Photographer Stefano Unterthiner captured wild creatures from a face-to-face position and it appears to humanize the animals. From far away, a wild animal might seem mystifying or terrifying, but seeing them up close, we see a reflection of ourselves in them. This perspective makes us subconsciously humanize the creatures as we give them personality traits and emotions.

A fox with it’s head enlarged from the zoom appears to smile back at us in a friendly way. A big grizzly bear seems harmless as he meekly approaches the camera. A large monkey looks calmly back at us as if too shy to speak; his brown eyes comforting and warm.

These images of wild creatures close up are so captivating and inspiring, bringing us back to self-awareness and maybe even encouraging some to be more conscious of their ecological footprints.