How to be a Professional Outdoor and Nature Photographer

Photography: how to turn your passion for nature into a money making business
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  • Lectures 133
  • Length 14 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

"Charlie, you are one of the best instructors I have ever had regardless of subject. You never talk over my head and sound like you actually want me to learn and not just earn yourself a pay check. I thank you. - Gerald S.

Do you love nature and photography and wish to make money photographing the great outdoors? Would you like to make outdoor and nature photography your career?

Learn how to be a professional outdoor and nature photographer!

There is no more fulfilling "career" than being a full time Outdoor and Nature Photographer.

·Do you want to get published in magazines, brochures, and calendars?

·Do you want to photograph assignments for magazines and outdoor product companies?

I have been published in over 1000 calendars, many of the major outdoor magazines, advertising brochures, photographed magazine assignments and outdoor product catalogs, and I have founded and co-founded two stock photo agencies.

I can show you how to create images for the markets and GET PAID!!!

You will learn:

·How the outdoor and nature photography markets work.

·Techniques and approaches for making marketable images of nature and outdoor adventure.

·What type of camera equipment and other gear is needed.

·How to organize your stock photos and set up your business.

·How to make even more money with concept photography

·How to create marketable compositions

·How to master natural light and supplemental flash and strobe lighting

·How to master the technical sides of photography

Marketing and promotion is crucial to the success of any business and I will show you several strategies that work.

·How to market yourself and your business

·How to price and negotiate a photo sale

·How to be represented by stock photo agencies

One key ingredient that will insure your success as an outdoor photographer is photography assignments. YOU will learn:

·How to bid on photo assignments

·How to photograph outdoor products and portraits

·How to plan and prep for the big assignment

·How to create a portfolio and present it in a meeting

·How to find models

This course also includes a downloadable stock photo pricing guide to help you determine a fair and accurate price for your photographs.

What are the course requirements?


·A love for the outdoors, nature, wildlife, and the environment

·A sense of adventure and love of travel

·A willingness to work hard

·Oh, a camera, tripod, a computer, and software

What’s included?

·Over 125 videos and 10 audio lectures

·A downloadable pricing guide

·Examples of top selling images

·See a photograph my friend captured that has earned over $900,000. (That's not a typo)

·Strategies for pricing and selling your photography

·Strategies for succeeding in the business

At the end of this course you will be able to plan your business strategy, organize and market your business, and submit your quality photographs to publications and clients.

You get full unlimited access to this course forever including all future video lectures.!

And in case you did not know, Udemy has an unconditional 30 day money-back guarantee and it is not your standard guarantee, it's my promise to you that you will have the needed information to succeed in outdoor photography.


What they say:

This was by far the best course I have taken! – Joe C.

Better than ever expected. This course has taken me from zero knowledge to understanding how a huge amount of work goes into even one promo shot in a catalogue. This course does not hold back or sugar coat the work behind the great photos or give you constant reassurance - it honestly teaches all areas of the experience from taking better photos for your own benefit through to what the most professional client would require. I'm very grateful for Charlie Borland to be so helpful and present in such a lovely manner it makes the experience very rewarding and easy. -Michelle C.

Hi Charlie,
I'm not quite finished getting through all of the video but what a tremendous amount of work you have gone through for this course!
Not to mention all of the content. It's simply a staggering variety of such valuable, insightful and important information.
I wold have been bumbling about forever without your course, what a difference it will make as I begin and go forward from here.
Thank you for all of your time and effort and for sharing your knowledge so generously, it is greatly appreciated!!!
-Angela P.


What are the requirements?

  • A basic understanding of digital photography
  • A general understanding of computers
  • A basic understanding or Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or a similar photo editing program
  • Some time and ability to get out and photograph locally or regionally

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You will be able to recognize marketable images
  • You will be able to create beautiful images
  • You will be able to price for profit
  • You will be able to design your business around your interests
  • You will begin to see all the photo opportunities for marketable imagery

Who is the target audience?

  • People who love the outdoors AND photography
  • People from anywhere in the world
  • People looking for a career change
  • People looking to start their own business that they can be passionate about
  • People who really want to learn and refine their technique
  • People should not take this course if they are not excited about running a photography business

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The Profession of Outdoor and Nature Photography

This beginning lecture provides a broad overview of the business of outdoor photography


This lecture looks at the realities involved in professional photography and will help guide new photographers in understanding the steps to get started

Section 2: Introduction to the Business of Outdoor and Nature Photography

In all businesses there are guidelines that need to be addressed and these usually help in creating a successful business. Here we look at the so called 10 Commandments of Professional Photography.


Have you ever asked yourself if you are a Specialist or a Generalist? This video lecture takes a close look at the advantages of both profiles.


What is outdoor stock photography? It is images that meet a specific client’s needs and in this video lecture we examine examples of good selling images.


Every business needs clients and in this lecture we will examine the variety of markets and types of clients that use outdoor and nature photography.


Some of the most successful selling images are strong on concepts and this lecture takes a close look at applying concepts to outdoor photography.

1 page

This assignment is to get you thinking about your existing images and their marketability.

Section 3: Photography 101

This lecture looks at cameras for outdoor and nature photography.


This lecture looks at lenses for outdoor and nature photography


There is a lot of equipment out there that is valuable to outdoor and nature photographers and here we look at some of them.


What’s the best ISO to use? This lecture looks at the options.


White balance is useful in capturing proper color but is also valuable as a creative tool


The histogram is very valuable to your digital photo exposures and this video looks at how to understand them.


Watch this to learn why you want to expose to the right.


Depth of filed is crucial to good photography and is a great creative tool. This video looks at compositional guidelines to create more powerful photography.

1 question

Do you fully understand the power of depth of field?

