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How to Become a Professional Nature Photographer

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Did you know that there were 119,475 employed photographers in the US in 2018?

Photography can be a very rewarding career that is ideal for creatives. Like many creative roles, there are several different career paths you can choose, from fashion photography to nature photography.

But getting into the industry can be difficult, luckily we’ve got the low down on how you can become a professional nature photographer.

Practice Your Skills

Every professional nature photographer has to start somewhere, and most start from a young age. The sooner you start practicing your photography skills, the better. Begin taking photos of nature in your local area and then try advancing your portfolio and skills, by traveling further afield and trying different shots.

Create a Portfolio

Most nature photographer jobs will want to see a portfolio of your work. This means you need to create a portfolio with the very best of your work.

Specific jobs might prefer certain photos, so make sure you create portfolios that reflect the type of photography you want to do. For example, if you want to apply for photography jobs where you’ll mainly be working with animals underwater, then you need to show that you can produce work similar to this. (You might also want to become a fully trained diver for underwater photography too.)

Be Patient

Becoming a nature photographer is no easy feat, it takes skill, talent, determination, and a whole lot of patience. Nature is unpredictable, you could be waiting hours, days, or even months to capture the perfect shot.

For example, one project that was catching sharks on the reefs took three years to complete. Read more about the project and the shark that came to Poi.

Remember patience is a virtue, especially in this career. So, whether you’re waiting for the perfect shot or you are eagerly hoping to get a chance to work with a company, make sure you trust that in good time you’ll get it.

Attend a Photography School or University

There are plenty of great photography schools and universities that offer fine arts degrees in photography. By attending a school, you’ll be able to further your skills, enhance your photography knowledge, and also get a chance to make vital connections.

Alternatively, there are also workshops or classes that you can take to improve your photography skills. Having a specific education or qualifications under your belt might help you to become a nature photographer.

Learn About the Industry and Demand

Nature photography can be an exciting career, but it’s one that is difficult to achieve.

There aren’t that many full-time nature photography roles. So you might need to combine nature photography with another photography path.

For example, some people do freelance nature photography part-time and have a part-time photography role which is more popular such as a wedding photographer.

Become a Nature Photographer

Everybody is in awe when looking at incredible photos of nature, that they might not have been able to see in their daily lives, which is probably why so many people want to become a nature photographer. Although it’s difficult to become a nature photographer, it’s not impossible, so try implementing our tips and kick start your career now.

Check out some of our other photography articles to find out more about the profession and to get the latest photography tips and tricks.

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