These days, everybody's a photographer. In fact, everybody, including an octopus named Rambo, can take photos.
The difference between this cephalopod and most human photographers, however, is that Rambo actually gets paid.
For each photo that Rambo takes with her Sony Cyber-shot DSC TX30 camera, she gets paid 2 New Zealand dollars, or the equivalent of 1.50 USD. The proceeds of her work as a professional photographer go to the conservation efforts of Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, where Rambo is housed.
As the world's first octographer, Rambo is a naturally intelligent creature that was specially trained to take photos with a camera, which is placed in a special waterproof housing where a red plunger button is placed over the camera's shutter button.
When humans stand in front of the backdrop placed in front of the camera, Rambo understands this to mean that those humans want to have their picture taken, so Rambo, ever the professional, obliges and pushes the red plunger button with one of her tentacles.
"When we first tried to get her to take a photo, it only took three attempts for her to understand the process," Mark Vette, Rambo's trainer, tells CultofMac. "That's faster than a dog. Actually, it's faster that a human in some instances."
Rambo is actually part of a Sony campaign to showcase the intelligence of octopuses and the water- and shock-resistant properties of the Cyber-shot DSC TX30 camera. However, while Rambo is the first professional photographer with eight arms, she is not the first cephalopod to get hold of a camera.
The honor belongs to an octopus living in an aquarium at the Middlebury College in Vermont. Digital media producer Ben Savard was shooting the animals for a film with a GoPro and placed the camera inside the tank to take several rapid shots of the octopuses when one of them grabbed the camera with its tentacles and turned the lens toward Savard.
Within seconds, the cheeky octopus was able to take decent photos of its subject, which Savard posted on Reddit. Unlike Rambo, though, this octopus thought the GoPro was dinner and tried to eat it.
Octopuses are friendly and intelligent animals, and they need a variety of toys to keep them stimulated. Given Rambo's skill with the camera, she can very well raise her prices or, more likely, get bored with her old toy and move on to the next.
Check out the video below to watch Rambo the octographer in action.