Whether you already have a wildlife photography website or are building one from scratch, it’s always worthwhile to look at other inspiring portfolios and get ideas for your own. As a best practice, we recommend reviewing your site at least 1-2 times each year to see what content or design might need to be refreshed. We’ve found a crisp and modern wildlife photography portfolio example that you can click through for inspiration; you’re sure to find some fresh ideas for how you can design your own.
Everything about Wildlife Photography
Learn everything there is to know about becoming a wildlife photographer.
The Best Wildlife Photography Portfolio Examples of 2022
The Best Wildlife Photography Ideas
Wildlife photography is one of the most rewarding genres of photography. It allows photographers to capture the beauty and majesty of nature and results in some truly stunning images.
If you’re a wildlife photographer, it’s essential to have a few creative ideas up your sleeve. After all, you never know when you’ll come across that perfect photo opportunity. Here are some creative wildlife photography ideas to try.
Low light wildlife photography.
Low light wildlife photography can be challenging but also very rewarding. Capturing animals in their natural habitat in low light conditions can often produce stunning results.
There are a few things to remember when photographing wildlife in low light, such as using a fast shutter speed to prevent blur and choosing an appropriate ISO setting to avoid graininess. A tripod can also help keep your camera steady.
Night wildlife photography.
Night wildlife photography is the process of photographing animals in their natural habitats during the night.
There are a few things to keep in mind when photographing wildlife at night. First, you will need to use a higher ISO setting on your camera to compensate for the lack of light. Second, you will likely need to use a slower shutter speed which could result in blurry images depending on how much movement there is in the scene.
Finally, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings and ensure you do not disturb the animals you are trying to photograph. While using a flash is possible with some wildlife, doing your research and being aware of when flash can be used safely is an important part of night wildlife photography.
Low key wildlife photography.
Low key wildlife photography is a type of photography that emphasizes the dark tones and shadows in an image. This style of photography can be used to create striking, moody images of animals and nature scenes. To create a low key image, photographers typically underexpose the image slightly to bring out the shadows. They may also use special lighting techniques, such as backlighting or side lighting, to create more contrast in the image.
Black and white wildlife photography.
Black and white photography can create some stunning images of wildlife. By removing the color from an image, the photographer can emphasize the subject’s shapes, lines, and textures.
This type of photography can also help to create a feeling of mood or atmosphere in an image.One of the great things about black and white photography is that it can be used to photograph just about any subject. Especially when photographing animals in the wild, black and white can help to create a beautiful and evocative image.
Wide angle wildlife photography.
As the name suggests, wide angle wildlife photography uses wide angle lenses to document animals in their environment.
Wide angle lenses have a focal length of 35mm or less. This allows the photographer to capture a much wider field of view than possible with a standard or telephoto lens.
Wide angle lenses are particularly well suited to photographing animals in their natural habitat, as they allow the photographer to include more of the animal’s surroundings in the frame.
Macro wildlife photography.
Macro wildlife photography is a type of photography that captures close-up images of animals and insects. This type of photography requires a special lens that can magnify the subject matter.
Macro wildlife photographers often use natural light to illuminate their subjects, which results in stunningly detailed images. You can also use a ring light mounted to the front of your lens to illuminate your tiny subject.
Telephoto lens wildlife photography.
Telephoto lenses are long focus lenses that allow the photographer to zoom in on their subject while maintaining a distance from the wildlife.
This is beneficial for wildlife photography as it allows the photographer to capture close-up photos of animals without disturbing them or getting too close for comfort.
Telephoto lenses come in a variety of different focal lengths, which is the measure of how much the lens can magnify an image. The longer the focal length, the more zoomed in the image will be.
Minimalist wildlife photography.
Minimalist wildlife photography is all about capturing the essence of animals with as few elements as possible.
This type of photography can be incredibly challenging, requiring you to understand the animal’s behavior and movements deeply. But when done correctly, minimalist wildlife images can be stunningly beautiful.
Wildlife bird photography.
Wildlife bird photography is a type of photography that focuses on capturing images of birds in their natural habitat. It can be both a challenging and rewarding form of photography, requiring patience and skill to get the perfect shot.
Wildlife bird photography often takes place in remote or difficult-to-access locations, making it logistically challenging. With the right equipment and approach, however, wildlife bird photography can result in some truly stunning images.
Urban wildlife photography.
With the growth of cities and the consequent increase in the number of people living in close proximity to wildlife, there has been a corresponding rise in the popularity of urban wildlife photography.
Urban wildlife photography captures images of animals living in or near human settlements. This can include anything from squirrels and birds in city parks to deer in suburban backyards.
Website Templates for Wildlife Photographers
Our easy-to-use templates can be personalized into thousands of different design iterations uniquely suited for your business.
Our new District template features bold fonts and a neutral palette designed to perfectly complement your photos. This template provides an ideal background for any photographer.
A unique carousel with character to showcase your work in minimalist frames that perfectly present your session types and specialized genres.
A striking gallery designed for universal, modern, well-arranged photography images.
