How to Choose Good Animal Photography

animal photographs

All animal and wildlife photos have basically the same purpose to highlight the beauty of our natural world. But this is an arduous practice, often requiring some professional skill. Each series of animal photos obviously requires planning in order to gain a full knowledge of the animal, his mood, habits, mode of movement or living in its environs, and the circumstances under which he or she was caught. In addition, each photograph must be properly exposed and processed in order for it to be of visual worth. This article will focus on preparing these photographic series.

An Overview

Animal Photography

Before taking any wildlife photographs, a certain amount of preparation is necessary. Professional photographers know how to expose and process each photograph according to the needs of its subject. This means that the photographer must consider each animal and its environment when deciding on what lighting techniques, film speed, and photo effects to use, among many others. This planning stage is essential for any photographer wanting to take stunning animal photographs that are both artistic and informative. In fact, this step is even more crucial when photographing wildlife because no two environments are exactly the same, thus there is the need for a certain degree of adjustment.

Preparing animal photographs also includes determining which zoos or facilities to use during the photography. Different types of photographers specialize in a particular style of photography, so you might want to choose a photographer with a specific aesthetic taste. Some prefer natural landscapes, while others like to take pictures of animals at zoos. Professional photographers can create a wonderful image when they meet the expectations of their subjects, as shown by their clientele. To meet these expectations, you need to research local zoos and photo studios.

Serve Purpose 

Animal Photography

You might also prepare suitable photographs if you wish to sell them or give them away as gifts. Many individuals and businesses buy animal photographs that are in fine shape for advertising purposes. With digital photography, it is easy to reproduce these images for marketing or exhibition purposes. If you regularly attend animal exhibits and shows, you should bring a compact camera, tripod, and disposable cameras. Digital photographs of wild animals, such as polar bears and tigers can make great advertising materials, especially when used with appropriate keywords.

Another way to market your photography is by exhibiting your work at art galleries and other venues. Most artists charge per piece, but some would also render professional consultation services for an additional fee. If you have developed a successful portfolio, some would even offer to develop your photography into full-fledged paintings or prints. For this reason, it is beneficial to contact local art galleries to inquire about exhibiting your work.

Go With Some Profession

Many individuals and companies that own zoos and other similar institutions often commission professional photographers to photograph their animals. If you have a good eye for natural scenes, you will most likely do well photographing wildlife. Some zoo directors prefer using photographs from photographers who are already experienced in photographing large animals, while others prefer new and inexperienced photographers. For this reason, you may want to learn as much as possible about photographing animals so you will be prepared when submitting your work to a gallery.

If you are commissioned by a museum, you may also want to consider photographing zoo exhibits and long focal length exhibits. Although it is not advisable to take the photos at the exact time the animals are being shown, taking pictures at different times of day will give you a different perspective than if you were standing still. Also, it may be helpful to position yourself further away from the animal, since the depth of field will become smaller as you get further away. Taking photos of zoo exhibits at night will also require you to position yourself on opposite sides of the exhibit to gain a more complete view.


For best results, you will want to invest in a digital camera that has an automatic setting. Digital cameras eliminate the guesswork that can be involved with taking photographs of wild animals that cannot be instantly identified. Since you have no means of seeing the animal while in its habitat, it is important to be as accurate as possible. A good digital photographer is well equipped to capture accurate, beautiful animal photographs that can be used for a variety of purposes.

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