15 Best Wildlife Photographers to Immerse in Nature

Study the works of the top wildlife photographers if you want to improve your skills and find a source of expiration. Read on to discover why you need to pay attention to composition. After analyzing the works of these photographers, it will be easier for you to capture genuine emotions and picturesque scenes.

On this list, you will find talented photographers with years of experience who take stunning photos for National Geographic Magazine as well as specialize in underwater images, shoot photos of wild animals in their natural habitat, etc.

1. Frans Lanting

Location: Santa Cruz, California

frans lanting wildlife photographer

Frans has been taking photos of wildlife in various locations across the world for more than three decades, including Amazon and Antarctica. His photos were published in many books and magazines as well as displayed during various exhibitions. He is a photographer-in-residence for National Geographic.

wildlife photographer frans lanting

In his works, he tells his audience about the most beautiful places in the world and shares stories about animals living in their natural habitat. He aims to contribute to conservation efforts by taking part in both local and global campaigns. Frans works with World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, WildAid and other organizations.

2. Zack Clothier

Location: New York

zack clothier wildlife photographer

Zack Clothier has been doing nature photography for more than 15 years. He visited the most beautiful locations in the US to take photos of wildlife and nature in the Glacier National Park in Montana and other places. Besides, he took many stunning photos of the northern lights.

wildlife photographer zack clothier

His photo of the bull elk remains was recognized as the best photo of the year in the Animals in their Environment category when he took part in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. His works inspire more than 10K of his Instagram followers. Besides, this animal photographer often conducts workshops and organizes photo tours.

3. Cristina Mittermeier

Location: Great Falls, Virginia

cristina mittermeier wildlife photographer

This professional photographer takes stunning wildlife photos to show the world how important it is to protect the environment. She was born in Mexico and then started working as a marine biologist in the Gulf of California and Yucátan Peninsula.

wildlife photographer cristina mittermeier

Cristina Mittermeier takes part in campaigns aimed at the protection of the natural environment. She is one of the founders of SeaLegacy. This National Geographic photographer takes photos that bring her message across and show the importance of supporting conservation efforts.

4. Joel Sartore

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

joel sartore wildlife photographer

Joel Sartore is a professional animal photographer who has won many awards for his outstanding works. He is known as a passionate speaker, talented author, and dedicated conservationist who became National Geographic Explorer of the Year in 2018. Joel has a great sense of humor and an impressive work ethic.

wildlife photographer joel sartore

The photographer often takes photos of endangered species and picturesque landscapes. To take high-quality pictures, he uses the best cameras for wildlife photography. Besides, he founded the Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project aimed at saving endangered species.

5. Ami Vitale

Location: Montana

ami vitale wildlife photographer

An avid traveler who visited over 100 countries, Ami Vitale is a Nikon Ambassador and a photographer for National Geographic. She also specializes in filmmaking. Ami shoots wildlife and environment photos using the best lenses for wildlife photography. If you like her works and photos taken by other famous photographers but lack photo enhancement skills, make sure to contact professional retouchers.

Ami Vitale won the International Photographer of the Year prize. She is a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting. Besides, she was named the Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association.

wildlife photographer ami vitale

In her book Panda Love, she sheds light on the everyday life of pandas. Vitale took part in creating the Mission Cover Shot series for National Geographic as well as the Over the Islands of Africa shoot in Madagascar. She is a lecturer for the National Geographic LIVE series and often conducts workshops all across the world.

6. Suzi Eszterhas

Location: California

suzi eszterhas wildlife photographer

Suzi Eszterhas takes stunning photos that have been published on more than 100 covers of popular magazines and featured in TIME, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Popular Photography, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids. She is famous for taking pictures of newborn animals.

wildlife photographer suzi eszterhas

Due to her unique approach, she can be considered the best wildlife photographer in her niche. She knows how to take pictures without distracting her subjects. She took photos of tiger cubs at a den in India, newborn cheetahs on the African savanna, and brown bear cubs from Alaska. Suzi won several awards in the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

7. Melissa Groo

Location: Ithaca, New York

melissa groo wildlife photographer

Melissa Groo is a well-known wildlife photographer and writer who takes stunning photos to remind people about the importance of conservation and show them the wonders of the natural world. Her consulting services are in high demand among many organizations while her works were commissioned by many publications across the world.

wildlife photographer melissa groo

She often takes part in popular wildlife photography contests and uses an ethical work approach. Besides, she has her own column in the Outdoor Photographer magazine and conducts masterclasses on bird photography. In her portfolio, you won’t find basic portraits. Her photos are truly attention-grabbing since each of them tells a unique story about the beauty of the world around us.

