– By Mariya Sethjiwala, Sophia College
Nature, in all its forms, presents not only a great escape from the hustles of city, but if you look through your lenses closely, it can provide various career opportunities. Ever thought YOU could be a wildlife photographer? Today, photography has become a common hobby for the metro youth. The great thing is it is a highly diverse profession. One of the most interesting and challenging streams of photography surely is Wildlife Photography.
A passion for photography and a great deal of knowledge about cameras and lenses is a must to start with when you talk about becoming a wildlife photographer. Apart from that, you need to have a genuine love for animals, birds, forests and everything natural. This profession, whether taken up as a hobby or a profession, requires a great deal of perseverance and patience from the photographer. Moreover, it is imperative that you respect your subjects. Awareness about the various laws of forest and environment and their compliance is a necessity.
As such, being a wildlife photographer requires no formal training. Most wildlife photographers would tell you they started doing it just by chance on some camping trip or a family holiday to forest reserves! If you are intrigued by nature, start as soon as you lay your hands on a camera. Who says you have to get to a forest? Begin by observing closely your surroundings and environment and the creatures that live around.
When you decide on turning a pro, a journey that might well change the way you see the tiniest of things awaits you. Getting close to nature also involves communicating well with the forest officials and even local tribesmen. You have to get information from these people as to what is the most suitable time and place to shoot the animals, birds or any aspect of nature you are looking to capture. Doing your homework before you start shooting and drawing up a schedule is also an important aspect of shooting in the wild.
After you have done your shooting and finished working for the day, the important task of getting your work noticed lies ahead. It is advisable to do as much independent work as possible when you have just started off. You can share your work with magazines, newspapers or even wildlife NGOs. You can even use your pictures as cards and calendar backgrounds. Hosting exhibitions and booking gallery shows to display your work once you get known in the local market is what will follow.
Fortunately, India’s rich and diverse wildlife offers great opportunities to photographers to capture breath-taking images. After all the hard-work and, just one amazing image is enough to make your day!