We used to have trouble occasionally
when a llama would spoil
what should have been a good photo.

At least when you take a photograph with a single lens reflex camera,
you usually get what you are aiming at.

Now that we finally broke down and bought a digital camera,
we have discovered that unusable photos are getting quite common.

Our digital camera also has a digital viewfinder
which takes a little time to refresh as the scene changes.
Once the image is exactly what you want and you press the shutter button
there is about a two second delay before the photo is actually taken.

This gives the llama ample time to do something unexpected,
such as walk out of the picture, turn its head, or flick its ears.

Mourning Dove

If you make sure that there are plenty of flies around, you should be able to get a classic portrait such as this one of Mourning Dove, who flicked her ears just as I clicked the shutter.


Amarga managed to turn her head on its side. It is amazing how much they can change in two seconds.

Farrah Farrah
Farrah managed to turn her head and get her nose out of the picture
so I backed off a little ways to get a larger view of her.

Once I had pressed the shutter, the delay was so long
that I thought that it wasn’t going to take the photo
and I lowered the camera.

Click. Oops.

Chinchero Chinchero Chinchero Chinchero

I was determined to get a nice photo of Chinchero.

He managed to to flick an ear.
Then he managed to exit the frame on either side of the photo.

By now I had learned to pan the camera with him as he moved.

This sometimes works except when the shutter goes off
just as he passes a fence post.

Belle Autumn WInd Tanisha

After my lack of success in getting a photo of Chinchero,
I decided to go back and try getting some photos of some of the girls.

Wedding Belle, on the left, managed to flip her head back.

Autumn Wind in the centre, managed to duck her head completely out of the shot,
while Tanisha was able to flick her ears towards me and elegantly twist her head.


When llamas are chewing hay,
their lower jaws move back and forth a surprising amount.

However, Cotton’s jaw was in the normal position when I pressed the shutter.
I have to admit that this does make an interesting portrait though.

To learn how to take great photos like these
with a regular camera, check out our
Llama Photography Lesson page.

We would love to hear from you:

Brian and Jane Pinkerton
29343 Galahad Crescent
Mount Lehman, British Columbia
Canada V4X 2E4

Phone or Fax: (604) 856-3196
e-mail address:

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