After you perfectly capture life in the camera, show its many angles in this grid view design.
Let your images make a big statement in the space of a gorgeous single page site design.
Romantically tell the story of engagements, weddings, and maternity.
A striking template to capture powerful wildlife photography.
A soft color palette and elegant script font are the perfect way to display romantic engagement and wedding photos.
The black canvas background sets the stage for high contrast photos while evoking a moody style.
Make A Living
Professional Wildlife Photography
Getting started in professional wildlife photography may overwhelm you, but you have to start somewhere! By reading our guide and gaining an understanding of all things wildlife photography, including how to make money doing it, you’ll be off to a great start.
If you love venturing into the great outdoors with your camera and are happiest spending lots of quiet time alone, a career as a professional wildlife photographer might be for you. Unlike many other photography gigs that require a lot of interaction with people, motivating, posing, and capturing emotions, wildlife photography rewards patience and stillness as you wait to capture the perfect shot.
Ready to learn more about this covetable career? Read on!
Learn It All
Wildlife Photography Tips
It just takes patience to learn wildlife photography techniques. And so, if you’re someone who wants to improve their wildlife photos, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be going over everything that aspiring wildlife photographers should know prior to setting up their business, including what equipment to invest in, the skills required, and all the camera settings that will help with achieving the best image possible.
Pick the best time of day and lighting.
Wildlife photography is shot almost exclusively outdoors. Because of this, the quality and mood of your images are very dependent on the time of day and weather conditions.
For instance, shooting on a sunny day in the middle of the day will present some lighting challenges like potentially overexposed images or hard light and shadows. Alternatively, shooting at twilight might not provide enough light to get a sharp image of the wildlife. Having said that, in some instances, you might want to achieve a moody aesthetic for your image. Golden hour or magic hour tends to be a preferred time for many photographers, but regardless, having a plan going into your photoshoot will help you determine which time of day is best.
Get the composition right.
As you gain more experience, you’ll likely feel more confident with wildlife photography composition, but one of the most important composition techniques we like to remind aspiring photographers of is the rule of thirds.
To put it simply, the rule of thirds will ensure your subject is not directly in the middle of the image, but is instead in the left or right third of the image, leaving the other two-thirds more open.
That being said, there are no specific rules to follow. Let yourself experiment with different types of composition and break away from some of the traditional practices.
Know how to use a flash.
Using a flash in wildlife photography can be controversial because of the chance that the bright light disturbs the natural wildlife in the area. At the same time, though, a flash can be necessary when trying to bring life to a dull scene. It can also give you the freedom to create some really dynamic wildlife images.
For instance, you could use a fill flash as a great alternative that selectively brightens the subject. You could also use flash to backlight or sidelight your subject to make your images more striking.
Understand your subject.
You might be lucky enough to snap a winning shot that wasn’t carefully planned, but in general, with wildlife photography, photographers become intimately familiar with their subject. This is especially true when photographing animals.
Remember, animals can be unpredictable in terms of their movement and behaviors. The more familiar you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to anticipate the scene prior to it happening.
Get the right equipment.
Wildlife photography requires you to be out in the wilderness, and that means you need to have equipment that can work in a variety of conditions (i.e. weatherproofing, a gear bag that can carry large loads of equipment during a hike, etc.)
In addition, if you want to capture quick-moving objects like animals, you will need to have a camera and a lens that have the capability to handle high ISO settings and fast shutter speeds to minimize the amount of noise and blur in the images. We’ll go over some more specific equipment recommendations in the next section.
Wildlife photography takes patience, and a whole lot of it. When you’re working with wildlife there is very little that you’re in control of. You can’t pose or direct your subjects, your subject to the weather conditions and there are so many other factors that come into play. Be ready to put in time waiting for the right moment to present itself. When you do come across a photo-worthy scene you might be tempted to get in there and start shooting right away. But remember, the sound of the shutter can be quite loud when you’re out in the wilderness. More often than not, this will cause the animals to scatter, which means you could lose your scene before you even had the chance to set it up. Use a silent shutter mode if your camera has that capability. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded.
Anticipate the unexpected.
When shooting wildlife, you should always expect things not to go as planned. Whether it be poor weather conditions, animals in hiding, or hiking conditions that prevent you from reaching your shoot location, you need to have a backup plan ready to go. Alternatively, simply accepting that it might take longer than anticipated to get your shot is wise.
Know your camera settings.
Because wildlife photography can be so unpredictable, knowing your settings can be extremely beneficial for wildlife photographers. For instance, if you’ve been waiting all day for a pack of lions to show up, you need to be ready to shoot when the opportunity finally does present itself. Consider then, that as soon as the lions arrive the clouds break and the sun is streaming down. You’ll need to quickly change your exposure settings to get the best shot of the pride before they move along.
In general, a faster shutter speed will help freeze the motion of the animals. In addition, aperture priority might help you. And lastly, a mid-range ISO is generally best for wildlife imagery.
Take multiple shots.
