Faces in the Crowd

Scott Perry’s Acclaimed Exotic Animal Photography Not Only Reveals Beauty, But Inspires Species Survival

by Lydia Cobb | photos by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

FOCUS: Exotic Animals

Before R.G. Scott Perry retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, he was relocated to Camp Pendleton in 1991. In his free time he explored San Diego Zoo, its Safari Park, and other attractions with his camera. Through practice he began perfecting techniques and investing in higher quality equipment. Mesmerizing and often endangered creatures soon came into focus. “One of my goals in photographing exotic animals is to share their magic, beauty, and splendor with the public,” revealed Scott, “and to make people more aware of the need to preserve them.”faces_perry2

Name: R.G. Scott Perry
Profession: Photographer; Retired U.S. Marine Corps
Community: San Marcos since 2007
Interests: Photography, building World War II scale model airplanes and ships, reading, hiking, music, theater, and watching pro football. Go Redskins!
Favorite Places in San Marcos: Restaurant Row, Lake San Marcos, sunrise and sunset atop Twin Peaks

faces_perry4photos by Scott Perry

Scott retired from the Marine Corps after 24 years of service in 1995. When he retired from his corporate fields in management and human resources in 2001, the suggestion of a friend inspired him to enter the field of exotic animal photography.

He specializes in big cats – lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars. Scott has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to photograph these and other exotic animals in zoos and reserves. His award-winning photographs have been exhibited locally and nationally.

“One of my goals in photographing exotic animals is to share their magic, beauty, and splendor with the public, and to make people more aware of the need to preserve them.”


Like paw prints, Scott Perry’s travels can be traced. A native of Washington, D.C., he has since lived in several cities. Southern California’s motion picture business first lured him here in the 1960s. His nearly a quarter-century in the Marine Corps on active duty and in the Reserves carried him to two tours in East Asia and a combat tour in Vietnam. As a family man, he mentioned he always had a camera in hand. “During my tour in Vietnam I used a camera extensively, but unfortunately many of the pictures got lost,” reflected Scott.

Sorting mentally through thousands of photographs, Scott recalls specific snapshots in time. There was a memorable family group of lions. A close-up of a male Silverback gorilla, fresh from a nap and checking on his troop, seemed to be in deep thought. “For me, his expression is a study in thinking,” added Scott. His ultimate goal is to travel abroad, pinpointing Africa and India, to film and digitally record the existing inspirations behind his passion. A percentage of his photography sales go to the World Wildlife Fund. There’s no dollar amount for the awareness he generates on the beauty and plight of exotic megafauna, as revealed through his lens.

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