Is there such thing as a wildlife photography job? Put it this way: if you can get paid to spend your life taking photos of wildlife, then you can think yourself as one of the luckiest people alive. After all, happiness really is doing what you love everyday.
Back to reality: most photographers won’t be able to make a living out of wildlife photography. Very few will find a way to earn enough money through photographing wildlife alone to make a livable income. But it’s not all doom and gloom: on the other side of the coin, there ARE plenty of photographers who can and do make some or even a lot of money from things related to wildlife photography.
Note the word related; while it might not necessarily be through selling photos or spending all day everyday taking photos of wildlife yourself, there are a myriad of other ways that great wildlife photographers can earn cash, and in some cases, even make a good living doing what you love.
The most obvious and surely the most common is that of a top photographer (and sometimes, even those who aren’t necessarily “the best”) who is able to build a client base for workshops and photography tours.
You’ll need a bunch more skills beyond just being a great photographer to succeed at this gig – people skills, planning, marketing, and finances, just for starters. People pursue a career or business involving wildlife photography as a passion – but with perseverance and drive it is certainly possible to earn a decent income while doing what you love and sharing your passion with others.
Another modern day option, and one that National Geographic photographers from the 90s could only dream of, is to take your photography expertise online and start a YouTube channel.
Now this is absolutely no guarantee of resulting in you earning a cent. But it also provides limitless opportunities to earn quite good money, if you have the skills (not just in photography, but in marketing and video production), ideas, passion and of course, the ability to persist over a long period of time to build up your channel subscriber base. Becoming a “wildlife photography influencer” can open many doors, if you’re fortunate and skilled enough to succeed.