Animal photography is one of the most spectacular photography genres you will find. The ability to take stunning photographs of animals, whether they are wild or domesticated, at their most natural and capture their very essence can be incredibly rewarding.
Being a great animal photographer takes time, dedication and patience as well, of course, as the right equipment. So if you are determined to succeed and achieve some great animal photography, here are our tips to help you along the way.
Get the Right Equipment
When it comes to any type of professional photography, having the right equipment is essential in order to succeed. Of course, you might be lucky with a basic camera and take a great photo of your pet. But if you are looking to make a career from your photography then you will need to invest in a good camera and any other necessary equipment.
If you are not quite sure what you are looking for, discuss your needs with an independent camera retailer. They will be happy to help you find something that is most suited to your needs. In addition to a good camera you should consider investing in a telephoto lens and a good quality tripod.
If you are considering photographing animals in their natural environment, rather than pet portraits in a studio, then you will also want to consider rain covers and, of course, some camouflage clothing or a hide. Whilst this may seem like a big investment, paying out for the right equipment at the beginning will save you money in the long run.
Learn your Craft
Taking great photographs means understanding exactly how to use your camera and this isn’t something that can be learned overnight. Practice taking photos and see what works for you, and of course what doesn’t work. Practise taking pictures of different subjects, at different times of the day and night and also in all types of weather conditions.
This will help you to understand what works best for you. You don’t necessarily need a formal qualification to be a great animal photographer, but you do need practice and the types of skills that you will learn this way come through being patient.
Of course, taking incredible photographs of majestic wild animals like lions and tigers in their natural environment could really launch a career as an animal photographer but it is better to start small. Consider taking pictures of smaller wild animals a little closer to home or even farm animals first. These will be easier to find, and this means that you can spend longer learning how to take your photographs for maximum effect.
In addition to being patient whilst taking photographs of animals it is important to be ready. Otherwise, you are likely to miss some great photographs. This means that when you arrive at the location you are hoping to take your photographs at you should set up your camera and ensure that you have the right settings in place. The last thing you want to do if an animal comes into frame is fiddle with the setting on your camera. If you do, you can’t guarantee that your subject will stay still for long enough.
Talk to OOther Animal Photographers
One of the best ways to improve your animal photography is to ask other animal photographers for advice and tips, and of course share some of your own. This might be anything from the best settings to use, great locations to visit or simply what cameras everyone is using.