How to Become a Wildlife Photographer

Nature has always inspired me and I love to travel the world capturing images of animals and landscapes. It’s been my dream since I was a child and I finally achieved this in 2013. It took years of perseverance to achieve this but I am so happy!

I have learnt so much in my journey so far. I have learnt that patience is key, you need to love animals and be able to endure their unpredictable behavior. The only way to capture the perfect moment is to put yourself in the animal’s position and wait patiently. As a wildlife photographer, there are many challenges, you can find yourself spending a lot of money on equipment, your time and you may even have to spend months away from home to get the shots.

Being a wildlife photographer requires the ability to adapt quickly in any situation. You must be able to deal with stressful situations, be flexible and able to be creative.

In this interview, I’d like to share my tips on how to become a successful wildlife photographer and get you on the path to success.

1. Be patient

You can’t get a perfect shot every time. You need to accept that sometimes you won’t get the shot you want. It takes time, practice and patience. When you have finally captured a beautiful image, you will see the result of years of hard work and persistence.

2. Get to know the animals

You will need to spend a great amount of time studying and learning about different species. For example, a butterfly will be easy to identify, while a bird will require you to learn its calls and songs. By knowing the animals you will be able to capture the exact moment they are in.

3. Study as much as possible

You will need to spend many hours reading books, watching documentaries and attending seminars. You will need to study the behaviors of animals and know what to look out for. You need to know how to focus, compose and capture your subject matter, as well as how to use camera settings to achieve the best results. You will need to be able to read a manual and know the right buttons to press.

4. Have a clear goal in mind

A clear goal will help you to focus and stay motivated throughout your journey as a photographer. A clear goal will help you understand your purpose and what you want to achieve. Having a clear goal will help you to plan and prepare for your future photography and you will not waste your time when taking pictures.

5. Have confidence in your skills

You will have to develop your skills and improve your technical skills. This will take time. Learn how to pose your subject and know how to do it well. Be brave, take risks and learn how to work under pressure. It will also help you to have the patience to capture the perfect shot.

6. Practice

Practice, practice, practice. It will be a steep learning curve but with patience and dedication, you will succeed.

7. Keep learning

Never stop learning. Your journey is not over. You will have to continuously hone your skills and increase your knowledge.

8. Enjoy the process

Once you start capturing stunning images, you will be happy. There will be days where you will struggle to take a decent picture. It will be frustrating and you will not have the motivation to keep going. You will experience moments of doubt and you might question your ability as a wildlife photographer. But, in time you will get used to it and you will start to enjoy the process.

9. Network

It’s important to network and get support from other photographers and artists. You can meet other like-minded individuals and connect with fellow photographers. You will find that the online community is very supportive and helpful. You will learn a lot from each other and you will also be able to help each other.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

Asking for advice is the only way to learn. Ask those who have been where you are, and who have achieved their goals. They will be more than happy to share their experiences and advice. You will learn a lot from them.

11. Join a photography group

Join a photography group that supports your goals and aspirations. Find a photography group that has members who share your passion for wildlife photography. You can connect with fellow wildlife photographers who will be able to give you advice and offer you guidance.

12. Take time off

Taking time off to recover and recharge your batteries is essential. You will need to take breaks and rest so that you are fresh and ready to work.

13. Develop your creativity

Be creative and use your imagination. You will need to come up with ideas and approaches to capture the best image.

14. Have fun

Take time to be spontaneous and enjoy your work. Take pride in your work.

15. Be determined and focused

Never give up. Focus on your dream and never let go. Never let the obstacles and challenges get in your way. Remember, you are chasing a dream.

16. Be courageous

You will face many challenges. You will have to be willing to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. You will need to be brave and courageous and be prepared to fail and have a bad day.

17. Believe in yourself

You will need to believe in yourself and in your talent.

18. Work hard

It’s important to put the work in. It’s a long journey and it will take time to achieve your goals.

19. Be kind to yourself

It’s easy to criticize yourself and put yourself down when you do not have the results you expected. Be gentle and loving to yourself and believe in yourself.