A squirrel happily poses with a perfectly made snowball, while another ensures that the occasion is captured… by taking a shot.
The pair of red squirrels were content to play model and photographer – until the one behind the camera became bored and demanded a turn posing.
The squirrels’ joyful interchange is picture-perfect, with snow falling softly as they play with their new toys.
Photographer Vadim Trunov, 30, shot the couple in the woods near his home in Voronezh, Russia.
‘I shot the images in the woods near town, the squirrels were not jittery and are not frightened of people since they live so close to us,’ he explained.
‘I fed them nuts, which they gladly grabbed and hid in the snow; they kept taking nuts from me and then concealing them.’
‘Squirrels enjoy hiding nuts and then finding them again when they are hungry so they may eat.’
‘I made a snowball with a nut inside and then threw it on the ground.’
‘A squirrel dashed up, snatched the snowball, and carried it away.’ Maybe she sensed the nut within.
‘Then it occurred again with the second snowball I prepared, so I decided to try a sequence of images including a squirrel photographing another squirrel holding the snowball.’
Mr Trunov, who was barely four metres away, set up a tripod and prepared another snowball with nuts inside for the squirrels so he could photograph the charming snowy picture.
‘Almost immediately, a squirrel rushed up to the camera and began sniffing it,’ he added.
‘A second squirrel grabbed a snowball and lifted it up, again, possibly to feel whether there was a nut in it.
‘She dropped it and picked it up again, as if she were posing for the camera.’
‘The first squirrel then hopped onto the camera, reached for its companion, and snatched her snowball.’
‘It was a lovely moment, and I made more than 10 snowballs to catch it with the two squirrels at the same time.’
‘Squirrels are incredibly fun and curious animals, and I was delighted to shoot this scene,’ says the photographer.