Allan Dixon is our new hero. The Irish photographer has been called a "real-life Dr. Doolittle" because he seems to be able to communicate with animals. How else would he have amassed an impressive (make that basically unreal) collection of animal selfies before he turned 30.
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His Instagram is full of pictures of animals (both with and without him) and nature in general. In short, it's gorgeous. But his animal selfies are what have brought him the most notoriety.
Dixon's selfies are absolutely incredible — but they don't always come easy, no matter how they look. He told Bored Panda that snapping one of his signature selfies can take "anywhere between five minutes to three hours of being in the animal's presence."
And anyone who's ever tried to take a selfie with their cat knows exactly the kind of patience Dixon has for his craft.
So no, he's not just walking up to horses and camels and taking gallery-worthy selfies immediately, but that doesn't make the results any less impressive. "It depends on the animal and how safe it feels," Dixon told Bored Panda about his process. "What the photos don't show is the amount of dirt that ends up on my clothes because of being on the ground. But the results are worth it."
The results are definitely worth it. Recently, Dixon single-handedly justified the selfie stick's existence with this selfie with an Alpine Parrot.
But Dixon doesn't recommend that people of Instagram run to follow in his footsteps. If you do decide to take a selfie with a wild (or even not-so-wild) animal, remember to take it slow and whatever you do, remain calm.
"Be very careful as to not upset or provoke the animal when [you're] trying to take the photo," Dixon advised. "Gain the animal's trust in a calm relaxed manner and the results will be golden. Make sure it's not a crocodile."
"Make sure it's not a crocodile" is a good rule to live by no matter what, so we'll definitely be following that advice.