Where the Wild Things Are

David Bates combats career stress with wildlife photography

Published in 2017 Florida Super Lawyers — June 2017

Photography is a wonderful stress-reliever: very much my meditation and yoga combined into one. It contrasts a lot with what I do 60 hours a week. As a lawyer, you try to be as efficient as possible for your client; in photography, you’re often incredibly inefficient with your time in order to get a shot. It can’t be about the photo. If it’s about the photo, you get nothing. It’s about the experience.

I’ve always enjoyed hiking, backpacking and nature. Photography was a natural extension of documenting and sharing the wonders I experienced. I’m fortunate to live in the United States—and in Florida—with countless beautiful subjects for photography. I have also been to Tanzania several times, Canada, Japan and Rwanda; my bucket list includes Antarctica, the Falklands and, of course, the Galapagos Islands.

I have often planned to do a photo book, but I always hope the next photograph will be my best—and the one I would want to put on the cover. I joke that I’m really just working on a slideshow for my funeral.

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