4 answers

What sort of major is recommended to be a wildlife photographer or videographer?

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Would it be better to receive a degree in something to do with wildlife (e.g. biology/zoology) or a degree in film-making? #film #photography #wildlife-biology #videography

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4 answers

Bob’s Answer

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At the very least, you will want to take wildlife courses, even if you choose not to major in that area. It is critically important to learn how the animals behave for many reasons. Obviously you will want to get great images, but you will want to be able to learn where to find them and how to approach with safety for both yourself and the animals. Of course, if you opt for film and art as a major you can branch out into other areas if you choose to in the future. If your school offers a major and minor, this may be an option for you.

Thank you so much! Madison O.
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David’s Answer

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I still believe a liberal arts major like anthropology, general studies, American studies or maybe even history will be adequate to be a pro photographer. I am thinking in terms of still photography. A well rounded major is sufficient. You will want to become proficient and skilled with cameras and what constitutes a good image. One of the most important attributes for you is a curious nature. Are you interested in nature, wildlife, etc? Search out some of the successful wildlife photographers on the internet and look at their work. Maybe your library has some books covering this topic.
If you wish to pursue video, then I would look for a school that offers solid course work for this. Either way, a liberal arts major is a good start. Oh, and as other folks have mentioned, the cost of gear is crazy high. But, you do not have to own the high end stuff to get started.

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Jim’s Answer

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Something to deal with wildlife behaviour and safety (how not to approach a mountain lion or bear) and be prepared to part with a LOT of money as with Wildlife you are shooting with 600mm or 800mm lenses which are anywhere from $10-14,000. You can go used but still in the $5-8,000 range. It's not an easy profession to get into by any means, your work has to be spectacular and you need to make some serious connections to be able to survive shooting wildlife. If doing video, you're spending just as much money since most DSLR/Mirrorless cameras also shoot 4k video these days. Again though, you need connections to sell this video. Not like stock sales at $.25-.30 an image are going to be making you rich.

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thomas’s Answer

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I agree with Jim and Bob.you need both the wildlife training that is biology to know the behavior of the animals you will be dealing with. This will help you get the best of shots. However this is not an easy industry as you would want serious connections in order to sell your images unless you will be doing it for the love of the job. Training in film will help you in opening different career opportunities and you can then specialize on what you want best.

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