So You Want To Be A Conservation Photographer

Photo: © Thomas Schweighofer

“Anybody can be a conservation photographer, more than anything it’s having the goal of being an advocate for the wild world, for nature.”- Krista Schlyer

Conservation photography is much more than nature or wildlife photography; it is one of the most powerful ways to be a voice for Mother Nature, to make people stop and think and hopefully act differently. The International League of Conservation Photographers is a U.S. based non-profit organization whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography.

Watch the video below to learn the philosophies behind some of the world’s masters of conservation photography.

1.You don’t have to be a scientist, but you do need to understand the issues to be an effective storyteller.

2. You need to think of photography not as something you do for fun but about the responsibility you have to the subjects you shoot.

3. Your photography should amplify the efforts of conservation organisations.

4. The best camera is the one you have on you at the time.

5. You need empathy and a sense of urgency to create images that move people to take action and change their minds.

6. You will need the help of others, in particular, specialists in their field. You are nothing without relationships.

7. You need to build trust, particularly when working with politically sensitive topics or areas. Organisations need to trust that you will represent them in the right light.

8. You must have a purpose behind your photography.

9. Conservation photographers need to show the whole picture, not just the beauty but also the devastation.