David Yarrow, one of the most acclaimed wildlife photographers in the world, took Tag Heuer’s Don’t Crack Under Pressure campaign seriously: He shot British actress/ model Cara Delevingne with hungry lions in South Africa. For more about their collaboration, turn the page.
David Yarrow is more than a fine-arts photographer. The Briton is also a financier, conservationist and author.
No pressure here: Delevingne wears the motor racinginspired Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 9.
Delevingne on Yarrow: “I am familiar with David’s work. I think he is an incredible photographer. His pictures of animals and creatures around the world are strong and beautiful. He is incredible and so professional, so I felt completely at ease. He also has a great sense of humour, which made the experience fun.”
Hanging with the big cats: “I actually can’t believe this is part of my job; the animals are incredible and the whole experience has been really great. I was so excited to see all the animals [at the wildlife sanctuary] that I didn’t have time to be afraid. I’ve always had a great love for animals since I was a kid. Lions are so strong and peaceful at the same time. If people had to take one thing away from this, I hope it would be to respect animals and their habitats.”
Yarrow on Delevingne: “She’s a rock star. She’s got so many facial expressions and her personality can change very quickly. She’s, of course, stunningly beautiful and has extraordinary eyes. That’s the best thing, because I’m an eye person. When I’m photographing an animal, if the eyes aren’t sharp, it’s very difficult to get an insight into its soul. So the first thing I look at all the time are the eyes, and Cara has totally intoxicating eyes, so from my perspective, that was always going to be the centre of the project.
“I hope when people see this picture at the airport, in a magazine or on a billboard, they might just go ‘My goodness, look at that’, and it just stops them in their tracks. It’s very difficult in these times for one still image to grab people’s attention and hold it – but I think this image will. It is a great shot because you have a triangle of souls in the photograph: The soul of the photographer; most importantly, Cara’s soul and her look; and also the look, soul and the personality of the lion.”
How they nailed the shot: “We did the shoot in the morning. I tend to do better in the morning. Also, the lion would be hungrier – if you’ve got a lion that’s eaten a lot, getting him to go through the same [shots] can be quite a lot [to expect]. In the afternoon, we moved the three cages so that it would provide a new route for the lion, which would allow him to appear from behind Cara’s head and look right at me.” – RT