What is the definition of a professional wildlife photographer?

Started Aug 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
David Rosser
David Rosser Veteran Member • Posts: 3,460
Re: What is the definition of a professional wildlife photographer?

Obviously as has been said many times making your living by that pursuit.  However in the case of wildlife photography the photography part is a given, the skill is in understanding your subject, knowing where to be and when to be there to get that extra special picture that the tourist however skillful and well equipped just cannot achieve.

A few years ago I encountered what might be termed the three stages of wildlife photographer

1) Amateur - me staying at a lodge in a remote area of Botswana for three days and taking pictures on game drives.

2) Semi-pro with all the gear - staying at the same lodge but for 2 or 3 weeks, photographing from game drives but also sitting in hides near waterholes all day etc.  Goes home and sells pictures to magazines that he has links with but this only really pays for his annual Africa trip and for his gear.

3) Real pro - In the same area but living from a fully equipped Land Rover for 6 months following one pride of Lions but also photographing other wildlife like Wild Dogs. They (husband and wife team) also employ local trackers.  Did I say the semi-pro had all the gear? This pro team had 3 or 4 top Nikon bodies and a full set of the long exotic lenses.  Their Land Rover was equipped with special Camera mounts bolted to the bodywork.  Having spent 6 months in the field they then spend the half of the year when not photographing selling, knocking on doors and no doubt lecturing.

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