A PASSION for animals has inspired an amateur photographer to follow her dream.

Danielle Hough, who works at McDonald's in Northwich,  is training to become a volunteer to guide visitors round Chester Zoo.

The 28-year-old loves to spend hours trying to capture unusual shots of the lions, tigers, monkeys and bears.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle loves taking pictures of spectacled bears, also known as Andrean bears

And her perseverance has paid off as some of her unique images have been published.

"I've always loved animals since I was little," said Danielle, from Winsford, who also works part time at Morrisons in Middlewich. "I love bears and my favourites are chimps."

One day Stevie the chimp was looking down for ages and Danielle patiently waited to see what he would do next.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle captured this cheeky picture of Stevie the chimp when he suddenly looked up at her

"Suddenly, he looked up and I got a great picture of him with peas in his mouth," she said. "It's pot luck really and patience."

Danielle received a Canon Powershot camera as a birthday present in August last year and has just discovered that she may have inherited her eye for a good image from nan Vera Hough, 91.

Northwich Guardian:

Patience and perseverance pay off as Danielle captures stunning close up shots

"I was speaking to my nan and she said she has always loved having a camera in her hand," said Danielle. "That must be where I got it from.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle with nan Vera, who she believes inspired her love of photography, and dad Mark

"I try to take my camera out as much as I can. I like capturing the little personalities and behaviour of animals. It is rewarding getting the outcome I want from the pictures, capturing a moment that I love."

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Danielle also enjoys taking scenic and landscape pictures around Winsford and any places she visits.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle took this picture of Whitegate Way in Winsford

With imagination she has also captured local wildlife like robins and swans.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle captured this picture of a swan on Winsford Marina

Danielle and fiancé Josh Martin are members of the zoo and can't wait to return to spend more time roaming round the enclosures.

Northwich Guardian:

Danielle and fiancé Josh love to spend hours at Chester Zoo

"I like to get the bigger animals although I also go for smaller things like meerkats. I try to get my camera in between the gaps in the fences. The more I zoom in the better the outcome.

"It is just practice and patience. There are times when you wait so long for an animal that is hiding. Five minutes after you've left it's out.

"I haven't done any courses or anything special.

"At the moment I see it as a hobby. In future I'd love to make it a career. I'd love to go on safari."