Never assume that you’ve captured your perfect shot. With wildlife photography, because of the unpredictability, you never know what you’re going to get. Put your camera down for a moment and there’s a chance you’ll miss a winning shot. Instead, we recommend taking short burst images.
Respect the wildlife.
And lastly, as a wildlife photographer, it is extremely important that you respect the wildlife. In other words, we urge you to be mindful of how your presence impacts the wildlife around you. Some general rules of thumb include observing from a distance, never feeding the animals, storing garbage securely, and avoiding wildlife during sensitive times (i.e. mating, nesting, or when with young animals).
Professional Wildlife Photography Guide
Wildlife photography, or the genre of photography that seeks to photograph wild animals in their natural environment, allows viewers to experience (albeit only visually) the often stunning and sometimes surprising activities and appearances of untamed animals in their habitats. Before diving into wildlife photography, you must learn everything you can about it. From its definition to the types and styles, we cover it all here.
Wildlife Photography FAQ’s
Which camera is best for wildlife photography?
There isn’t one particular camera that is best for wildlife photography, but if you want to be safe, we would recommend a DSLR camera that is weatherproof, lightweight, and has both good autofocus capability and fast burst mode.
How to submit wildlife photos to a magazine?
Submitting your photos to a magazine is an excellent way to get more eyes on your work. Each magazine is going to have different requirements for entry. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the requirements and ensuring you submit your work in the manner that it asked for. Failure to do means your work will likely never be seen by anyone at that particular magazine.
How to get into wildlife photography?
The best way to get into wildlife photography is to start in your backyard. While you might be tempted to travel to exotic places to capture that winning shot, you’ll first want to gain some experience so you have the skills that are necessary to shoot in those more remote parts of the world. Start in your backyard, or your local zoo, and work your way up to more involved expeditions.
How to learn wildlife photography?
The best way to learn wildlife photography is to start practicing. You can spend as much time as you want to memorize the perfect camera settings, but until you get out there and start shooting, there’s a good chance that you’ll never truly grasp what it means to be a wildlife photographer.
Why are my wildlife photos not sharp?
There could be a variety of reasons why your wildlife photos are not sharp, but it likely has to do with your camera’s setting. We recommend looking at your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. In particular, a slow shutter speed will cause blurry images, or a high ISO can result in a grainy image. A camera that has poor auto-focusing capabilities might also be impacting your image sharpness. It’s also possible that your lenses need to be calibrated if they are not focusing properly.
How do wildlife photographers get so close?
In some cases, when you know it is safe to do, getting close to an animal should be fine, but we only recommend this for the most advanced wildlife photographers that really understand their subject. For the rest, having a high-quality telephoto lens will make it look like you are close to the animal even when you’re not. A hide can also be helpful.
How to use a blind for wildlife photography?
A blind (or a hide) is there to help you blend into your surroundings. The most important aspect of using a blind is its position. Remember, once you’re in the blind, you’re not going to want to move when the animal does show up. Doing so will likely just scare them away. Ensuring your blind is positioned well for the best photo possible is your biggest hurdle to using a blind.
What skills do wildlife photographers need?
We provided an exhaustive list of all the critical skills that we think a wildlife photographer needs, but in general, the top three skills that are required of a wildlife photographer are patience, familiarity with nature, and a willingness to potentially travel long distances and spend time by yourself.
Is wildlife photography a good career?
If you enjoy being in nature and get a thrill from seeing animals in their natural habitat, wildlife photography can be a very gratifying career. It may not always be the most highly-paid photography niche, but you could supplement your income with other in-demand photography gigs if needed.
Best focal length for wildlife photography?
Many wildlife photographers are happy shooting with lenses that have a focal length between 100-400mm. However, if you’re planning on shooting very small animals or animals that are a long distance away, you may prefer a lens that is even longer, like a 600mm or 800mm lens.
Full frame or crop sensor for wildlife photography?
A full frame sensor will enable you to capture more in each image, making it generally favorable to a cropped sensor. However, there are plenty of excellent cropped sensor cameras out there, and depending on your shooting style, having more cropped images may not be an issue. A crop sensor will multiply your focal length slightly so you will have more range to photograph far away animals. For example, if you’re a bird photographer, you may benefit from shooting with a crop sensor camera.
How do wildlife photos make money?
Wildlife photography can earn you money in several ways. You can shoot for paying clients, such as nature or even travel magazines and blogs. You may also wish to sell your prints directly to customers, with different rates depending on the size of the print and whether or not it is framed.
How do I sell my wildlife photos?
Creating an online store on your portfolio website is a great way to sell wildlife photo prints to customers. You can also pitch your photos to wildlife magazines that pay for the images they print. Finally, marketplaces for stock photos are another channel on which you can sell your images.
Does National Geographic buy photos?
No, National Geographic doesn’t directly buy unsolicited photos. Instead, you can pitch yourself to National Geographic to try to land paid gigs with them or join their roster of regular photographers. Since they plan their shoots well in advance, this is the best way to get your images on their famous pages.