Animal photography is a unique field of photojournalism that reconciles two different passions. On the one hand, the passion for images and photography, and on the other, the passion for nature and animals. The wildlife photographer puts their photographic practice at the service of nature, hoping to reveal all the beauty of the animal world.

The role of the wildlife photographer

The role of the wildlife photographer is to document animals in their natural habitat. Becoming a wildlife photographer requires a commitment and a true passion for animal life. Wildlife photographers are true chameleons. They blend into their environment, without making noise, without leaving any trace, in order not to disturb the animals and to get as close as possible to them.

Wildlife photography also requires absolute patience. Unlike photographing pets or domestic animals, wildlife photographers sometimes have to spend hours on end watching for the slightest movement. The profession of wildlife photographer is therefore reserved for experienced loners who cultivate this passion for nature. Their role as observers is to capture the beauty and diversity of wildlife.

The Spéos courses in photojournalism and photo reportage are a good way to prepare for this field of photography.

© Elias NEIL

Qualities required to become a wildlife photographer

© Elias NEIL

The qualities required to become a photographer specialized in wildlife photography are numerous.

Develop your photography skills: To become a wildlife photographer, it is important to master the basics of photography, such as composition, exposure and focus. It is also important to become familiar with the different types of cameras and lenses, as well as shooting techniques specific to wildlife photography, such as night photography and underwater photography.

Learn about animals: To capture animals authentically and naturally, it is important to understand their behavior, habitat and life cycle. It is also useful to know the different species of animals and their characteristics, as well as the best times to photograph them.

Improve your technique: Mastering the settings of your camera is essential for the wildlife photographer. Knowing the different types of lenses is useful to prepare for any eventuality. Knowledge of remote shooting techniques is also essential for wildlife photography.

Participate in workshops and seminars: Workshops and seminars are a great way to get more experience. It is an opportunity to meet other photographers and to discover new techniques. It is also possible to participate in photo safaris to photograph wild animals in their natural environment.

Getting known and establishing professional contacts: To become a professional wildlife photographer, it is important to get known by potential clients and to establish professional relationships with other photographers, magazines, travel agencies, etc. Social networks and online platforms are excellent ways to get known and establish professional contacts.

Become a wildlife photographer with Spéos

Spéos offers several professional photography training courses that allow students to specialize or perfect their skills in photojournalism, photo reportage or documentary photography:

1-year programs:
> Professional Photography
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer 
> European Master in Professional Photography

2-year programs:
> Professional Photography
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer 
> European Master in Professional Photography

3-year programs:
> Professional Photography + Video/3D
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer + video/3D

Training courses at Spéos cover all steps involved in the creation and realization of a photo reportage or photo documentary:

  • Researching information:keeping up to date and researching subjects that may be of interest to newspapers and magazines, contacting editorial offices to present one’s reportage, requesting permission to photograph locations, etc.
  • Shoots:knowing how to visually represent a news item by means of framing values, shot values, use of natural or artificial light, researching the best point of view, optics, sensitivity, adequate aperture values and speed; being able to produce information through a well-constructed, visually readable image that conveys the emotion of the event photographed; knowing how to synthesize in a single image or in a series of images the action, the actors, the context and the stakes of the event.
  • The choice of images:learning how to edit one’s own work by constructing a story coherent with the right choice of images.
  • Image processing:knowing how to correctly caption photos.
  • Storytelling:learning how to tell a story in photos: a photograph must show, inform or provide proof; writing a synopsis or a text illustrating the photo report.
  • Managing one’s own archives:adopt techniques for classifying images and storage media to properly preserve and exploit one’s own image archives.

Spéos’ photo courses allow students to obtain a diploma in photography, to learn the profession of professional photographer and to specialize in becoming a reporter-photographer.

Essential technical skills in photography are taught and developed throughout the photo courses: photo retouching, post-production, mastering computer software and building a professional portfolio.

Courses at Spéos also allow aspiring photojournalists to develop their sensitivity and visual signature.

An essential point of the pedagogical method taught at Spéos: students who follow photojournalism or photo reportage courses all follow studio-based photo training courses as well. The goal: to learn how to control light indoors so as to then be able to manage it better outdoors!

Opportunities, Careers and Prospects

To become a wildlife photographer, it is important to improve your technique, get known and build your portfolio to succeed in this field. It is also necessary to be patient and persevering to be able to capture wildlife in an authentic and natural way.

Wildlife and nature photography is therefore a demanding field that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. It is essential not to be discouraged by failures and to continue to train and learn in order to reach your goals. It is also important not to compare yourself to others and to follow your own photographic eye.

> See the work of Spéos graduates in photojournalism
> Read testimonials from former students of the school

© Kristina ALLEN

Enrollment and Contact

Registrations are open all year round and subject to availability.
Feel free to contact Spéos if you have any questions about this program.
At any time you are most welcome to come and visit the school, just make an appointment!

How to get to Spéos Paris

Come by visit Spéos (preferably on appointment)!