Elevating Your Wildlife Shots: Pro Tips for Wildlife Photography on Tours

Welcome to the wild world of wildlife photography! If you’re an aspiring wildlife photographer or an enthusiast looking to up your game, you’re in for a treat. Wildlife photography is not only a thrilling adventure into the natural world but also a creative pursuit that allows you to capture stunning images of animals in their natural habitats.

In this article, I’ll be sharing some pro tips and insights on wildlife photography on tours. Whether you’re planning to embark on a photography expedition or simply capture some beautiful animal shots during your travels, these tips will help you elevate your wildlife photography to the next level.

From understanding the wildlife photography market to exploring the earning potential in this field, and from learning about the essential camera settings to discovering exciting wildlife photography competitions, I’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and unleash your creativity behind the lens!

Stay tuned for the following sections:

  • Wildlife Photography Market Overview: Get an overview of the global market for wildlife photography cameras, camera market share, and the projected number of photos taken each year.
  • Earnings in Wildlife Photography: Learn about the potential earnings in wildlife photography and the recognition that comes with it.
  • Wildlife Photography Settings: Discover the optimal camera settings, including shutter speed and aperture, for capturing stunning wildlife shots.
  • Wildlife Photography Competitions: Explore some of the most prestigious wildlife photography competitions and the opportunities they provide for recognition.
  • Trends and Opportunities in Wildlife Photography: Stay updated on the latest trends and opportunities in the field of wildlife photography.

So, get ready to unleash your inner wildlife photographer and let’s embark on an adventure into the captivating world of nature and wildlife!

Wildlife Photography Market Overview

In recent years, wildlife photography has gained immense popularity, captivating nature enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts alike. With the increasing demand for capturing stunning shots of animals in their natural habitats, the wildlife photography market has witnessed substantial growth. Let’s take a closer look at the market overview and key trends shaping this industry.

Global Wildlife Photography Cameras Market Size

The global wildlife photography cameras market has experienced significant growth. In 2022, the market size was valued at USD million, showcasing the increasing interest in wildlife photography around the world. Wildlife photographers are investing in high-quality cameras and lenses to ensure they capture the perfect shots.

Camera Market Share

When it comes to cameras, there are two main types dominating the market – cameras with built-in lenses and cameras with interchangeable lenses. In 2023, the camera market share is divided into 24.4% for cameras with built-in lenses and 75.6% for cameras with interchangeable lenses. This indicates that wildlife photographers prefer the flexibility and versatility provided by cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Forecasted Number of Photos Taken Each Year

As the popularity of wildlife photography continues to soar, the number of photos taken each year is projected to grow exponentially. By the year 2030, it is estimated that around 2.3 trillion wildlife photos will be captured annually. With the advancement in technology and accessibility to photography equipment, more people are venturing into the world of wildlife photography.

“The best wildlife photos are the ones that capture a special moment in time, revealing the beauty and uniqueness of our natural world.” – Unknown

The increasing interest in wildlife photography is not only driven by the passion for capturing stunning images but also by the financial opportunities it presents. Photographers can earn a substantial income through various channels, including competitions, wildlife tours, and selling their photographs. Let’s explore the earnings in wildlife photography.

Continue Reading – Earnings in Wildlife Photography

Earnings in Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is not just a passion, it can also be a lucrative career. If you are wondering about the earning potential in this field, let me provide you with some insights:

  • Average Hourly Pay: In the United States, the average hourly pay for a wildlife photography job is $20.79. While this may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the nature of the assignment, it gives you an idea of the earning potential in this industry[1].
  • Photography Competitions: Participating in photography competitions gives wildlife photographers an opportunity to showcase their skills and earn recognition. For example, the winner of the Earth.Org “Overall Best Environmental Photo” 2023 will be awarded $500[2]. In addition, the Wildlife Photography competition in 2023 offered a grand prize of £5,000 for amateur and professional photographers[3].

It’s important to note that the earnings in wildlife photography can vary widely. Some photographers may make a steady income through assignments, while others may rely on selling prints or licensing their images for commercial use. It is also worth considering that wildlife photography requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to invest in high-quality gear and travel.

Photographers who establish a strong portfolio, build relationships with clients, and consistently produce exceptional work have the potential to increase their earnings over time. Additionally, photographers who specialize in niche areas of wildlife photography, such as underwater or aerial photography, may be able to command higher rates due to the unique skills and equipment required.

Remember, wildlife photography is not just about the money. It offers the opportunity to explore nature, capture breathtaking moments, and raise awareness about environmental conservation. So, while the earnings can be a rewarding aspect of this profession, it is also important to have a genuine passion for wildlife and the natural world.

“The best wildlife photographers are those who are deeply passionate about the animals they photograph, and that passion shines through in their work.” – John James Audubon

In conclusion, wildlife photography can be a fulfilling and potentially profitable career for those with a passion for the outdoors and a love for capturing the beauty of wildlife. While the earnings can vary, the opportunity to showcase your skills, participate in photography competitions, and make a difference through your images is invaluable.

