Clearly, bird photography is the art of photographing birds. But it’s not that simple. Anyone that’s tried to capture a bird with their camera knows it!
Bird photography can offer some of the most stunning photographs of nature, and it’s a delight that so many photographers have mastered this art form.
We’ve gathered a list of our 25 most influential bird photographers that bird watchers will love!
Qualities of Successful Bird Photographers
It may seem logical to categorize bird photography as a part of wildlife photography. To some extent, this is true.
But bird photography is an art form all its own.
A bird photographer has to be patient. They have to be able to keep still for hours. But, they need to be on the quick on the trigger too.
Technical skills are also important. For example, a bird photographer needs to master telephoto lenses to get those tight close-ups. And they need to know their shutter speeds and burst modes.
The best bird photographers give a glimpse of something we can’t see with the naked eye. Their work allows us to see birds with a level of detail we could only otherwise imagine. It’s our chance to see birds in all their glory.
25 Most Influential Bird Photographers You Should Follow
Here’s our list of the 25 most influential bird photographers in 2021.
Varun Aditya | @varun.aditya
Varun Aditya has a stunning portfolio featuring animals from all over Asia and Africa. His work is highly prized, and he has over one million followers on Instagram.
He is a wildlife photographer in the wider sense. He captures animals of all kinds. But his bird photography is spectacular. He has a particular penchant for peacocks, the national bird of Varun’s native India.
Emin Yogurtcuoglu | @birddetective
Emin isn’t just a photographer. He’s also a writer, naturalist, and birdwatching guide. And he’s not just a master of the camera—he knows and cares about his subject.
His work does feature other animals, but birds are his speciality. Much of his photography is about the beauty of birds. But some of his work aims to raise awareness for environmental issues, which can make for upsetting images.
Chen Chengguang | @joinus12345
Chen is a specialist bird photographer from Taiwan. His work is hugely influential. And he won the Hamdan International Photography Award in 2019.
His work is a collection of stunning action shots. He stops time and allows us to view birds at their most electric. The images are vibrant with color and movement. And he demonstrates tremendous skill in capturing birds in motion.
Jan Wegener | @jan_wegener_
Jan Wegener is an Australian photographer dedicated to the art of photographing birds. Jan is an expert in this field. And he shares his knowledge of bird photography on his YouTube channel.
His photos of birds in flight are dynamic and cinematic. But much of his work is characterised by a tight depth of field. The soft and lush bokeh effect gives the images the look of picture-book illustrations.
Supreet Sahoo | supreet_sahoo_
Supreet is an Indian-born artist now residing in Austin, Texas. He’s an avid bird watcher and an expert photographer. He specialises in the tropical birds of central and South America.
His work gives a detailed view of birds from the rainforest. He allows you to see the intricate plumage of birds you might not otherwise see. His photography is an ornithologist’s dream.
Tim Flach | @timflachphotography
Tim is a renowned animal photographer based in London. His influence is well established. He’s a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. And he has an honorary doctorate from the University of Arts, London.
Wild animals are his subject. But he’s not exactly a wildlife photographer. His stylised animal portraits characterise his photography. But they’re not your typical domestic animal portraits. Instead, his work features exotic creatures from all over the globe.
The detail is exquisite, especially with his bird photography. His photos are intimate. And he uses the camera to humanise his subjects.
John I Crawley | @jc_wings
John Crawley is a specialist bird photographer. Much of his work has a tight composition. The photos feature birds perched or in their nest. And he uses bokeh to emphasise the subjects in the center of the picture.
The collection is punctuated by dramatic images of birds in flights. And the photos are detailed and energetic.
John travels the world. His portfolio exhibits birds from temperate and tropical climates.
Rathika Ramasamy | @rathikaramasamy
Rathika is one of India’s leading animal photographers. Her work features animals from across the Indian subcontinent. But she’s a bird photography specialist.
Her work is moody and atmospheric. But, it’s not just about the animal—the environment is just as important to her. The photos display the birds wonderfully, but you also get a sense of climate.
Her website is like an encyclopedia or a catalog of species. And everything is documented with brilliant photography skills.
Alexis Rateau | @alexisrateau
Alexis is a French photographer currently based in Bangkok. He’s a wildlife photographer with a fine art mentality.
Alexis has a distinctive style. His shots are dark and atmospheric. He creates a haunting atmosphere, and the animals appear as if they are from a dream.
His color pallet is dark and soft. And he takes an artistic approach to bird photography.
Chris Montano Jr | @cjm_photography
Chris Montano is an American photographer. He captures the wildlife of America’s North-West states. Chris’ relationship to the nature of that region is displayed in his work. You can sense an intimate understanding of the local fauna.
Chris has an excellent collection on his website. Some sections are dedicated to particular species. The photos are stunning and informative.
Robert Cartwright | @robert_cartwright_photography
Robert is a dedicated ornithologist and bird photographer. His photos are vibrant and alive. They’re filled with energy and color.
Much of his work is out in the field. But he also has excellent skills with a macro lens, which he uses to document small birds and mammals.
Wetlands and coastal regions are two of the main landscapes he likes to work in. Ducks and puffins feature heavily. He also has more intimate shots that are almost portrait-like.
Richard Bernabe | @bernabephoto
Richard Bernabe is a photographer and writer of high renown. His editorials have been published in National Geographic and Time magazine. When he’s not exploring new corners of the globe, he’s sharing his knowledge at public events.
His wildlife photography is brilliant and intense. And his landscapes are stunning. He is intent on conveying the power of the natural world. His imagery is breathtaking.
Aparupa Dey | @aparupa.dey
Aparupa is a wildlife photographer from Kolkata. She specialises in capturing the rich birdlife of her native India. Other animals do appear in her work, but birds are her primary focus.
