In this article let’s take a look at whether wildlife photography is a good career or not by looking at all the pros and cons in detail.
You should read this article as all the information I provided are backed by statistics and data & you can rely on my information I provided in this article while making decision for your career.
So without further ado let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is wild life photography?
Wildlife photography is a genre of photography concerned with documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat.
Wildlife photographers promote the photos that they click for raising awareness of the animals and also displaying the beauty of the environment to the people.
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wild life photography as a career option.
Pros and cons of wild life photography
Pros of wildlife photography
Flexible working hours
One of the main advantages of choosing wildlife photography as a career option is that you can have flexible working hours as a benefit.
As a wildlife photographer majority of your work environment will be in the forest capturing photos of animals and because of that
you don’t have to work 9-5 like a regular employee would do, depending upon the place you visit, the season of the year in the forest and the animals you want to grab the picture of, your work schedule will depend.
Meet new people
Another big benefit of wildlife photography as a career is that you can get a chance to meet new people because you will be moving to different places and countries quite frequently and
because you will be meeting new people whenever you visit a new place and country you can improve skills like communication and negotiation and you can improve your network and make new connections which can help you get many opportunities in your life & career in future at the same time you can also learn new languages of the foreign nation and by the way because your network is your net worth.
Like any other career option photography is also constantly changing and as a wildlife photographer you also need to constantly learn and upgrade your skills because new technology & equipment is getting introduced in the market every year,
new lighting techniques to learn, new places to visit to capture better images and of more animals, more editing tricks of the images in the softwares, you will also have to spend a lot of time train and improve your skills of timing and lightning and also getting better images in harsh conditions of forest – this can go on and on.
Because of constant learning it can be less boring and more exciting career option and also challenging for a few people, and as a wildlife photographer you will feel less stagnated in your career because you have something always to do.
Job satisfaction and happiness
There is also good job satisfaction and happiness you can find in wildlife photography as a career.
Even though this thing is quite subjective but if you are a nature lover and you love to hang around trees & rivers, then wildlife photography is a good career option because
you will be working in the forest majority of the time which is away from the normal City and it can also be very relaxing and mentally peaceful and you can get a lot of job satisfaction and happiness.
You can also get a chance to connect more with wild animals look at the way they live, eat and mingle with other animals in a closer look and if you have high level of passion towards animals then this can be a good career option.
And by capturing the beauty of animals especially endangered species and sharing them on your social media handles like Twitter and Instagram you can reveal the beauty of those animals to the world with the help of your pictures and
bring awareness in the people and save the life of the endangered animals & species which can give you a lot of happiness and job satisfaction in the end of the day.
In demand profession
Wildlife photography career is also growing quite decently in the recent years.
According to bureau of labour statistics the job growth of photography as a career option will grow by 17% between 2020 to 2030.
The demand of photography as a career option is also growing, because of that you can make good amount of money in this field and you can easily switch between different career options for example if you don’t find success in wildlife photography then you can easily switch to wedding photography or portrait photography and celebrity photography, etc
Wildlife photography as a career requires a lot of creativity because you will have to find new ways on how you can capture better images of animals using different cameras, sizes, lens and angles Of pictures & using better lighting conditions because
the conditions in the forest will not be favourable in most cases and you will have to find new techniques and methods of editing the images in the software in order to make them stand out from the competition, get sold and others pictures published by other photographers.
Good money making opportunity
As a wildlife photographer you can make money by different methods like you can either choose to sell your photos on many stock photography websites like shutterstock and istock,
on average you can charge 1 to 15 dollars depending upon the resolution and the category of the stock photo on the stock photo websites and
you can also make money from other methods like you can also publish photo books and build following on social media platforms like Instagram and make money through your followers.
And you can also get a job in wildlife NGO and wildlife YouTube channels and television channels like National geographic or animal planet but majority of the wildlife photographers work
as a freelancer and make money selling their photos on stock photo websites and published stock photo books, magazines because of this you can become your own boss and manage your money and time yourself.
According to jobted the average salary of a wildlife photographer in India is around 450000 rupees per month and according to salary expert salary of a wildlife photographer in America is round 35000 dollars per annum.
Make great memories
You should know that, a single picture can describe a thousand words.
With wildlife photography as a career you can make lots of unique and great memories and you can easily share the pictures with your friends and family members and create amazing stories that you can share with your friends that can be both interesting and fascinating to listen.
These are all the important pros of choosing wildlife photography as a career option.
Cons of wildlife photography
The natural habitat for wildlife can be in remote areas, such as jungle areas, tropical lands and primitive settings, far from the assistance a photographer may need in case of injury.
Although not all wildlife photographers subject themselves to dangerous conditions, there’s always a risk when wildlife is present, simply because the photographer isn’t dealing with domesticated animals.
Whether exposed to malaria or trampled by a tiger, the element of danger is a disadvantage for wildlife photographers.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 National Survey of Fishing, 11.7 million people in the United States travel for the purpose of photographing wildlife.
And according to zippia,
There are over 34,301 Professional Photographers currently employed in the United States.
Because of this and one of the popular methods of making money is by selling your photos on stock photo websites like shutter stock and Istock, there is a lot of competition and if you can’t bring something unique on the table with your images then it can be quite hard for you to compete and survive in the photography industry.
Expensive & sensitive equipment
Another disadvantage of wildlife photography as a career is that your whole business will depend upon the type of equipment you use.
A good quality camera of good brand like Nikon or Sony will cost you around $1000 and if you go for cheap equipment with less cost then unfortunately the quality and the resolution of the image will get reduced because of that
you can make less money so you can neither compromise on the price of the product at the same time the product and equipment you use for work is also very sensitive.
Better-quality photos require more expensive cameras with features especially helpful to wildlife photographers, such as focus capabilities, interchangeable lenses, speed and camera size.
Not only do wildlife photographers have to make substantial investment in equipment, but the equipment they need to carry can be cumbersome.
Expenses of work
In some cases wildlife photographers are charged for access to private lands to photograph certain species of animals. This can eat into the profit for freelance wildlife photographers, who must cover their costs themselves.
In a market study published by the Texas A&M System, wildlife photographers who are members of the North American Nature Photography Association paid $125 a day for access in 2007 alone;
that didn’t include the cost of hotel rooms and incidentals a freelance photographer has to pay. In addition to cost, physical access to subjects can be difficult if the animals’ habitats are in remote areas, some of which are only accessible by foot.
Few Job opportunities & companies
Compared to other jobs, wildlife photography provides few opportunities to grow in career.
Even though you can become freelancer or you can work in a wildlife NGO or you can get a job in in top wildlife channel like Nat Geo and Animal Planet but
compared to other job opportunities like wedding photography there are fewer jobs and less companies where you can get a job in wildlife photography.
These are all the important advantages and disadvantages of wildlife photography as a career option.
Is wild life photography a good career
After learning all the pros and cons of wildlife photography in my opinion choosing to become a wildlife photographer is a very good career option if you really enjoy photography, you have a big deal of passion and love towards nature, trees and animals and you like to travel to new places.
What’s really amazing about wildlife photography is that not only you have flexible working hours and you can be your own Boss, meet new people but also can be very relaxing and satisfying job and
you can get lots of memories and visit new places at the same time it is also in demand and a good career which has a high potential of making money.
With that said let’s conclude the article
These are all the important things you need to know about wildlife photography as a career option.
Do comment down what do you think about wildlife photography as a career option in the comment section below.
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