Wildlife Photography: Capturing Portraits of Your Favorite Animals | Konsta Punkka | Skillshare

Wildlife Photography: Capturing Portraits of Your Favorite Animals skillshare originals badge

Konsta Punkka, Outdoor Photographer, Squirrel Whisperer

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8 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. How to "Whisper"

    • 3. Gear & Settings

    • 4. Locations

    • 5. Warm-Up Landscape Shots

    • 6. Shooting Portraits of Animals

    • 7. Wrap-Up

    • 8. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare

24 students are watching this class

About This Class

Go into the wild with 21-year-old Finnish photographer and self-proclaimed "squirrel whisperer," Konsta Punkka.

In this 30-minute class, you’ll learn Konsta’s tried-and-true techniques for capturing stunning portraits of animals, including:

  • finding a shoot location near you
  • how to gain the trust of squirrels, hummingbirds and foxes
  • how to "whisper" to get the animals closer to your lens
  • what camera equipment and settings can achieve the best shots
  • how to showcase the emotions of the animal

With insights for every level of experience and equipment, from iPhone to DSLR, you'll walk away with the skills and knowledge you need to shoot like a pro, and a newfound respect for your natural surroundings.

Join Konsta and his furry friends for a picturesque adventure! 



Photo credit: Jaakko Kahilaniemi


What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. As most wildlife photography courses will tell you, capturing photos of animals takes patience and luck. In this course, Konsta Punkka will show you how to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot. With his unique approach and photography techniques, you will learn how to gain the trust of the animals you wish to photograph, how to find the best locations, and how to take the photo without scaring them. Animal portraiture is all about capturing the emotion of your subject, and this class will help you find the small details that professionals use to create incredible wildlife photos.
  • How to “Whisper”. One of the most essential parts of photographing wildlife is earning their trust. Konsta has spent years refining his approach and shows you how to locate the animals where they live, let them know that you aren’t a threat, and how to make them feel safe so that you can learn how to best approach your chosen subject. He calls this skill “whispering,” and though it may take time to learn, in the end, they will be eating out of your hand. Literally!
  • Gear and Settings. When learning photography online, most photography courses cover the basics of the camera gear and settings you would need for a typical studio shoot involving models or other standard fare. However, wildlife photography requires special attention to aspects of the camera you may not normally think about. The sound of the shutter, for example, can frighten an animal and ruin your shot. Konsta shares a few of his tips to reduce this risk and help you get the perfect photo.
  • Locations. Weather and seasons also play an important role in wildlife photography, as does the time of day that your subject is typically active. You might also think that living near a city means that you won’t be able to find wild animals to photograph, but this is not the case. Animals have learned to use cities to their advantage, and Konsta has some thoughts on how to find the best locations, even near an urban center.
  • Warm-Up Landscape Shots. Before you start trying to photograph any animals, you should take a few warm-up shots of the landscape. This will help you find the best angles for the light and reduce the amount of photography retouching you might have to do if you get it wrong. Shooting towards the sun, for example, would result in a subject that is too dark to see. Take in the landscape and have your composition in mind before you start.
  • Shooting Portraits of Animals. When you’re finally ready to approach the animals, there are numerous elements to keep in mind, from the camera to the environment. Konsta shares his thoughts on how to find interesting angles and then how to coax the animals into position. Again, it takes time, patience, and a bit of luck, but with Konsta’s guidance, you will be on your way to photographing wild animals up close and in gorgeous detail.