How to Get Started with Wildlife Photography


Wildlife photography is not very easy. You need to be very careful when you take a photo of an animal in motion. Otherwise, the photo will not be clearer as you expected it to look like. Also, you only have a chance or two to capture breathtaking pictures because you never have all the time to photograph an animal in motion. But you know, the most brilliant wildlife photography a photographer can produce is a one time photo opportunity.


There are so many obstacles and some basics you need to understand and experience yourself if you are eager to capture astonishing images from the outside world. In this article, we will talk about some of the important things you need to know to capture your own wildlife photograph.

But before we do, take a look at some basic wildlife safety tips:

  • Consider animal’s safety. Do not endanger the life of an animal just for the sake of breathtaking photography.
  • Do not make the animal uncomfortable. You will either disturb their natural habitat and eventually make them away but can also make them violent.
  • If your subject for photography is naturally wild, always plan an escape route before you set out to photograph.
  • Do not go near any young animals while their parent is around. It is their instinct to protect their children.
  • Approach with caution. Wildlife animals get scared easily especially if a sudden change of surroundings. Do not risk safety by surprising them or carelessly approaching them.


  1. Do Your Homework Before You Go

It is not a smart move to head out to the wildlife without any knowledge of the location. You need to have at least plan your objective such as where do you want to go in particular, what do you want to photograph, what do you need to bring etc. Because if you are not ready or even prepared to stay longer hours in the wild, you don’t know how things will turn out.


You also need to know how many gears do you need to bring or even food you can carry. Wildlife photography can take longer than your expected so you better be prepared if you happen to stay longer in the wild. But you need to keep in mind only to bring the important ones and only bring what you can carry.

But at least check the basics:


  • Pick a topic or a theme and start thinking about a variety of ways to capture it.
  • Make sure you check the weather forecast and pack and dress for the conditions.
  • Ask around or do online research for common sight seeings within the area.
  1. Find a Perfect Spot to See The Perfect View


Taking wildlife pictures is not just taking photos a family picture. The animals you are photographing will not look at your camera lens directly and say cheeze. You need to find a perfect spot for you to get the right angle when you start taking pictures of them.


Your positions, distance and angle matter a lot because if you are in a wrong place, you might not get the best shot. Also, if you are too far from your subject, you might not get a clear photo of the subject. If you get too close, you might not get the a good background of the subject.

Also, have a clear idea of what you want to capture such as:

  • Do you want to capture birds (in the air or trees)
  • Do you want to capture fish (jumping in the water, or underwater)
  • Do you want to capture land animals

This will give you an idea of what you can focus on finding in the wild.

  1. Schedule Your Wildlife Adventure

Going out to the wildlife for an adventure is advisable if the weather is bright. If the sun is shine and there is no indication of bad weather condition. Because it may not be a perfect condition for you as a photographer and for your subject to stay outside if the rain is about to fall down. Normally, animals will just stay under the tree and wait until the sun shines again.

Also, if you are an animal migration photographer, you have at least a knowledge when do the migrate. For example, Birdnature created a spring and fall migration table. This gives you an idea of when a certain bird breeds will migrate from one place to another.

You can also schedule by time sensitive adventure such as:

  • Photography during/before sunrise or sunset
  • Photography on a weekend schedule
  • Photography just right after the rain when your subjects are leaving their shelters


  1. Take Practice – Makes it Perfect

Not all photographers are born photographers. Not all photographers had the photography in them. They all started from scratch, reading photography books, taking photography schools, or just non stop practice. Especially if you are doing wildlife photography, you don’t get a lot second chances to take the photo angle you first wanted. That said, you need to spend a lot of time practice taking photos to get it right.

But you need to have a lot of patience in practice. You can’t become an expert photographer in just a day or two practice. It takes longer than that. Even some study to get diploma so you can say photography is not just a hobby but also a profession.

  1. Ask for Professional or Expert Advice

Not everyone is born a professional or an expert. You become expert through various experiences and you become professional through a diploma. If you really want to learn more in photography, you need to listen to people around you. They can give you practical and based on photography experience tips so you can really say they can really do give good advice.

For example, you don’t have any idea on how to buy a good lens for your wildlife photography. You can ask them what they would recommend. They know what is right and what is not in different types of photography like wildlife photography gear requirement is different than wedding photography gear requirement.

These are some important things to know to get started with wildlife photography. You will surely learn more as you go and you will have your own tips to share to people getting into wildlife photography.

Image credit: (1st image) (3rd image)


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