Next section: Wildlife Photography Settings

Previous section: Wildlife Photography Market Overview

Wildlife Photography Settings

When it comes to wildlife photography, getting the right settings on your camera is essential for capturing those breathtaking shots of animals in their natural habitat. Here are some important settings to consider when venturing out on your next wildlife photography tour:

Shutter Speed

One of the key settings to pay attention to is the shutter speed. This refers to the length of time that the camera’s shutter is open, allowing light to enter and capture the image. When photographing wildlife, a fast shutter speed is crucial to freeze the motion of fast-moving animals. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the right shutter speed:

  • 1/250s to 1/2500s: This range is suitable for most wildlife photography situations. Use the faster end of the spectrum for animals in motion and the slower end for larger, slower-moving animals.
  • In low light conditions, you may need to lower your shutter speed and compensate with other settings like ISO or aperture to ensure proper exposure.


Another important setting to consider is the aperture. Aperture controls the amount of light that enters the camera through the lens. It also determines the depth of field, or the area of the photo that appears in focus. Here are some tips for choosing the right aperture:

  • f/2 to f/6: This range is typically ideal for wildlife photography. A wider aperture (smaller f-number) allows for a shallower depth of field, which can help to isolate your subject from the background.
  • Consider using a narrow aperture (larger f-number) for landscape shots or when you want to capture more details in the background.

Keep in mind that the specific settings you choose will depend on factors such as the lighting conditions, the behavior of the animals, and the effect you want to achieve in your photos. Experimentation is key to finding the perfect settings for each unique wildlife photography situation.

Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to practice with your camera settings before going on a wildlife photography tour. Familiarize yourself with the different options and see how they affect your photos. This way, you’ll be better prepared to make quick adjustments in the field and capture those fleeting wildlife moments.

So, the next time you embark on a wildlife photography adventure, make sure to consider the shutter speed and aperture settings on your camera. By mastering these essential settings, you’ll be well on your way to elevating your wildlife shots and capturing stunning images of nature’s most incredible creatures.

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of wildlife photography settings, let’s explore some of the top wildlife photography competitions that you can enter to showcase your skills and gain recognition in the field.

Wildlife Photography Competitions

If you are an aspiring wildlife photographer looking to showcase your talent and gain recognition, participating in wildlife photography competitions can be a great way to achieve your goals. These competitions not only provide a platform to display your work but also offer valuable opportunities for learning, networking, and even earning some cash prizes. In this section, we will explore two popular wildlife photography competitions that you can consider entering.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is one of the most prestigious and highly regarded competitions in the field of wildlife photography. Organized by the Natural History Museum in London, this international competition has been running for over 50 years, attracting photographers from all around the globe.

  • In the 59th edition of the competition in 2023, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year received nearly 50,000 entries from 95 countries, highlighting its global popularity and reach.

The competition consists of multiple categories, including animal behavior, birds, underwater, and urban wildlife, among others. The judging panel comprises renowned wildlife photographers, conservationists, and experts who evaluate the submissions based on creativity, technical excellence, and storytelling.

Nature Photography of the Year Contest

Another notable wildlife photography competition is the Nature Photography of the Year Contest. This competition celebrates the beauty and diversity of nature and wildlife, acknowledging outstanding photographs that capture the essence of the natural world.

  • The Nature Photography of the Year Contest in 2023 consists of 12 categories for individual images (adults), a category for young photographers, and the prestigious Fredrikshavn Award.

The competition welcomes entries from photographers of all levels, from amateurs to professionals. It provides a platform for both seasoned photographers to showcase their talent and for newcomers to gain recognition in the field.

Participating in these competitions can offer numerous benefits to wildlife photographers. Here are some reasons why you should consider entering:

  1. Recognition and Exposure: Winning or even receiving honorable mentions in renowned competitions can significantly boost your profile as a wildlife photographer and increase your exposure within the industry.
  2. Learning and Improvement: Competitions provide an excellent opportunity to receive feedback and expert opinions on your work. Evaluations from experienced judges can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills.
  3. Networking and Collaboration: Engaging in photography competitions allows you to connect with other photographers, industry professionals, and organizations. These connections can lead to collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and further exposure for your work.
  4. Cash Prizes and Rewards: Many photography competitions offer attractive cash prizes and valuable rewards, which can not only serve as a recognition of your talent but also provide financial support for future projects.

It is important to carefully read and understand the rules, guidelines, and submission requirements of each competition before entering. Pay attention to entry deadlines, submission formats, and any restrictions regarding post-processing techniques. Remember to showcase your unique perspective, creativity, and passion for capturing mesmerizing wildlife moments.

Participating in wildlife photography competitions can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for photographers of all levels. So, grab your camera, explore your surroundings, and capture the incredible beauty of wildlife to enter these competitions and showcase your talent to the world!

