A wildlife photographer is right up there with the chocolate taster and waterslide tester on my list of ideal occupations. Consider it! For coworkers, nothing but flora and wildlife, as well as your trusty camera, and your workplace, well, the entire globe is your office. You get to travel the world, taking breathtaking photographs of amazing species and breathtaking landscapes how’s that for work satisfaction? To accomplish all of these great things, you’ll need to be well rewarded for your work unless you’re a wealthy individual joining the wildlife photography game. In other words, how much money can a wildlife photographer make, and is the dream realistic or just a wishful thought?
What Does Being A Wildlife Photographer Entail?
As a wildlife photographer, your task is similar to that of any other professional photographer. You’re looking for the truth, the beauty, the melancholy, the stark ugliness, or the violence; you’re looking for reality. The only difference is that the scene is staged in a different location.
A wedding photographer frequents synagogues, chapels, and cathedrals, among other places. A street photographer stomps the streets, whereas you investigate the natural environments of your subjects.
Your mission is to capture high-quality photos of animals and plants in unique ways that captivate the viewer, eliciting interest and maybe action.
You could get a compensated job with a print or online newspaper if you’re lucky, but you’ll be working for yourself for the most part. This indicates that a passion for the trade is required. It is a career that pushes you outside your comfort zone on a regular basis.
In fact, you’ll be camping in fields in this line of work, so comfort may be a rare find.
Because you’ll be dealing with a range of weather and light situations while traversing difficult terrain, you’ll need to master your equipment and make sure you have everything you need to take advantage of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grab your photo.
A wildlife photographer’s ultimate objective is to utilize photographs to communicate a larger story about life outside of society, or when the borders between the wild and civilization blur.
Wildlife Photographer Salaries
It’s impossible to offer an accurate figure for wildlife photography profits because of the nature of the industry. It might range from $0 to $50,000 or more every year.
There are many wildlife photographers who earn six figures per year, but the big bucks are saved for the likes of Nick Brandts, Timothy Allens, Neil Aldbridges, and Christina Mittermeier.
Those who have achieved celebrity status as a result of years of outstanding effort.
You may find that staying a free agent is a wise decision once you’ve established a name for yourself since you can decide the value of your work yourself, but there are advantages to working for a publication.
The majority of your expenses will be covered by the firm while you are employed there. In particular, your travel expenses will be reduced. A freelance wildlife photographer is compensated after deducting all expenses related to travel from A to B.
As a full-time wildlife photographer, you should be able to earn approximately $25,000–$30,000 per year if your photos are of excellent quality and you work hard to build your brand and business.
Other forms of photography, such as pet and product photography, do pay better. However, I am a firm believer that pay is not the only metric by which success can be measured. After all, cleaning septic tanks is a lucrative business!
How To Build Your Wildlife Photography Business (And Earn More Money)
It may appear that transitioning from a hobbyist to a paid wildlife photographer is difficult, but it isn’t. You may turn your excellent pastime into a super awesome profession if you have a passion for your craft, a desire to improve, and a feeling of purpose.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you may establish your presence in the business while also making some money.
One of the most appealing aspects of photography is that you don’t need a professional degree to create amazing photographs or to succeed in the field.
However, you shouldn’t rule out pursuing a degree(s). You’ll learn a lot in a short amount of time, and that gleaming qualification will help you attract the attention of prospective employers.
Never underestimate the impact of a craft fair, particularly if you’re just getting started. Some people are hesitant to put their money into product stock, but if your work is good, it will sell.
Don’t be afraid to enter your work into contests if you genuinely believe in it. Money will be awarded, and the winners and runners-up will be remembered.
I can’t emphasize the significance of having a good internet presence enough in this technology age. You’ll need a well-organized website that showcases your greatest work and achievements. It’s the ultimate branding tool, giving you the opportunity to convey your narrative.
- Workshops, Presentations, and Talks
When you’re initially starting out, you should go to as many of these public events as possible. But after you’ve gained confidence, you should take command and make yourself the center of attention.
Society and educational institutions are continuously on the hunt for motivational and instructive speakers. Assert yourself as an expert in the area and take advantage of any opportunity to share your knowledge with others.
- Sell Your Work to Newspapers and Magazines
Get your photos in front of as many people as possible. It doesn’t have to be a high-end publication. Newspapers have a larger audience than most other media.
Poor workers blame their equipment, but the quality of your equipment will prevent you from reaching your full potential. If you’ve outgrown your current setup, don’t be afraid to upgrade once you’ve kept up with the latest technology.
How Much Does A Wildlife Photographer Make? Summing Up
When transitioning from hobbyist to professional wildlife photographer. you may find yourself short on cash for a while .so you’ll probably need to supplement your income with part-time work, even if it’s only to cover travel and equipment costs.
Wildlife photography, on the other hand, may be a very rewarding job if you work hard and take advantage of as many possibilities as possible.