Photography is one of the more popular hobbies today, and almost everyone has a digital camera. Even camera phones come in handy to take random shots any time of the day. Those who are into more serious professional photography have complete sets of gear including SLR cameras, and they go to classes and events for photographers to learn techniques and to network with people with similar interests. One way to be “in the know” when it comes to photography is to join photography contests. There are a lot of themes when it comes to photography, and one very interesting category, next to human photography, is nature photography, where photos of wildlife (wildlife photography), plants and nature scenery are the main focus. The fine art of nature photography has inspired a lot of photographers to not only take nature photos, but to also become advocates of nature conservation.
An exciting way to jump-start your nature photography career is to join photography contests. Here are some tips:
- Search for photography resource websites and titles of nature photography magazines on the Internet. They encourage budding photographers to join in nature photography contests. The best shots get selected and are published online or in print, accompanied by a short description about the photograph. There may be some other prizes, but for a photographer, a published photo is the best reward. There are several wildlife conservation organizations based in the US that striving nature photographers can check out. The greatest dream for a nature photographer is probably to have his photos published in a well known internationally circulated magazine like The National Geographic.
- Attend wildlife photography events. This will help a budding photographer enhance his skills and work with other photographers and share some ideas and techniques. There are usually trainings and photo shoot events organized by photography groups that may be attended with a fee. You and your photography buddies can also organize your own photo shoot trip and explore by yourselves. Outings and hiking trips can also be a venue for a nature photo shoot. Organizations push photographers to do better by organizing contests among its members, so it helps to be part of a group.
- Support local initiatives to conserve nature, and volunteer to document events. Documenting events usually results in an exhibit or the production of brochures and other information materials. To encourage enthusiasts, these are usually held as contests for photographers. It is a good way to start having your nature photos printed and seen by people outside your circle of influence. Make sure you take ownership of the photographs with proper credits.
- Become part of a nature photography association or its online community. This is a great way to expand a budding photographer’s network, beyond territorial boundaries. While a nature photographer gets to attend events within his state or country, he can still take part in international online events and contests where photo essays can be submitted through the Internet. It may also open opportunities to go to international events and be exposed to nature photographer magazines from other countries.