She has a soft and dream-like photography style. The colors are deep pastels, and the bokeh brings a subtle richness.
The subjects and atmosphere transport you to India. Without leaving your seat, you’re taken to a distant and exotic world.
Tracy Johnson | @hummingbirdsxoxo
Tracy isn’t just a bird photographer. She has a niche all her own. Her speciality is capturing hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds are tiny and fast-moving. Tracy’s work is a testament to her skill with a camera shutter and a short focal length lens. The images show the delicate beauty of the humming birds’ plumage.
Her portfolio is a celebration of hummingbirds. She clearly cares deeply for these miniature creatures.
Georgina Steytler | @georgina_steytler
Georgina is a photographer and conservationist from Australia. Her photography is a celebration of birds. The images are alive with color and movement. She expresses vitality and a sense of playfulness.
Her eye for composition is what makes her photos stand out. She knows how to frame her subject. And how to use negative space.
Her portfolio is a joy to behold. Georgina is someone that loves the natural world, and it’s clear in her work.
Rob Van Mourick | @caperelux
Rob is a prolific bird photographer from Holland. His work is an encyclopedia of northern European birdlife.
Rob has a real appreciation for his native environment. His work is a celebration of the world around him. He’s not a photographer that has felt the need to fly thousands of miles to find a thrill.
His shots have a delicate precision. They’re alive with color but gentle in tone. Browsing his portfolio is like taking a walk in woodland.
Pasi Hyttinen | @finnishtime
Pasi Hyttinen isn’t strictly a bird photographer. He’s more of a nature and landscape photographer. But birds do feature heavily in his work.
He captures the stunning scenery of his native Finland. You can experience all the seasons through Pasi’s photography. From the height of summer to the depths of winter.
His photography is colorful and dramatic. That applies to his bird photography as well as his landscapes.
Thomas Hinsche | @photography.hinsche
Thomas Hinsche is a bird and wildlife photographer from Germany. His bird photography is award-winning. He was awarded the Best Portfolio award in 2019 by Bird Photographer of The Year.
Thomas’s work is a celebration of Germany’s spectacular wildlife. Much of his photography is centered around the middle Elbe river. Looking through the collection allows you a glimpse of the wildlife Germany has to offer.
His images are vibrant and full of fun. It feels like you’re witnessing an undisturbed world.
Roeselien Raimond | @roeselienraimond
Roeselien is a nature photographer with a serious soft spot for foxes. But her bird photography is excellent too.
Her portfolio has a distinctly soft and sweet color pallet. She uses the light of dawn and dusk to give her photos their pastel colors. Her use of bokeh enhances the gentle atmosphere. Her subjects sit in a cloud of pinks, oranges, and greens. And her eye for composition is excellent too.
Ray Gilbert | @raymondgilbert520
If you love birds of prey, you’ll enjoy the photography of Ray Gilbert. His collection is studded with superb actions shots of raptors on the wing. He knows these birds well, and this knowledge allows him to get some fabulous photos.
His osprey shots are worth seeking out. And there are some great seabird photos as well. Ray also demonstrates his skills with a macro lens. Finally, some great insect shots add additional interest to his portfolio.
Chris Kaula | @chriskaula
Chris Kaula is a young photographer from Germany. His work has started to make an impact on the wildlife photography scene. So much so that he was crowned European Nature Photographer of the Year 2020.
The award is not unfounded. There’s a warmth throughout his body of work. His bird photography is colorful and lively. The close-ups are warm and touching, which is emphasised by his use of bokeh. His shots are intimate and beautifully composed.
Thomas D Mangelsen | @thomasdmangelsen
Thomas was born and raised in the wilds of Nebraska, USA. He has a love and respect for the natural world. It runs through his work as a conservationist and wildlife photographer.
Nebraska is rich in wildlife and beautiful scenery. So it’s the perfect place for a nature photographer. But Thomas also travels around the world, taking pictures as he goes.
Thomas uses his photography as part of his conservation work. He’s been photographing birds and other animals for over 40 years. And he is only too aware of how habitats are shrinking all over the world.
Wami | @wallmika
Wami is a bird photographer living and working in his native Finland. His collection is a catalog of Finnish birdlife. It’s a bird watcher’s delight!
Wami has no ulterior motive other than capturing birds in their natural environment. Working throughout the seasons, Wami documents all the species that live in Finland. That includes permanent residents and migratory birds.
Aisse Gaertner | @my_little_sensor
Aisse is a photographer from Brazil. He’s an avid birdwatcher. And the birdlife of Brazil inspires his photography.
His photos are alive with the tropical colors of the rainforest. If you look through his work, you can feel the energy and almost hear the birdsong. He uses a tight composition so you can study the details of every bird. The portfolio is beautiful and fascinating.
Jess Findlay | @jessfindlay
Jess is a young photographer from Canada. But despite his age, he is already making waves in the wildlife photography world. He has already won several awards, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
He is native to British Colombia. And North America’s rich biodiversity features heavily in his photography. His relationship to his native land is apparent in his photography. There’s knowledge and respect in every shot. If his work continues like this, the awards will keep coming.
Birds are wonderful creatures. From the wild woods and wetlands to city gardens and parks, they bring color and excitement. They are a joy to behold—if we manage to catch a glimpse, that is!
That’s where bird photographers come in. They allow us to see and study birds in detail. We get a chance to examine their plumage and character while sitting at home.
That was our list of the 25 most influential bird photographers in the world. Hopefully, you will also enjoy their work and may get inspired to pick up the camera yourself!
If you want to learn more about wildlife photography, check out our Wonderful Wildlife eBook!