There are only a few things more unique than a close encounter with a squirrel regarding life-changing experiences!
During his summer vacation in Belgium in 2016, Niki Colemont, a Rwandan refugee who grew up in Belgium, came face to face with a squirrel at the home of his girlfriend’s grandfather.
Niki explains, “I heard a strange noise while walking around. I could hear some noise from the bushes where a squirrel came and stood in front of my feet. I was surprised to see it standing and had never encountered a squirrel at such a close range.”
Niki was captivated and began watching squirrels whenever he could and photographing them.
Niki said, “I saved up to buy the camera, and it was a simple process to learn everything. “I learned everything through trial and error and made many mistakes, and that’s how I learned photography.”
It was a passion that earned him the nickname Squirrelman.
Niki says, “I prefer to take pictures of the squirrels because they can do human-like things like picking or carrying things.”
Niki started interacting with them after observing their actions. His creativity transformed snapshots into artwork. Barbie dolls, toy cars, umbrellas, and even a Halloween mask helped him capture them.
He says, “They are very comfortable with my appearance. They know who I am, and I feed them, and they know that. So, yeah, I’m a good friend to them.”
Niki’s mind is always filled with new ideas. His artwork showcases squirrels in innovative ways. He spreads joy and happiness to many others through his photography, displayed on Instagram.
Niki says, “For me, it’s a joy to make these pictures, and people are happy to see them. And I’m very blessed that I can do this.”
Finding his passion was unintentional for Niki. His purpose in photography is to encourage others to find theirs.
He says, “Don’t be ashamed if something fails because you don’t have to expect everything to work on the first attempt. Don’t be scared to make a bad picture. Always try again and never be scared to fail.”