Nature and wildlife photography, from a close-up of a honeybee to a herd of elephants, has a way of enticing practically every human being. And that’s a good thing — it shows an appreciation for this great planet that we all share. But what about the people behind that camera lens? Often, it’s the subject in the photo, or the photo itself that gets all of the praise and not the one who took it. The photographers who get some of those incredible shots likely went through a lot to snap them.
I enjoy images of nature and wildlife. But I find that I appreciate it much more whenever I learn about the effort behind the photos. Photographers now promote their work through social media, exhibit their best on photography portfolio websites, or set up photoblogs. Let’s take a look at some of the best nature and wildlife photographers that you should be following.
Suzi Eszterhas is a California-based wildlife photographer who works primarily in Africa. She’s been featured in several major publications, including Time, BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian and others. Her photography covers all kinds of animals from all over the world — from elephants to red-eyed tree frogs to sloths and bald eagles. Take a look at her galleries for more. Below is a photo that she took of a cheetah sprinting.
Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas are brothers from the UK, who’ve been photographers since 2004. They both have a passion for wildlife photography (see their gallery), although they also have a travel gallery of landscapes, ancient places, plants, world cultures, and even behind the scenes photos of some projects. Their goal is “to inspire people to celebrate and conserve the natural wonders of our planet.”
Aside from the wildlife and travel galleries that I previously linked to, they also have an additional portfolio consisting strictly of wildlife, including all kinds of fascinating mammals, reptiles and amphibians, insects and birds, from babies to adults. Below is their photo of an elephant seal pup.
Andy Rouse, a resident of Wales, is internationally-known for his “different view point” and of “his trade-mark stance of being ‘up close and personal'”. His photos appear in books, magazines, billboards, and even on shirts. Andy has made numerous appearances on TV and even had his own series called Wildlife Photographer. In addition to his photography skills, he is an expert in animal tracking and interpreting animal signs.
Above is a photo he took of a young chimpanzee. You can enjoy others like it in his gallery, and on Twitter, which he is very active on.
Joel Sartore is a photographer who has been fascinated with nature since he was a child. For twenty years, he’s been a contributor to National Geographic and photography range is wide. On a more personal note, he lives in the same state I’m from — Nebraska — and just forty-five minutes from where I grew up. Joel is no stranger to the media, as he has been featured in many well-known publications, and has appeared on many national broadcasts. Below is a photo he took of an Ocelot.
Moose is a very well-known wildlife photographer, who also does a bit of landscape and aviation photography. He’s been recognized and awarded for his photography from companies like Nikon and Lexar. He shares his skills and knowledge through his writing, which has been published worldwide, and lectures across the U.S. The image below is an Alaskan bull moose, which also happens to be his Facebook page’s current cover photo.
Jess Findlay is a 20-year old photographer from British Columbia whose love for nature originated from birdwatching and exploring southwest B.C. Jess attests his unique approach to nature photography to his interests of painting, musical instruments, and researching wildlife.
Christopher Dodds, from Quebec, gained his love for nature and wildlife during camping and backpacking trips, after moving to Canada from England when he was eight. He had many ventures as a photographer, but has been pursuing his passion for wildlife photography since 1985. He now travels all over the world photographing, teaching nature photography workshops and leading photography safaris. His work, such as the Bald Eagle below, is featured in many prestigious publications.
You can follow Chris on all the popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and 500px, which is an excellent way to professionally display a stunning portfolio.
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer based in Japan, but originally from England. In addition to his photography, he’s also a podcaster and blogger, and is a leader in photography tours and workshops. His photograph of Snow Monkeys, otherwise known as Japanese Macaques, (which you can also find on Google Street View via Angela’s article) depict how unique and artistic his photography is.
Mike Cavaroc is a wildlife photographer living in Wyoming, who has found a release in photography from so much that goes wrong in this world. He was featured previously in an article by Joel covering various nature and wildlife photo galleries. Through his viewfinder, “[he sees] the world the way [he wants] it to be.” From looking at his work, you can definitely see that passion and love for nature and free range animals.
Jon Cornforth is a Washington-based photographer, whose work has won numerous awards and recognition internationally. All of his photos possess a unique touch to them. He strives to express the beauty of Earth through his photography by “challenging himself in new locations and documenting the unique creatures who live there.”
Still Want More? Here Are More Awesome Photographers To Check Out
This short list certainly doesn’t include all the wildlife photographers who have an online presence – there are lots more, but this list should give you a great start to discovering incredible scenes of wildlife and nature taken from all over the world. If you’re more of the scenic nature photography type, you might want to look at Saikat’s article of 10 nature photographers on Instagram.
Do you have a favorite wildlife photographer? If so, was it one featured in this article? If not, please share! What is it about wildlife photography that entices you so much? We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments.
Image Credits: Wildlife Photographer Via Shutterstock, Suzi Eszterhas, Suzi Eszterhas – Lions, Will & Matt Burrard-Lucas, Burrard-Lucas – Elephant Seal Pup, Andy Rouse, Andy Rouse – Chimp, Joel Sartore, Joel Sartore – Ocelot, Moose Peterson, Moose Peterson – Moose, Jess Findlay, , Christopher Dodds, Christopher Dodds – Bald Eagle, Martin Bailey, Martin Bailey – Snow Monkeys, Mike Cavaroc, Mike Cavaroc – Grizzly Bear, Jon Cornforth, Jon Cornforth – Sea lion