Wildlife photography, as the most challenging field of photography, offers an adventurous career option to pursue. Explore this article for details about the courses, colleges, and opportunities for wildlife photographers.

Career as Wildlife Photographer

Photographing wildlife in their natural habitat provides one the chance of experiencing the sheer thrill and rare excitement of their fascinating and complicated world. This envious field of photography is not just about clicking photographs but enjoying the wildlife and gaining thorough knowledge about their surroundings. Whether it is a roaring lion, yawning tiger, an alert leopard, a jolly elephant, or huge flying pelicans, capturing wildlife on the wide lens is a treasured experience in itself, offering umpteen rare moments to cherish for lifetime.

As a profession, wildlife photography requires immense passion for wildlife, nature, and conservation, along with in-depth knowledge of the subjects. To become a wildlife photographer, one should possess sound technical skills, such as being able to expose correctly, good field craft skills and stalking skills, sharp eyesight, true-color vision, stamina, coordination, efficiency, willingness to work outdoors in all weather conditions. He/She must also have lots of patience to wait for the picture perfect moment and strong interpersonal communicating skills to deal with the wildlife park authorities in order to seek permits and visit the restricted areas.

Course Details
Though regular courses in wildlife photography are not offered widely in India, but aspirants willing to make a career in this field of photography can pursue any level programs in photography or pursue a Bachelorís degree course in photojournalism. A large number of good institutes conduct part-time as well as full-time Degree/Diploma/Certificate courses. Along with sharp vision, manual dexterity, artistic ability, flexibility, perseverance, loads of patience, concentration, and self-discipline, budding wildlife photographers are advised to complete a photography course before plunging into this specialization.

Career Prospects
Being a host to an assortment of jungles of various atmospheric and weather conditions, India is the dream destination for any wildlife photographer. Professional wildlife photographers generally take assignments from editors of newspapers, magazine, publishing companies, advertising agencies, and government agencies. Most of them prefer to work independently and share their work with various media agencies and wildlife NGOs. Besides, they can also host exhibitions and send their work to photography contests to get their talent identified and recognized in the industry, thereby earning the desired name and fame. Whatís more, photographs clicked by them can be used for designing cards and calendars or for launching brands related to them. Wildlife photographers can re-license photos to editors and exhibit pictures in museums as well. Other exciting and productive options include selling related retail products and running photographic workshops.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Very few institutes in India offer specialized courses in wildlife photography. Young aspirants can take up courses in photography, which are offered by many eminent institutes in India. These are: National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad; Sir JJ School of Applied Arts, Mumbai; Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad; Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai; Ambitions 4 Photography Academy, Chennai; Academy of Photography, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata; Fergusson College, Pune; College of Art, Delhi University, New Delhi; National Academy of Photography, Kolkata; Shari Academy of Photography and Digital Imaging, Mumbai; and Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication, New Delhi.

Like any career in photography, the wildlife section too offers a non-predictable pay to professionals. At the beginnerís level, one can expect a salary of Rs. 5,000-10,000 a month, depending completely upon the ingenuity of the person. Once established, then the sky is the limit for professionals. Popular and reputable wildlife photographers can easily earn pay packets ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 5 lakh a month.

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