Close Encounters Photography Workshop

Yes its back the Close Encounters photography workshop at Hamilton Zoo. This unique photography workshop is aimed at helping you improve your animal photography by getting up close to some amazing animals. There will be three encounters on this photography workshop throughout the day.

  1. The lemurs- Here you will get to go inside there enclosure where they will come up close (if they’re in the mood) giving you some great opportunities to capture some great images.
  2. The Southern White Rhino  – No you won’t be going in their enclosure but you will be in a great position, close to the fence, where you can photograph them looking up from a low angle. I have done this several times and you really do get a sense of their magnificence. There is nothing quite like looking up at a Rhino and taking its photo.
  3. The Kunekune pigs – Pigs I here you say! Yes and its another great opportunity to get up close to another animal in its enclose giving you the chance to finesse you photographic skills.

So if you want to join me on this unique photography workshop where you’ll get to enjoy interacting with some amazing animals, use the booking form below to check availability and book a place.

Date:              TBA

Cost:              NZ $295.00

Group size:   3 – 6

Status: Enquiries welcome

Location – Hamilton Zoo

When TBA

Time – 8.30am sharp in the education room.

Group Size – Maximum of 6

Cost – $295 per person  or  $250 for PhotoHub Members

Three EncountersAs already mentioned you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and  photograph, the lemurs, rhino and kunekune pigs, so don’t wear your best cloths as you will be rolling around in the dirt like a real wildlife photographer trying to capture that perfect image. As the animal’s welfare is paramount, so each encounter will last around 15-20 minutes,  this is to ensure we don’t  cause any unnecessary stress. Happy relaxed animals are also easier to photograph.

Tuition Between the encounters we’ll be in the education room where I will be giving instruction on how to capture great animal images.

The WeatherWorkshops are not cancelled if it’s raining.

Price Includes

  • All encounter fees.
  • Tuition fees.

Price Does Not Include

  • Any refreshments or food.

8.30am StartThis workshop starts before the Zoo is officially open. This gives me a chance to brief you and give you some tuition before we head to the lemurs for their breakfast at 9.15am. Please be on time if you’re late you may well miss the first encounter. If you do, as you’re already aware (you agreed to the terms and conditions) there will be no refunds what so ever.

Back to the education room We’ll return to the education room after meeting the lemurs for more tuition and prepare for the rhino encounter at about 1pm. This will be the theme to how the day will run tuition followed by encounter.

Things that we’ll cover through the day will include:

  • Understanding Composition.
  • Aperture and depth of field in relation to subject distance.
  • Importance of correct shutter speed.
  • Angle of view – how to create engaging images.

Lunch This will be kept flexible depending on the day and the group, so might be before or after the rhino encounter.

Afternoon The  kunekune encounter will be around 3pm and there will be some tuition before visiting them. This may be in the classroom or around the zoo depending on the time available and the weather.

Finish – Depending on the group there may be time to take in a few more animals around the zoo before the workshop finishes between 4-4.30pm

Note; The itinerary may change on the day depending on the animals and advice from the keepers, this is to ensure there is no undue stress on any of the animals we encounter on the day.

What you’ll Need:

My workshops are all about the enjoyment of creating images so it’s not important what make or model your camera is. For you to the get the most out of this workshop though a DSLR or a mirrorless camera would be best.

Below is a list of recommended equipment for this workshop:

  • A zoom lens 100-400mm on a full frame sensor is ideal – 100-300mm for a cropped sensor.
  • A wide angle lens will give you added options for the rhino encounter if you have one.
  • Spare battery.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Laptop to review images if there is time

Recommended clothing:

  • You will be laying and kneeling down on the ground so dress accordingly. It could be wet or raining so waterproof over-trousers and jacket  may come in handy.
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen – Not exactly clothing but still protects you from the sun.

Food and Drink:

  • Water bottle, always good to have.
  • Packed lunch if you wish or there is always the cafe which is what I tend to use.


  • Once availability has been confirmed full payment is required to secure your place. This Payment is non-refundable under any circumstances.
  • If a workshop has to be cancelled by Trevor Penfold Photography a full refund will be given.
  • Trevor Penfold Photography has the final say in any negotiations involving cancellation of your place, and the refunding of any money.
  • All workshops are non-smoking.
  • Trevor Penfold Photography takes your safety very seriously and although we take every effort to ensure this you are still ultimately responsible for your own personal safety. By attending one of Trevor Penfold’s workshops or events you acknowledge this fact. You therefore agree that you will not hold him or any other member of his business liable in anyway if, in the unlikely event, you injure yourself while attending one of his workshops.
  • All the images and information within this brochure are the copyright of Trevor Penfold Photography and are not to be distributed in any way without the written permission of Trevor Penfold.
  • By attending one of Trevor Penfold’s workshops you agree to all the terms and conditions mentioned above.


Any questions or suggestions? Please email us and we'll get back to you asap.


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