The field of wildlife photography is constantly evolving, presenting new trends and opportunities for photographers to capture stunning shots of animals in their natural habitats. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, staying updated on these trends can help you elevate your wildlife photography game. Let’s explore some of the current trends and exciting opportunities in the world of wildlife photography:

1. Drone Photography:

With the advancement of technology, drone photography has become increasingly popular in wildlife photography. Drones allow photographers to capture unique aerial perspectives and get closer to the action without disturbing the animals. It provides an incredible opportunity to capture breathtaking shots of wildlife in their natural habitats from a whole new angle.

2. Conservation Photography:

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on using wildlife photography for conservation purposes. Photographers have the power to raise awareness about endangered species, habitat destruction, and the importance of conservation efforts through their images. This trend presents an excellent opportunity to contribute to global conservation efforts and make a positive impact through your photography.

3. Ethical Wildlife Photography:

Ethical wildlife photography is another emerging trend in the industry. It emphasizes the importance of respecting and protecting the welfare of animals while capturing their images. Photographers are encouraged to follow ethical guidelines, such as maintaining a safe distance, not disturbing the animals, and avoiding altering the natural behavior of wildlife. This trend ensures that wildlife photographers prioritize the well-being of the animals above getting the perfect shot.

4. Mobile Photography:

With the advancement of smartphone technology, mobile photography has become more prevalent in wildlife photography as well. Many wildlife photographers are now using their smartphones to capture stunning images of animals on the go. The convenience and accessibility of mobile photography offer an opportunity for anyone passionate about wildlife to take up photography and document their encounters with animals.

5. Social Media and Photo Sharing Platforms:

Social media platforms like Instagram have revolutionized the way wildlife photographers showcase their work and connect with a larger audience. By sharing their captivating wildlife images on platforms like Instagram, photographers can gain exposure, network with fellow photographers, and even attract potential clients. Utilizing the power of social media platforms can open doors to various opportunities in the field of wildlife photography.

6. Wildlife Photography Workshops and Tours:

Wildlife photography workshops and tours have gained popularity among both amateur and professional photographers. These workshops provide an opportunity to learn from experienced wildlife photographers, sharpen your skills, and explore new locations teeming with wildlife. They offer a more immersive experience and allow photographers to capture unique shots guided by experts in the field.

The field of wildlife photography is full of exciting trends and opportunities, allowing photographers to push their creative boundaries and capture awe-inspiring images of animals. Whether you embrace new technology like drones, focus on conservation efforts, or utilize social media platforms to showcase your work, there’s a world of possibilities waiting for you in wildlife photography. Stay updated on the latest trends, keep honing your skills, and most importantly, remember to respect and protect the beautiful creatures you aim to capture through your lens.

Now that we’ve explored the trends and opportunities in wildlife photography, it’s time to grab your camera, head out into the wild, and start capturing those breathtaking shots of our incredible animal kingdom. Happy wildlife photography!


In conclusion, wildlife photography is a thrilling and rewarding field that allows you to capture the beauty and essence of animals in their natural habitats. It requires patience, skill, and a deep understanding of camera settings to capture those perfect shots. By understanding the market trends, earning potential, and participating in prestigious photography competitions, you can elevate your wildlife photography to new heights.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills and experimenting with different techniques. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and opportunities in wildlife photography to stay ahead of the game. And most importantly, never forget to respect and protect the wildlife and their habitats while capturing these mesmerizing moments.

If you’re passionate about wildlife photography and want to learn more, visit Wim Arys Photography. Our website features tutorials, reviews, tips, and tricks specifically designed to help you master the art of wildlife photography. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, you’ll find valuable resources and inspiration to enhance your photography projects. Happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What equipment do I need for wildlife photography on tours?

    To capture great wildlife shots on tours, you’ll typically need a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens (300mm or longer), a sturdy tripod, and a camera bag to carry your gear.

  2. What settings should I use for wildlife photography?

    In wildlife photography, it’s best to use a fast shutter speed to freeze motion (at least 1/1000th of a second), a wide aperture to create a blurred background, and a moderate ISO to reduce noise. These settings may vary depending on the lighting conditions and the behavior of the animals.

  3. How can I get close to wildlife for better shots?

    To get closer to wildlife, it’s important to be patient, move slowly and quietly, camouflage yourself with appropriate clothing, and respect the animal’s space. Using a telephoto lens will also allow you to capture close-up shots without getting too close.

  4. What are some composition techniques for wildlife photography?

    Some composition techniques for wildlife photography include using the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing techniques. Experiment with different angles, perspectives, and focal points to create visually appealing and storytelling images.

  5. How can I support wildlife conservation through photography on tours?

    You can support wildlife conservation by practicing ethical photography, respecting wildlife and their habitats, sharing your images to raise awareness, and contributing to conservation organizations or initiatives. Remember that the welfare of the animals is always the top priority.

wim arys

Wim Arys is a photographer from Belgium Europe with a passion for mirrorless cameras.

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