How to Photograph Wildlife: Tips for Great Photos

Wildlife photography is one of the most challenging types of photography. It involves patience and a lot of luck since photographing wildlife can be difficult, especially if they’re shy or not in the mood to cooperate with you. Thankfully there are ways to increase your chances of getting that perfect photo without too much hassle! In this article, we’ll discuss how to photograph wildlife like a pro and give you tips for great photos every time!

Know Your Subject

The first step in photographing wildlife is to know your subject. Since some animals tend to be shy, it’s important that you find out what they like and don’t like before photographing them so as not to startle them or cause unnecessary stress. If the animal has babies, for example, chances are she won’t appreciate being disturbed by a human. So always be mindful of your surroundings and the subjects you’re photographing!

Another thing to keep in mind is that different animals require different techniques when photographing them. For example, photographing a lion requires getting close up whereas photographing a hummingbird would require staying far away and using a telephoto lens. Know the habits of your subject before photographing them to ensure you get the best shot possible.

Finding the Right Location

Photographing wildlife can be done just about anywhere. Of course, photographing animals out in the open makes photographing them easier but it’s not impossible to photograph shy or secretive species of wildlife either! The first step is finding where they live and what time of day you’re most likely to see them. 

Doing research online will help find places with a high population of the animal you’re photographing. However, if they are shy or secretive it might be harder to find them so being patient is key! You can also check out your local zoo for ideas on where to photograph wildlife since most zoos have information about what times certain animals will come outside and how many there are in a given area.

One way photographing wildlife can be easier is to look for them in their natural habitat and photograph them there instead of at a zoo, which would make it harder because they’re not as comfortable around people and often don’t like to move or show themselves off when someone’s watching. 

Using a zoom lens can also help photograph wildlife since it’s easier to get closer without disturbing them as much. If you have a DSLR camera with manual settings, using the “sport mode” will increase your chances of photographing wildlife by allowing for continuous shooting so you don’t miss a shot because of a long shutter speed. Wildlife photographing can be difficult but if you’re patient and persistent, eventually you’ll get the perfect shot of your favorite animal.

Getting Close to Animals

With photographing wildlife it’s important that they feel comfortable around people. You want them at eye level so you don’t have too much difficulty photographing since most cameras are designed for photographing people from the waist up. If you’re photographing shy animals it’s important to get close without disturbing them and using a zoom lens can help with this.

If you’re not able to get too close, photographing them in their natural habitat will be your next best bet. This is where doing research comes in handy so you know where they live and what times they’re most active. 

Patience is key when photographing wildlife, especially if you’re trying to photograph them in their natural habitat since it might take a while for them to show themselves. If you can’t get close, using a telephoto lens will help you get the perfect shot!

Photographing Wildlife

You can never go wrong photographing wildlife! You’ll always get a unique photo that is unlike anything anyone else has ever taken. The key to photographing wildlife like a pro lies in patience and research. If you’re patient, eventually they will show themselves; especially if they live in their natural habitat since most of the time it’s easier for them to feel comfortable around people. 

Doing research beforehand is key, so you know where they live and what time of day is best for photographing them. If they’re shy or secretive animals, using a zoom lens can help get close without disturbing them too much! And if all else fails, photographing wildlife in their natural habitat will be your next best bet.

With photographing wildlife, there are no rules or set guidelines since you’ll never get the same shot twice! It’s important to be patient and persistent when photographing them but with all this effort, it will surely lead to beautiful photos every time!

Patience is Key

When photographing wildlife, patience is key! Most of the time they will be shy and you’ll need to be patient enough to wait for them to show themselves. If photographing in their natural habitat, doing research beforehand on where they live and what time of day is best will help increase your chances of photographing them. 

A zoom lens can help photograph wildlife since you’ll be able to get closer without disturbing them as much. If photographing shy animals, using a zoom lens is key and will allow for more opportunities at photographing wildlife.

If all else fails it’s important that you’re patient enough and persistent in your efforts of photographing wildlife! Although more difficult, photographing wildlife can be the most rewarding experience. With patience and research, you’ll surely get some beautiful shots!

Finding a Proper Gear

With photographing wildlife you need to be ready with the proper gear. If you’re photographing them in their natural habitat, a zoom lens is best since it will help you get close enough so they aren’t scared off by your presence. Using DSLR cameras on manual mode can also help photograph wildlife more easily since using sport mode allows for continuous shooting so you don’t miss that perfect shot. 

If photographing them in a zoo, it’s best to go when the animals are most active and check the zoo website for information on what times they will be out. Most zoos also have maps that indicate where each animal lives in its habitat. This can help plan your route before you even go!

Choosing a Camera

When photographing wildlife it’s important to use a camera that will give you the best results. Most professional photographers recommend using DSLRs in manual mode for photographing wildlife because they’re better at handling continuous shooting and give you more control over the photo. Another benefit of using a DSLR is that you can change lenses which becomes handy when photographing shy or fast animals. 

Choosing Mid-Range ISO

In photographing wildlife, sometimes you have to sacrifice quality for speed. When photographing shy animals where the moment only lasts a few seconds, using mid-range ISO is best since it allows for faster shutter speeds that capture moving subjects like flying birds or running deer much better than higher ISOs would allow.

If photographing in high contrast areas, photographing at high ISOs helps with photographing wildlife in low light conditions. This is because the higher ISO allows for faster shutter speeds which can capture moving objects better than lower ISOs would allow.

Long Lenses

It’s important to have the right lens for the job. A long zoom lens is perfect for photographing animals that are far away and a wide-angle lens is good for photographing landscapes with animals in them. 

Most photographers recommend having both lenses when photographing wildlife so you’re prepared for any situation. When photographing shy animals especially, long lenses allow for photographing wildlife from a distance without startling them as much allowing you to capture those perfect shots!


Autofocus is your best friend! Especially if you’re photographing fast animals that are constantly moving. Autofocus helps keep the focus on the animal rather than letting it drift off to the background. 

For photographing landscapes, autofocus can help keep everything in focus from foreground to background. This is especially helpful when photographing wide landscapes with animals in them.


It’s important to be steady when photographing wildlife, especially if photographing them in low light conditions. Using a tripod can help you achieve this! When photographing shy animals also helps keep your camera stable which reduces the risk of blurred pictures and missed opportunities.


Using flash is not recommended since most wildlife don’t like bright flashes going off near them. It can also scare the animal away and ruin any chances you have of getting a good photo. 


Editing your photos is a great way to make them look even better than they did when you first took them. Wildlife photos can often be muddy and have poor lighting, but by using photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom, you can fix these problems and make your photos look professional!

Leave no Trace

Photographing wildlife is an amazing way to spend your time, but photographing them in their natural environment can be disruptive. It’s important to leave no trace when photographing wildlife. This means leaving the place you found them as you would hope to find it if you were there yourself!


How Can I Make My Wildlife Pictures Sharp?

When photographing wildlife, it’s important to keep your camera steady. Use a tripod and try not to move around too much when photographing them!

Do Nature Photographers Help Animals?

Nature photographers photographing wildlife are often photographing them in their natural environment without disrupting the animals. Nature photographers are careful to keep noise levels down when photographing wildlife which means they’re not scaring away timid animals allowing you more time to capture great photos!

What is a Good Shutter Speed for Birds?

When photographing birds it’s best to use a shutter speed of at least 500 or above. This is because the faster your shutter speed, the more chance you have of photographing them before they fly away!

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