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Dream to be a wildlife photographer

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:12 am
by photodad101
My dream has always been to be a wildlife photographer. I have no idea where to start to find a job. I would gladly take a job doing any kind of photography if it could lead up to wildlife. I have no problem traveling in order to be a wildlife photographer. I would like to end up photographing for a magazine or something someday. I am being forced into a new career and feel it is time to go after my dream... If anyone can help, please do. Anything would be great!

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:09 am
by twisterintexas
Do you do any photography now? Do you have any equipment? Do you want to freelance or find a job in the field? Either way - employee or agent - you'll need to build up a portfolio with published work so that you can credential yourself. You might need to start "on the botton" - like photographing stuff for your local newspaper - to get a list of credits started. Call your newspaper and find out how they accept photographs (what format, what topics, etc). It takes a long time to build up a portfolio in professional photography. Start shooting pictures today! And then take more! (I'm sure you're already doing this). Learn about shutter speeds, light composition, and your potential market. The book Writer's Market lists magazines that accept photos; there are probably other books that offer information about the photographer's market. Also, look into what kind of photography is standard for submissions now. Do you need negatives, slides, or is digital photography ok? If you don't have much in the way of background knowledge, you might want to take continuing education courses in photography. You should subscribe to a good photography magazine. They list contests, and even the words "honorable mention" can go a long way in your portfolio. If you can, write an article or team up with someone who can to add a story to your photography. That might help sell your work! Good luck - I hope some of these ideas helped.

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:12 am
by pattyn

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:19 am
by twisterintexas
Pattn, You outdone yourself - that list is FANTASTIC! Whoa, nelly! I'm having such a fun time perusing it that I'm thinking about becoming a photographer myself! Too bad the only pictures I take that are consistently good are close-ups of my thumbs. What a great resource you are!

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:59 am
by pattyn
Thanks, twisterintexas. I don't know a darn thing about wildlife photography, but I know a fun question when I see one. Like you, I enjoyed learning how they support themselves. My sister did a stint as a cat photographer -- not wild ones, but those in cat shows. She'd bring a portable screened porch to the shows to shoot in, to get the cat owner's thumb out of the picture.

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:26 pm
by soni
Another option would be to take a job working with wildlife (zoo, rescue center, rehabilitation center, safaris or tours biz, etc) and take your camera along with you to work on your skills during breaks, slow times, etc. Expand from there. For example, if you work for a safari group then once you get good at photographing the animals, you could start offering the trip's tourists "night before" workshops on how to take the best pictures on their tomorrows outing. Or, once you got established in a rehabilitation facility (and got good with your camera) you could offer to shoot the animals for a fundraising calendar or something similar. That's how you can develop expertise in both at the same time, and make some money doing it.

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:48 pm
by luvadventure
Photodad, Check out this website. You may find it interesting and inspiring. I love photographing flowers, trees and landscapes in my spare time. Gets me out into nature and is very meditative for me. Good luck with your aspirations. Linda

Re: Dream to be a wildlife photographer

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:26 am
by Rylan_06
I was in same dilemma as photodad was in. I am keen to photography but my passion, as a Photographer in Port Macquarie, is in infancy. Vising this forum has given me a direction to this exciting career. Thanks all members for their valuable thoughts.

Re: Dream to be a wildlife photographer

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:43 am
by SquarePeg
I'm glad this old thread got bumped up. I created an account on DeviantArt several years ago in order to explore my fondness for writing. But then I discovered I enjoyed photography so much more. Now I take my camera with me on my lunchtime walks. Usually I don't take any pictures. Sometimes I'll encounter dragonflies, birds or bees and shoot them when they alight on something, just for practice. I've captured a frog and a snake on the trail, too. As well, I enjoy shooting dramatic sunsets and the occasional rainbow. Plus I've got loads of photos of our cats and dog!

Welcome, Rylan!

Re: Dream to be a wildlife photographer

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:57 am
by heater
Here is an idea that might "keep you going" on the side while you keep your options opened.

Researchers say that spending time with animals is good for one's spirit, mood and health. And those things can't hurt one's persistence and creativity. You might find that that is a large part of what you seek.

My friend volunteers for the humane society and they post photos of their pets that are candidates for adoption. Volunteer and get their brief introductory training and volunteer to walk the dogs and so on. After they know who you are, develop a blog with a super cute name so people can see the pets that are candidates for adoption. If you don't know how to use blogger, don't be daunted; it is just one of many things that initially seems complex but is no more complex than the first time one learned how to use email.

Re: Dream to be a wildlife photographer

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:47 pm
by Elaine Glimme
Photographers, please check my post - wish to finish "The Molly Chronicles."