Some Tips for Photographing Animals in the Wild

tips photographing animals

Wildlife photography is an incredibly fascinating genre, similar to a photo hunt. You slowly sneak up on your subject like you’re hunting prey. The main advantage is that you don’t hurt anyone, you just get great shots. It’s not always images of big animals or predators, very often you can make a great composition with birds or insects, it all depends on the location of the photo shoot and your imagination. Of course, you should not forget about the beautiful processing of photos. It is not necessary to use Adobe software, because there are many other options. We recommend reading about the best free Lightroom alternatives on the blog of the Skylum developer.

If you want to get acquainted with this unique genre and try your hand at wildlife photography, then we have gathered all the best tips for you. These tips will be helpful not only for beginners but also for professionals. Very often we miss important moments that a great shot depends on. Before you go out into the wilderness, try practicing in parks or even in the backyard of your house.

Tell the viewer a fascinating story

You have to remember that every photo should tell the viewer its own story. The success of your photography depends on it. In the wildlife genre, you can create a little drama. For example, you can focus on the behavior of a predator, show an animal in its usual habitat, or a simple interaction between two individuals. The choice is up to you. The main thing is that the chosen plot was able to interest the viewer.

You can prepare in advance for the photo shoot, look on the internet, or observe the chosen animal yourself. To create a great picture of wildlife is not necessary to be close to the object, but most photographers still try to get as close as possible.

A photo editor can help make the shot even more interesting. One of the great alternatives to Lightroom is Luminar Neo. It helps to organize photos and has effective and intuitive tools which are based on AI. You can try Luminar Neo for free for 7 days, buy a monthly subscription, or a lifetime license.

Become a real naturalist

To portray an animal in the wild, it’s important to study its natural habitat. As an example, if you want to depict a bear, find out in advance what time of year and where it is, and how it eats and interacts with its environment. A detailed study of nature will not only help you find the wild animal you want faster but also take great photos. That way, you’ll move much more quickly from portraits to more compelling storytelling stories about the life of animals in the wild.


What’s the best way to behave during a photo shoot?

To help you catch a shot quicker, we’ve put together some helpful tips for you:

  • Don’t be afraid to go low. Wildlife photos work best when the photographer is at eye level, or even just below the subject. Sometimes you can even lie down. Pictures of animals taken from an upper perspective come off as inanimate and soulless. Remember that a lower perspective will noticeably improve the image.
  • Use a telephoto lens and a long focal length lens. This helps get your subject a lot closer so that it occupies almost the entire frame. You’ll also be able to comfortably take narrower portions of scenes to remove unnecessary detail. Long lenses blur the foreground and background beautifully to make your subject stand out better.
  • Experiment with sharpness and blur. Some shots will look great if you add sharpness (for example, an image of a crocodile lurking in a river). For other scenes, you should use blur. Wild animals are constantly on the move, so using blur sometimes looks very convincing.

You can try doing a panoramic blur. This means moving the camera while keeping up with the wild animal. A sharp subject area in such cases is better created on the head. With the right approach, such photos look very creative and beautiful. If you are doing a portrait image, then focus on the eyes. Here sharpness will be doubly important.

Remember that a little bit of a bad shot can always be corrected in a photo editor. If you don’t want to learn a lot about Adobe products or you’re just curious to try something new, then find the best Lightroom alternative or a good replacement for Photoshop. Now there are a lot of applications that are much faster and help you complete the most difficult task in just a couple of minutes. For example, in 20 minutes with Luminar Neo, you can achieve the same effect as if you spent 2 hours in Lightroom or Photoshop.

What about wide-angle lenses?

Under the right circumstances, you can use wide-angle lenses as well. Here’s a simple example. You’re lying on the ground trying to concentrate on photographing penguins, while a bird is looking at you curiously. With a wide-angle lens, you can show off this bird’s unusual behavior and its habitat, as well as catch the nesting penguins in the background. This is the unique story for the viewer we talked about earlier.


This is not as complicated a genre as it may seem at first glance. You just need to take care of your equipment and camera settings, study the wildlife, and create a unique story. Try to get closer, but of course, think about your safety. When you can’t get close to an animal by yourself, use long lenses and be patient. Sometimes you just need to lay low.


Never neglect editing tools. Using some filters and presets will make your photos more creative and unique. That way you can stand out from other wildlife photographers. You can always find the best Lightroom alternatives with unique image editing features in the article on the official Skylum website.

SND Team

We are a team of writers passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. We cover anything else that our readers may find interesting. This includes trending news, lifestyle and finance topics, consumer guides, and much more.


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