There are plenty of types, niches, and avenues of photography these days. Senior portraits, weddings, family shoots, commercial, and more. Wildlife and nature photography is a growing avenue of photography and is one of the most difficult to undertake.
When was the last time a mountain or a deer paid you for a photo? That’s right, never. That is why this area of photography is one of the most challenging to be successful in. That does not mean that being a wildlife and nature photographer is impossible, however. Here are a few ways to prepare yourself and tricks that will help you be a successful photographer in this area.
1. Stock Can Still Be Helpful
While the stock photography industry is not nearly as lucrative as it used to be, it can still contribute a portion of your income. As stated before, the rivers and birds you photograph will not be coughing up any money for their photos so you need to find people who will pay for these images. Stock photography websites are a great place to start with wildlife and nature photography. There are some precautions to take with stock photography as well: read the fine print, know exactly what you are giving, and exactly what you will be getting in return. Learn and read about this from other pros in the wildlife and nature photography business and don’t make the same mistakes some of them did.
2. Practice Patience
This will be your greatest weapon in wildlife and nature photography. It is an invaluable trait that needs to be refined, practiced, and perfected. Nature photography is not like a photo shoot. You will not always get the image you want in one round. Animals and clouds don’t pose for you like people do. There have been nature photographers who have spent two full days in the same spot waiting and watching for the perfect moment. Sometimes they return to the same spot year after year to catch those seasonal flowers blooming to get just the right image. It’s a constant battle of being in the right place at the right time and then waiting for the ideal moments to capture it. This will come with experience and time but will show itself clearly in the images you produce that others would never wait around for.
3. Seek Emotion
In order to take images that will be sold and that will display your talents best you must seek to show emotion. There are so many humans that would never step foot in the icy waters of a river or trek along the skyline trails to reach the places you do to take your photographs and you need to give them the emotion as if they were there with you. Awe them at the majesty of the hillside and the snowy mountains in the distance. Bring them joy when they see the fawn stand or take its first steps. Bring tears to their eyes at the beauty of a sunset captured above an entire city. Make intimate moments with the nature in front of your lens to show that intimacy to those who see your work.
Being a wildlife and nature photography may be one of the most difficult but it is just as rewarding as any other avenue of photography. As a photography of this genre, you are handed one of the greatest challenges. The complete lack of control that other photographers despise is what makes you stand out among the rest. With timing, patience, a knowledge of the industry, and the creation of emotion, you, too, can become the pro photographer of your dreams.