How to be a Professional Outdoor and Nature Photographer
4.0 (418 ratings)
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How to be a Professional Outdoor and Nature Photographer

Photography: how to turn your passion for nature into a thriving business
Best Seller
4.0 (418 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
8,094 students enrolled
Created by Charlie Borland
Last updated 6/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $10 Original price: $75 Discount: 87% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 13.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 28 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • 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

"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.


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
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
133 Lectures
The Profession of Outdoor and Nature Photography
2 Lectures 12:23

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

Preview 05:09

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

Are You Sure You Want to Go Pro?
Introduction to the Business of Outdoor and Nature Photography
6 Lectures 36:12

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.

The 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.

Should You Be a Specialist or Generalist

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.

Understanding Outdoor Stock Photography

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.

Whose Going to Buy Your Outdoor 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.

Outdoor Photography Concepts

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

Self Assignment #1
1 page
Photography 101
8 Lectures 56:15

This lecture looks at cameras for outdoor and nature photography.

Photography Gear: The Camera

This lecture looks at lenses for outdoor and nature photography

Photography Gear: The Lens

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

More Photography Gear

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

Photography Setup: The Importance of ISO

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

Photography Setup: The Importance of White Balance

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

Properly Using Your Histogram

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

Exposure: Go 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.

Mastering Creativity: Depth of Field

Do you fully understand the power of depth of field?

Understanding Depth of Field
1 question
Creating Nature Photography That Sells
19 Lectures 02:32:06

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

Nature Photography: Finding Marketable Locations

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.

A Great Newsletter to Find Beautiful Places to Photograph

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

Is Business Better as a Local Hero or an International Nobody?

Introduction to nature photography and how to create stunning images.

The Fundamentals of Good Selling Nature Photography

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

Marketable Compositions 1

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

Marketable Compositions 2

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

Marketable Compositions 3

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

Marketable Compositions 4

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

Marketable Compositions 5

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

Marketable Compositions 6

This lecture is a general overview of photographing wildlife

Wildlife Photography

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

Lighting for Nature Photography

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

Lighting for Nature Photography 2

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

Lighting for Nature Photography 3

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

Finding Your Vision

Learn why you should photograph Photo Elements

Why You Should Shoot PHOTO ELEMENTS

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

Landscape Photography Shooting Strategies

Hiking to and photographing Utah’s Fallen Roof Ruin

Preview 11:27

Self Assignment: Calendar Company Request
1 page

Understanding the color of light

Color of Light
1 question
Creating Adventure Photography That Sells
14 Lectures 01:17:22

Introduction to outdoor and adventure recreation photography

Adventure Travel and Recreation Photography

Should you be an adventure specialist or generalist?

Should You Be an Adventure Travel Generalist or Specialist?

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

The Markets for Adventure Photography

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

Equipment for Adventure Photography

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

Conceptual Outdoor and Adventure Photography

A close look at composition and lighting for adventure photography

Composition and Lighting for Adventure Photography

This lecture looks at way of creating marketable adventure images

Adventure Photography Techniques

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.

Finding Models

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

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

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.

Free Indemnity Release
1 page

Model releases

Model Releases
1 question
Lighting on Location: Supplemental Light
11 Lectures 01:22:46

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

Flash and Outdoor Photography

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

Understanding the Flash

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

Flash as a Supplemental LIght

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

Flash as the Main Light

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

Intro to Wireless Multi-Flash Setups

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

Strategies for Lighting With Flash

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

More Strategies for Lighting With Flash

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

Even More Lighting Strategies

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

Creating Blur Action Adventure Photos

How I photographed the hiker in the forest with wireless flash

Preview 11:47

Self Assignment #3
1 page
Photographing Outdoor Products for Customers
10 Lectures 25:55

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

Introduction to Outdoor Product Photography

This lecture shows the setup to photograph products indoors

Outdoor Product Photography Setup

How to setup a backpack to photograph

Setting up to Photograph a Backpack

How to use studio light on the backpack

Lighting the Backpack

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

Photographing the Backpack

How to photograph a water bottle

Photographing the Water Bottle

How to prep a shoe for photography

Prepping to Photograph a Shoe

How light and photograph the shoe

Photographing an Outdoor Shoe

Studio product photography wrap-up

Product Photography Wrap-Up

Self Assignment #4
1 page

Whats the best light for product photography?

Photographing Products
1 question
Setting Up Your Photography Business
11 Lectures 01:30:58

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

Getting Your Business Organized

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

Introduction to Editing

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

File Naming

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

Naming Your Files 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

The Importance of Metadata

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

Managing Your Photo Files

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

Introduction to Captioning and Keywords

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

Effective and Efficient Image Captioning

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

Effective and Efficient Image Keywording

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

Image Processing: Lightening and Darkening

Self Assignment 5 Metadata
1 page

Metadata, Keywording, and Naming
1 question
Finding Clients and Photo Buyers
7 Lectures 38:06

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

Finding Clients Pt 1

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

Finding Clients

This lecture looks at ways of making contact with clients

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

How to Sell Yourself

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

Submitting Your Photography

You can read my interview with 4 major magazine photo editors and how they like to work with photographers

An Interview With 4 Magazine Photo Editors
4 pages

Self Assignment #6 Clients
1 page
Marketing Your Photography Business
8 Lectures 01:01:04

Introduction to marketing your photography business

Introduction to Marketing Your Photography

Branding is important to all business and here we will look at strategies behind branding your business

Branding Your Business

Websites are so important to a photography business and this lecture discusses several options.


There are many ways to market including direct mail and email and this lecture

Email & Direct Mail Marketing

Your Portfolio and Portfolio Presentations

Social media is everywhere and important to marketing and public relations. This lectures examines some strategies for maximizing the benefits of social media

The Importance of Social Media Marketing

The pros and cons of social media sharing sites

Social Photo Sharing

Self Assignment 8: Marketing
1 page
5 More Sections
About the Instructor
Charlie Borland
4.2 Average rating
1,360 Reviews
15,399 Students
6 Courses
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.