What Does an Animal Photographer Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


Animal photographers seize photos of animals to be used in business and inventive endeavors. They must have a watch for capturing balanced, thrilling images of their animal topics. They should additionally have understanding of how to use diverse lenses, flashes, and other system to catch up on lights situations, climate conditions, and animal motion.

Animal Photographer Duties & Responsibilities

The job commonly calls for the potential to carry out the following obligations:

  • Capture expert-first-rate pictures of animal subjects
  • Plan the composition of photographs
  • Use professional images device, lighting, and techniques
  • Enhance photos with picture-modifying software
  • Archive and manipulate a database of photographs
  • Maintain a professional portfolio to showcase work and put it on the market to capability clients

Animal photographers can specialize with the aid of photographing one precise species or a category of animals together with flora and fauna, horses, or pets. There may be in addition specialization as a photographer finds a specific area of interest of their area of the enterprise. For example, an equine photographer might focus on show, racing, conformation, or stallion photography.

Pet photographers generally paintings immediately for owners at their request. They may match in a studio or go to customers in a convenient photograph shoot region, such as their domestic or a nearby park.

Some animal photographers awareness on providing photographs to inventory image businesses. The photographer earns a fee when the inventory enterprise licenses a customer to use the photograph for a rate. Photographers may pick out to bypass inventory businesses absolutely and sell their own pix without delay to be used in advertisements, magazines, or websites.

Animal Photographer Salary

An animal photographer's earnings can range depending on location, enjoy, and business enterprise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earnings survey does now not separate animal photographer earnings information from the profession as a whole:

  • Median Hourly Wage: $sixteen.35
  • Top 10% Hourly Wage: $36.seventy one
  • Bottom 10% Hourly Wage: $nine.54

Education, Training, & Certification

  • Education: No degree is needed to become an animal photographer, however many a hit photographers keep a university degree in photography or photojournalism. It is also entirely feasible to most important in an unrelated place and consist of some pictures training as part of the educational revel in.
  • Training and revel in: The maximum important component for aspiring photographers is to advantage schooling experience from people who are skilled inside the artwork of pictures, whether this comes from taking formal lessons or an apprenticeship with a mentor. Photography is a completely technical art, and there are many objects of system that have to be mastered, no longer to say the considerations that go into shooting the right shot of an animal that may or may not be a cooperative challenge.

Many groups have corporations or clubs for photographers. These clubs can connect aspiring photographers and seasoned experts, as well as provide a forum for discussing new techniques and rising generation in the field.

Animal Photographer Skills & Competencies

To be successful in this role, you’ll commonly need the subsequent competencies and characteristics:

  • Artistic abilities: Animal photographers ought to have an eye for taking pictures balanced, thrilling photos of their animal topics. 
  • Technical abilities: Most photographers use specialized pc picture software program to crop and manipulate images, so pc and era competencies are usually of high cost.
  • Interpersonal capabilities: Animal photographers need to concentrate to and work nicely with their clients or employers to capture the pics they want and need.

Job Outlook

The BLS initiatives that employment in the standard field of photography will decline 6 percent via 2026. Animal images will remain an on hand profession option for freelancers, although there might be keen opposition for salaried full-time positions.

Work Environment

Most photographers want to face or walk for long durations whilst taking pictures.

Some animal photographers, specially those concerned in wildlife images, paintings inside the subject and tour across the globe in pursuit in their animal topics. Others, specifically pet photographers, hold a studio area or take pictures in a unmarried town or region.

Work Schedule

The work agenda of animal photographers regularly depends on whether they paintings for themselves, as freelancers, or for groups. Often, their hours are bendy—specially if they may be operating as freelancers.

Some people select to pursue pictures element-time even as conserving a complete-time role in every other industry. Three in 10 photographers paintings component time, in step with the BLS.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People who are inquisitive about becoming animal photographers may also recollect other careers with those median salaries:

  • Art director: $92,780
  • Craft or pleasant artist: $48,960
  • Graphic designer: $50,370

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Get the Job

Find a Mentor

A proper mentor will assist you build your animal images abilties and relationships with others within the discipline.

Build a Portfolio

Creating and retaining a virtual portfolio of your photography will display potential employers what you may do.


Many animal rescue corporations need volunteer photographers to take images in their adoptable pets. Taking such an possibility allow you to benefit revel in and build your portfolio.