving them unforgettable moments around the world.
“With camouflage fabrics and specific window mounts,
it becomes an improvised hide from which to wait”
“We really had to think about organising everything that you would on such photo trips and how to manage this within such a small space. The first thing was to locate the photographic equipment, which soon found its place in the middle of the two front seats. A backpack below and the cameras ready with telephoto lenses on top, prepared for when an animal crosses us. With camouflage fabrics and specific window mounts, it becomes an improvised hide from which to wait. It even helps us to change perspectives when we get on the roof, allowing low obstacles to be overcome.
We have a powerful inverter onboard to ensure all the camera batteries are kept charged, and you can always use the computer to work on the material that you have just shot. However, I do prefer to edit the images at home so that I enjoy the most from the trip and do not miss a moment.
So without hurry and without schedules, we are a family that goes on an adventure in order to see and photograph animals in their natural environment. We have proven that it is the best way to educate our children to be careful with our surroundings. Respect for nature is transmitted with your actions, and the children feel it directly. There are no words that can raise awareness better than living in it.”
Cristina’s form of stealth camping is nestled quietly between the bush. She gets to see the animals in the most natural way possible.
“I strive to create images that provoke feelings in people, because after all, “feeling” is what makes us love. You don’t harm what you love, but rather fight to take care of it and respect it with all your might.”
See more of Cristina’s photography online at www.cristinaabilleira.com