Autistic photographer finds success at happiness with animal pictures

  • Natalie Gray speaks to wildlife photographer Alfie Bowen

A young man who was bullied at school for being autistic says photographing animals has got him through the toughest of times.

Alfie Bowen, who lives at Worlingham in Suffolk, is carving out quite a career for himself and as his success grows, so does his confidence.

Photographer Alfie Bowen taking pictures at Banham Zoo in Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

One of Alfie's favourite places for taking pictures is Banham Zoo in Norfolk.

He has a book out next year and an agent - not bad for someone who was bullied at school for being autistic and told he'd never amount to much.

Alfie said: "No one spoke to me. I was bullied constantly. I had food thrown at me. Used to eat in a classroom on my own because I couldn't cope with the atmosphere of the dining room."

A picture of a rhino at Banham Zoo. Credit: Alfie Bowen

So how has photographing animals helped Alfie ?

"It helps me to get my social skills up because I struggle verbally so I had to teach myself everything basically, so it's my way of getting my emotions out," he said. 

A picture of a lion taken at Banham Zoo by Alfie Bowen. Credit: Alfie Bowen

Banham Zoo hopes to work with him to achieve its own ambition.

Claudia Roberts, Joint Managing Director at Banham Zoo, said: "Because we want to be the number one zoo for autism it's very much part of our community strategy to focus on neural diversity.

"That's to really focus around people with ADHD and autism, so we want it to be a safe and welcoming space, somewhere they can connect peacefully and safely with animals."