Nature photography always seems to be a popular genre with those photographers who use Photographer’s Market. So, to give those nature photographers out there some insight into how one successful nature photographer started and runs his business, I’ve done a brief interview with Gerry Lemmo, who’s been a frequent photo contributor to Photographer’s Market, in the upcoming PM e-newsletter. Below is an excerpt from that interview.
What suggestions do you have for photographers who want to travel?
When I’ve gotten the urge to go far afield, I have taken the time to read up on just about everything that could be encountered in the foreign place. And I don’t mean just the natural elements. Knowing about diseases you could be subject to is very important, but so is knowledge about the local customs, government and travel options.
While a passport is an obvious necessity for most travel, organization of your belongings is probably the most important thing I could emphasize. Small, pre-printed, detailed maps of areas you plan to visit are very handy, and help you get around even when an interpreter isn’t available. Most local people will recognize their own region if some names and landmarks are printed on a map.
Another important thing to take along on any outing is patience. Being in the wedding business for 27 years, I built my reputation not only on the quality of my work, but on the pleasant way in which I accomplished it, even under extreme stress. Being nice to people and genuinely trying to understand their situation and communicate with them often helps make for a smooth outcome—with a bride or a tribal chief.
Is the nature photography field becoming over-saturated?
With the onslaught of digital cameras and the ease with which they can be used by anyone, from schoolchildren to retirees, I definitely believe the outdoor photography field has become much more saturated. Though the competition has increased greatly, there are still only a handful of artists who not only use technical skills to their advantage, but who also can produce images that only the human eye and mind can conceive.