Preserving the rapidly diminishing natural settings and the wildlife of their habitants can be rather difficult, given that human encroachment is leading to the extinction of myriad species every passing day. Some professionals, however, aspire to preserve this glorious vestige of wildlife in a way that lasts forever; through photographs. Wildlife photography focuses entirely on capturing wildlife the way Mother Nature made it. This form of photography is invaluable not only for its aesthetics value, but for its scientific contribution as well.
Unlike any other type of photography that relies on posed and staged subjects, wild life photography is centered on capturing wildlife in the most natural way possible. For instance, a picture can capture a lion mid-pounce while bringing down prey or cringing away from the scorching sun under a shade tree. It is quite possible to photograph captive wild animals, this is highly frowned upon and only reserved for scientific purposes. If you aspire to become to become a wildlife photographer but are unsure of your career prospective, here’s some information to help you reach a decision:
What Does a Wildlife Photographer Do?
As a wild life photographer, you would be expected to shoot candid pictures of wild creatures in their most natural niches. Some wildlife photographers are pure opportunists; they stop in their tracks and snap a shot of any animal that crosses their path. However, top notch photographers are a little more particular, and only choose to seek certain species of animals.
Depending on where you reside, you might happen to do your job right from your backyard, or the nearby woods. However, since professional wildlife photography requires particular subjects, it may entail you to travel expansively, to where the action is! The subjects you aspire to shoot dictate your destinations and your schedules. For example, if you intended theme is polar bears, you would have to journey to the Arctic Circle. On the other hand, if your intended subject is lions, you would trek to the plains of Africa. And yes, you would do that in a jiffy because your job means more to you than anything in the world.
In addition, since you might need to travel to the ends of the globe, you should be well versed in the ways of the world to make it. Not only should you strive for, but also enjoy understanding the native languages and cultures of the destinations you are voyaging to. Sometimes being able to proficiently collaborate with native inhabitants can mean all the difference between returning home triumphant with the shot of a lifetime or coming up empty handed.
Also, you should be very comfortable with staying outdoors for protracted periods of time, without yearning for your bed or an internet connection. At times, a professional photographer can wait for hours, days, or even months in the harsh climates, just waiting for that perfect capture. As such, you should be well acquainted with survival skills, hiking, camping, and making it under a bare sky. After all, that magnificent lion isn’t just going to show up at your whim!
Most wildlife creatures have keen senses of hearing and smell. This entails that wildlife photographers should do their jobs in the most discrete ways possible, so as not to scare away or alert predators. For instance, you might position yourself and your gear downwind, or steer clear of scented products, such as soap and cologne, for indefinite periods of time. If prim and meticulous hygiene is your weakness, the wild might not be the best place for you.