Wildlife Photography: How to Get Closer to Animals

You aren’t going to get very far as a wildlife photographer if the animals are constantly being scared away before you get into position. Here are some helpful tips on improving your approach.

One of my favorite things about wildlife photography is that half the time it’s not even about the camera or just showing up expecting to shoot. The whole time you are trying to photograph wildlife, there is a much deeper thing happening and that’s trying to obtain a connection to another living animal through watching behaviors and patterns. Sometimes it means being a silent observer to their environment and watching the signs of how they react to you.

In this video, Tony Northrup shares his techniques on how to marry those two passions together so that a wildlife photographer is able to safely approach animals, minimize any disturbance, and take higher-quality images. Training will involve more than just watching a video, however, so expect animals to take off even if you think you’ve done everything right. If you’re ever in any doubt whether you can take another step or if the animal is going to fly or run, just stay put and observe; you may get rewarded with their curiosity (or inattention) rather than a sure flushing.

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Rob Baldwin's picture

My very first comment on Fstoppers - Ryan Mense consistently writes terrific wildlife photography articles and links them to very helpful resources like this video. As a bird photographer (wannabe) I very much appreciate his articles. Good stuff - Thanks Ryan!

Ryan Mense's picture

Aw shucks. Thank you.

Bodkin's Best Photography's picture

Nothing like writing an article then linking to a video by a guy the writers of this site have reamed in the past few months...

Terry Waggoner's picture

If he sticks to teaching techniques of photography...........fine. If goes out of his way to trash another photography, especially one who's achieved more than he has,..............not so good.

Raymond Bohn's picture

As a rookie in this area of photography, I found the tips to be valuable.