We often see pictures of wildlife in newspapers or magazines like a lion is hunting, fight between two wild animals etc. All these are the efforts of wildlife photographers. Wildlife photographer is the man who takes the photographs of wildlife and non-domesticated animals. This type of photography is important not only for its artistic value, but also for its scientific value as well.
Wildlife photographer takes the picture of wild animals in their natural surroundings. It is very challenging form of photography. Some photographers are opportunists, meaning that they take photograph of any animal comes in their way or some are a little bit more particular and like to take photograph of particular species. To get the photographs of different animal species, wildlife photographer needs to travel different countries.
One who wants to be a wildlife photographer must be passionate about photography, love animals and love to travel. It required physical fitness as one need to travel a lot and travel in wild areas. You must know the behavior of different animals to track them and get their photographs in natural habitat. You should have great patience also as animals won't act on the photographers demand or requirements. They come in their act when they want so to get the perfect photograph wait can be days or months longer. You must be very quick also if you want to take photograph of special moments/acts of animals because if you miss that moment then you don't know when you get that chance again.
You don't need any formal qualification for that but a 3 or 4 years degree in photography is must to get success in this profession. Many institutes provide degree, diploma or certification in photography. You should also study wildlife biology to understand the behavioral pattern of different animals. You should also have knowledge of advance photography techniques and computer tools that used to work on photographs.
To become a successful wildlife photographer, you must have the following skills:
- Excellent photography and camera uses skills. As to get perfect picture you have to use different type of cameras with different features and qualities. Like you need macro lenses for insects, long focal length lenses for birds and underwater cameras for marine life. So the knowledge of all kind of cameras and latest photography techniques is must.
- Experience of swimming, trekking and camping will also very helpful as you need to visit wild areas and stay there for an unknown period.
- Excellent communication skills and knowledge of different languages around the world will make life easy.
Who should choose this career
This is not a career that anybody can choose and get success. The person who love animals, love to travel, love to nature and have passion for photography can certainly choose this career. It required a lot of hard work and only a particular education can't bring success for you in this.
More important, one should be financially strong also as you need to buy equipment, travelling expenses, marketing your photographs and making contacts.
How to be there?
After 10+2, you can choose to do a bachelor degree or diploma in photography. After this degree you can apply for a master degree in photo journalism or related field. Along with study the wildlife biology to know about the animal behavior. After that start your career as a freelance or search out job in public or private sector. Most of the professionals start their career as a freelancer and after some experience they look for job.
Most of the wildlife photographer works as a freelancer. In the early stage the biggest challenge is to establish itself in this field. One can do by selling their photographs to newspaper, magazines and NGOs etc.
In the early stage one can earn around 10,000 a month. But an established photographer can earn Rs. 30,000 to 300,000 a month.
The opportunities are emerging day by day in the field of wildlife photography. You can also search out employment in newspapers, magazines, advertisement agencies and TV channels. You can also work as a freelancer and earn by the exhibitions and sale of your photos but it takes time and lots of hard work to get such popularity that people come to your exhibition and show interest in your photographs.
Pros and Cons
- Freedom to work independently.
- Chance to know the different species of animals.
- Travelling around the world and know different cultures in world.
- Contributing to saving the creature.
- Lots of travelling.
- Less time for family.
- No steady income.