Corey Wyckoff has been staff photographer and videographer at the Toledo Zoological Gardens in Toledo, Ohio, for the past three years. His job consists of gathering and distributing visual content of all aspects of the Zoo from special events to commercial advertising, and of course, the entire animal collection.
Corey grew up in Toledo. As a child, his curiosity with cameras and technology quickly evolved into a passion for content creation. After high school, he graduated from a filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy located in lower Manhattan. Film school equipped him with the tools necessary to develop a strong portfolio along with extensive knowledge of various roles in the production industry. Landing a position back home as a cinematographer at a local TV station was the first step into his professional career, which eventually led to the opportunity at the Toledo Zoo.
What he finds most interesting about his journey is how he never imagined working with nature and wildlife. The animals and the incredible people who care for them have given his work a sense of meaning and purpose. Coming from a background in filmmaking, it was intimidating to take on the role of a wildlife photographer. Though challenging at times, he was able to overcome the learning curve and found new ways of conveying emotion through a frozen moment in time.
Winston and Tilly, the Zoo’s resident North American river otters, are some of the most captivating and attention-seeking members of the Toledo Zoo family. They can be found in Tembo Trail across from the Hippoquarium entertaining guests and interacting with children who are as energetic as they are. Tilly, seen in the winning photo, was delighted to welcome Corey on a morning stroll. When it comes to capturing moments such as this one, patience is always key. Corey will often spend hours with the animals, waiting for an opportunity to portray them in a way that displays their unique personality.
Through the use of photo and video, Corey hopes to make a lasting impact in the hearts of people and inspire them to help conserve our planet and the animals that call it home.