8. Paul Nicklen

Location: Canada

paul nicklen wildlife photographer

Paul Nicklen is a Canada-based photographer with a background in marine biology who has been taking wildlife photos for over twenty years. He is also known as a filmmaker. Paul took photos for National Geographic and Sony Artisan of Imagery, which brought him worldwide fame.

wildlife photographer paul nicklen

He loves taking photos of sea wildlife. Besides underwater photos, he enjoys taking pictures of bears, wolves, and various forest animals. He also worked in the Arctic and Antarctic.

9. Laurent Ballesta

Location: France, Montpellier

laurent ballesta wildlife photographer

Laurent Ballesta is a famous wildlife photographer from France who specializes in underwater photos and has a biology background. To take a photo that made him one of the most famous wildlife photographers known today, he had been honing his skills for 5 years. In this photo, he captured camouflage groupers laying their eggs on the shores of French Polynesia.

wildlife photographer laurent ballesta

Laurent Ballesta has published 13 books on underwater photography and sea wildlife. There, you will find photos of a Latimeria taken 120 meters underwater, pictures of 700 Fakarava sharks taken at night, as well as images captured in Antarctica and the Mediterranean area. Laurent knows how to capture the underwater world from a viewpoint of an artist and naturalist.

10. Nick Brandt

Location: London, UK

nick brandt wildlife photographer

Nick Brandt is the best wildlife photographer known for his love for experiments. He uses different photography mediums to bring his message across. His works were exhibited all over the world, including Tallinn, Melbourne, London, Paris, and New York.

wildlife photographer nick brandt

Besides, he released several photo albums featuring photos taken in Africa. If you are interested in conservation photography, make sure to follow him to learn more about the techniques he uses.

11. Marina Cano

Location: Cantabria, Spain

marina cano wildlife photographer

Marina Cano is a Spanish-based photographer who likes taking photos of wildlife. She is a Canon Ambassador known for taking low-saturation pictures with soft colors. Besides, she specializes in taking black-and-white pictures. Throughout more than 25 years of experience, she took many photos in her signature style and amassed a 50,000 following on Instagram.

wildlife photographer marina cano

The photographer published several books featuring her works: Cabárceno, Drama & Intimidad (both sold out), Inspiration + Naturaleza, and Wild Soul. Her photos have been on the cover of the National Geographic magazine. She mostly works in Africa capturing its unique wildlife and taking stunning BW shots of elephants.

12. Marsel van Oosten

Location: The Netherlands

marsel van oosten wildlife photographer

This famous photographer comes from the Netherlands, but his works are known throughout the world. They were featured on the pages of famous magazines and exhibited many times. What makes his pictures stand out is that they convey his love for nature and illustrate how important it is to pay attention to the environment.

wildlife photographer marsel van oosten

The photographer published a large-format album with his favorite photos. Here, you will find award-winning pictures that he has taken for the past 15 years when traveling across Africa, North America, Antarctica, Asia, and Europe. Marsel is the only person in the world who won all the most prestigious photography awards in his niche, such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year, International Nature Photographer of the Year, and Travel Photographer of the Year.

13. Charlie Hamilton James

Location: UK

charlie hamilton james wildlife photographer

At the beginning of his career, Charlie Hamilton James was taking photos of kingfishers in the United Kingdom. Now, he is a well-recognized resident National Geographic photographer who takes attention-grabbing photos.

wildlife photographer charlie hamilton james

His portfolio includes photos on a variety of subjects, from mesmerizing pictures of first-contact tribes of the Amazon Rainforest to rats roaming the streets of cities in different parts of the world.

14. Sandesh Kadur

Location: India

sandesh kadur wildlife photographer

Sandesh Kadur got worldwide recognition for working on the BBC’s Planet Earth II series and Nat Geo Wild’s Earth Live as a cameraman. He won multiple awards for his wildlife photos and tried his hand at shooting documentary movies. His works have been published in books and magazines all across the world.

wildlife photographer sandesh kadur

What makes him stand out among other professional wildlife photographers is that he worked on documentaries that were aired on BBC, Discovery and National Geographic channels. As a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a National Geographic Explorer, he knows how to use his advanced photography and videography skills to protect nature and contribute to conservation efforts.

15. Sergio Marijuán

Location: Spain

sergio marijuán wildlife photographer

When taking photos, Sergio Marijuán strives to convey the feelings and emotions of a person who lives close to nature. He travels a lot trying to find a unique atmosphere and takes photos in the most distant parts of the world. Over the years of his travels, he visited deep woods, mountains, and remote farms trying to discover the best locations for his pictures.

wildlife photographer sergio marijuán

His photo of a young Iberian lynx on a farm in Spain was recognized by the jury of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. Besides, he took part in many competitions and won many awards in Germany, Spain, and Italy.