Top 10 Wildlife Photographers To Watch

@ Matthew Smith

Millions of species of fauna and flora inhabit this vibrant and diverse world we live in. Sometimes we don’t even remember that there is nature beyond our cities and our comfort zone. There is so much wildlife to captivate and capture. Thankfully photographers can share the beauty of this world and bring us the wildlife scenes of animals that we would have otherwise never known.

Obviously, this is not the full list. It has some famous names as well as several IPA winners. If you think we missed someone, leave us a comment on Facebook and we will include them.

In no particular order, here is the list of 10 famous and aspiring wildlife photographers.

Michael Aw

Pursuing the art form of documentary photography, Michael AW is well known for his saturated color imagery. His accolades include winning more than 65 international photographic awards and being named as one of the world’s most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography. In 2013 he was the first Asian to be awarded a NOGI by the American Academy of Underwater Arts and Science.

Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer based in Tokyo. He’s a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, Craft & Vision author, Arcanum Master and X-Rite Coloratti member. Fueled by his passion for nature and travel, and a tireless desire to share his knowledge and artistic vision, Martin is a popular international tour and workshop leader, helping photographers from around the world to experience and capture the wonders of this awesome planet we call home.

His work has been published by Popular Photography Magazine, X-Rite, Pomegranate, Korean Air, Creation Durable (Paris), Real Music and Light of Consciousness Magazine, among others. He had five pieces in a joint exhibit Viaggiando Immaginando, in Italy in 2005, and his first solo exhibition “The Nature of Japan” was held in Toyama, Tokyo, in December 2010.

Karen Lunney

Karen Lunney is a contemporary photographic artist working out of Brisbane and North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia. Her work investigates states of transition,liminal space, a place of possibility, where one thing has ceased and another not yet started. The light of dawn and dusk, the ocean-land interface and the migration of animals all represent forms of liminality. The cultural transitions of peoples forced to westernise, not sure what culture to save into their new modernity and the climatic changes causing paroxysms around the globe both produce uncertainties for the future with consequences for many.

Jon Cornforth

Jon Cornforth is an award-winning wilderness photographer whose images have been recognized internationally for their masterful composition and incredible detail. He’s compelled to express the beauty of the natural world through his photography, traveling all year, challenging himself in new locations and documenting the unique creatures who live there. All of his images are captured in the wild. He believes in supporting environmental groups and raising awareness through photography.

Annette Bonnier

“From an early age growing up in Miami, I was captivated by the worlds depicted in Life, Look and National Geographic. Photos mesmerized me, people fascinated me and injustice infuriated me. I found an outlet for my passion for Documentary Photography at the University of Florida where I graduated in 1979. I continued my studies under eminent photographers like Mary Ellen Marks, David Allen Harvey, and Steve McCurry.

Photography has transported me to places I would never have imagined – inside a housing project with a crack addict and her 7 children, in a propeller plane with ‘Brothers to the Rescue’ searching for dying refugees, assessing the damage to homes after Hurricane Andrew, backstage with the artistic characters at Cirque du Soleil, and meeting some of the transformed men in Sing Sing Prison.

Traveling and working with NGO’s in India and Southeast Asia transformed me in many ways. The people, their survival under such harsh conditions and their amazing perseverance is inspiring. The beauty, spirituality, and colors of the Eastern world draw me back again and again. My work has been published in the New York Times, Tropic Magazine (Miami Herald), and Loft Magazine. I also have participated in various gallery shows around the country.”

Jess Findlay

Jess’ work has been displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the London Natural History Museum in the UK and the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada. He has also lectured at the renowned Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, California.

Matthew Smith

Matty Smith is an ocean wildlife photographer based in Stanwell Park, NSW Australia. His portfolio “A Parallel Universe: Windows Beneath the Waves” is a selection of his favourite and most successful images taken half over and half under the water. This collection has won him several highly acclaimed international awards and worldwide recognition of his unique style.

Connor Stefanison

Connor Stefanison (1991) is a photographer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Living in B.C, Connor has learned about wilderness firsthand. His photography draws from knowledge gained throughout his life engaging in various outdoor activities. Mountain Biking first sparked his interest in photography, which he took up in 2008 at the age of 17. Influenced by his outdoor background, his focus in photography quickly switched from sports to nature.

Stefano Unterthiner

Growing up in a small mountain village in northwest Italy, Stefano Unterthiner spent his early years photographing and trekking around the beautiful mountains of the Aosta Valley region. He began serious photography at the age of 17, went on to study zoology and, in the fall of 2000, obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. After completing his studies, Unterthiner returned to Italy and began his career as a zoologist. But his camera was always at his side, and it was not long before his hobby turned into an all-consuming lifestyle and profession.

Frans Lanting

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world.

For three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet.

You might also like:


Top 10 Travel Portrait Photographers You Should Know


Interview with Susanne Middelberg


Top-15 Established and Emerging Asian Photographers

Top 10 Latin American Photographers to Watch