Section 4: Creating Nature Photography That Sells

Just what should you photograph? This lecture examines the types of subjects that clients are searching for.


This is a great newsletter with excellent details on finding awesome places to photograph. These are however, popular locations to they may not be the best places to shoot for marketability.


Should you photograph locally or nationally or internationally? This lecture examines all of these business approaches.


Introduction to nature photography and how to create stunning images.


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores techniques to creating marketable compositions


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores the framing technique


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores the leading lines technique


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores the S and Z technique


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores the stacking and negative space technique


Composition can make or break a great photograph and this lecture explores the patterns technique


This lecture is a general overview of photographing wildlife


Lighting is crucial to great photography and this in-depth lecture examines various light qualities


Lighting is crucial to great photography and this in-depth lecture examines various light qualities and this lecture looks at lighting angle


Lighting is crucial to great photography and this in-depth lecture examines various light qualities


Photographers always strive to create stunning photography and this lecture provides some tips on finding your vision


Learn why you should photograph Photo Elements


There are many strategies for creating strong and marketable photography and this video examines those.


Hiking to and photographing Utah’s Fallen Roof Ruin

Self Assignment: Calendar Company Request
1 page
1 question

Understanding the color of light

Section 5: Creating Adventure Photography That Sells

Introduction to outdoor and adventure recreation photography


Should you be an adventure specialist or generalist?


This lecture gives a broad overview of the markets for outdoor adventure photography


Equipment and props are useful in adventure photography and this lecture examines some of them


Concepts can be applied to adventure photography and make the images more salable. This lecture examines those.


A close look at composition and lighting for adventure photography


This lecture looks at way of creating marketable adventure images


Images that stand out and sell well often have models in them and this lecture mentions how to find them and strategies to get the best ones.


If you want to stay out of hot water, watch this video on the importance of model releases

Self assignment #2
1 page
Free Model Release
3 pages
Free Photo Shoot Agreement
1 page
Free Property Release
1 page
1 page

Free download. If you are hiring models or asking adventure athletes to perform a feat, like a kayaker going over a waterfall, have them sign this and acknowledge that they are responsible for their own safety.

1 question

Model releases

Section 6: Lighting on Location: Supplemental Light

Mother nature does not always provide perfect light so this lecture examines the use of supplemental light like flash and reflectors


To use flash effectively outdoors one needs to understand how they work with outdoor lighting


How to apply flash to your outdoor subjects, both nature and adventure as a supplemental light


When outdoor light is not that great flash can act as the sun


Sometimes wireless or multiple flashes are perfect for a particular subject and lighting effect, so this lecture examines how to do that.


There are many ways to use supplemental lighting for creative effect and this lecture examines a few of those


Other tools that are very useful for lighting subjects is panels and reflectors and we take a look at how to apply those here.


This lecture takes an even deeper look at strategies for lighting outdoor subjects.


One way to create dramatic adventure imagery is to create blur action images using flash


How I photographed the hiker in the forest with wireless flash

Self Assignment #3
1 page
Section 7: Photographing Outdoor Products for Customers

Some clients might ask you to photograph there outdoor products and this lecture discusses how to do that


This lecture shows the setup to photograph products indoors


How to setup a backpack to photograph


How to use studio light on the backpack


This lecture shows the steps to building a photograph of the backpack


How to photograph a water bottle


How to prep a shoe for photography


How light and photograph the shoe


Studio product photography wrap-up

Self Assignment #4
1 page
1 question

Whats the best light for product photography?

Section 8: Setting Up Your Photography Business

An efficient operation is important to any business and this lecture shows how to setup and organize your office and affairs


Not every image is a marketable image and this lecture shows how to edit the images from your photo shoot


This lecture demonstrates how important naming conventions are to organizing your photography


This lecture demonstrates how important naming conventions are to organizing your photography Part 2


Metadata is so important to all digital photographs in our world today and this lecture examines some of the important information you can add


A brief overview of Lightroom and how valuable it can be to organizing your image files


A brief overview of Lightroom and how valuable it can be to organizing your image files


This lecture shows a strategy for captioning your images in Lightroom that might save you a lot of time


This lecture shows a strategy for keywording your images in Lightroom that might save you a lot of time


This lecture shows you several methods for burning and dodging, aka lightening and darkening, your digital images.

Self Assignment 5 Metadata
1 page
Metadata, Keywording, and Naming
1 question
Section 9: Finding Clients and Photo Buyers

Now that you are ready to sell your photos, it is time to look at ways to find clients.


Where are the clients? This lecture discusses the many places you can find clients and buyers of your photography


This lecture looks at ways of making contact with clients


While you might be selling photography to clients you are also selling yourself. This lecture discusses ways to make a good impression


A client has asked for some of your images so this lecture examines ways to to submit your work

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Instructor Biography

Charlie Borland, Professional Photographer for 30+ years and Lighting Master

Charlie Borland has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. He has traveled extensively for a wide range of clients including: Xerox, NW Airlines, Fujitsu, Nike, Blue Cross, Nationsbank, Mentor Graphics, Texas Instruments, Cellular One, Early Winters, Camelbak, Columbia Sportswear, and many more.

His imagery has been used thousands of times worldwide, including: National Geographic Adventure and Traveler, Outside, Women's Sport and Fitness, Newsweek, TV Guide, Sports Illustrated for Women, Time, Backpacker, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Eco Traveler, Southern Bell, to name a few.

Charlie has taught photography throughout his career and teaches internet courses and location workshops. He has lectured on photography in the US and Middle East . He is co-author of Understanding Flash with Bryan Peterson and author of the eBook: Outdoor Flash Photography available on his website: borlandphoto(dot)com.

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