What Is a Wildlife Photographer's Yearly Salary?

Wildlife photographers capture images of subjects in the natural world. Their photographs are intended to document how plants, animals and natural landscapes look and behave. Most wildlife photographers work on a freelance basis and while the salary expectations are not extraordinary, their job can take them around the world to some of the natural world's most beautiful locations.

Average Salary Expectations

The vast majority of wildlife photographers are freelancers who specialise in this particular field. Thus, salary expectations can vary depending on the photographer's experience, reputation and ability to secure commissions. As a rough guide, places the annual average salary for a wildlife photographer at £26,650.

Additional Opportunities

Wildlife photographers may also be able to supplement their income in a variety of ways. They may be able to secure grants from government or charitable agencies in order to undertake a specific photography project. They may also be able to teach part-time or sell images to image libraries and picture agencies.


Given that most wildlife photographers operate on a freelance basis, they will accrue expenses which they, rather than the employer, must pay for. Purchasing, repairing and updating camera equipment is the primary expense, but travel and other costs may also have to be factored into the photographer's salary expectations.

Increasing Earning Potential

In order to give oneself the best chance of securing commissions and thus increasing one's earning potential, it is advisable to work at establishing a good contacts base and develop a portfolio that demonstrates a good technical ability as well as a large range of subject matter. The photographer may need to operate with little or no profit in the first few years of her career in order to establish herself in the field.

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About the Author

Dirk Huds has been a writer/editor for over six years. He has worked for bookshops and publishers in an editorial capacity and written book reviews for a variety of publications. He is currently studying for his master's degree.