Wildlife images for Travel Stock

Wildlife – a vital part of life as we know it:

Indigenous wildlife is a core component of any country’s DNA, as critical to its character as its landscape, people, culture or architecture.  Eco-tourism continues to grow in popularity and many countries rely on it as a central pillar of their appeal to visitors.

The Market:

Wildlife photographers typically syndicate their images through the main Nature and Wildlife picture libraries.  But there is also a significant and complimentary market for wildlife images through niche travel libraries such as AWL Images.  We have a specialised travel-orientated client-base, but one with a strong appetite for iconic wildlife images.  Travel brochures, holiday company websites, travel magazines, airline magazines, calendar companies – many seek to source all their images from premium travel providers, with wildlife an important component within the wider offering.

What wildlife images sell best in a travel context?


  • Iconic species that are associated with a specific country or region, for example:
    • Orangutans in Borneo
    • Lemurs in Madagascar
    • Polar bears in the Arctic
    • Pandas in China
    • Gelada baboons or Simien Wolves in Ethiopia
  • Strong animal portraits
  • Interaction between animals particularly where that is dramatic
  • Classic behaviour of a species:
    • Humpback whales breaching
    • Leopard climbing trees
    • Wildebeest in migration

A herd of elephants with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background.

  • Images to a show species against a classic backdrop:
    • Elephant in Amboseli with Mt.Kilimanjaro behind
    • Tigers in the old ruins at Ranthambore
    • Emperor Penguins in Antarctica
  • Young of any species – cubs, foals, chicks
  • Mother & young, animal families
  • Massed numbers of animals or birds:
    • Flocks of flamingos along an African lake shore
    • Herds of caribou on the Alaskan tundra
    • Pod of narwhal swimming in a lead in the Arctic
  • Aerial views of wildlife & herds

kingfisher hunting a fish underwater

  • Interesting viewpoints that present the wildlife in a fresh or more intimate way:
    • Nest cameras
    • Robot cameras to shoot lions or elephant from ground level
  • Details of skin, markings, paws, feathers, eyes
  • Wildlife demonstrating “funny” behaviour or expressions
  • Species showing natural camouflage techniques


  • Eco-tourism:
    • images of people, appropriately dressed, wildlife viewing from a safe and respectful distance
    • Looking through binoculars
    • people interacting with wildlife – where appropriate

Cover images:

Wildlife shots are popular as covers of magazines and brochures – don’t forget to leave copyspace for the mast-head and ideally more copyspace at the side for article headlines

Images that don’t work as well in a travel context:

  • Animals photographed static and mid-distance
  • Dull flat light
  • Animals mating
  • Predators covered in blood – fabulously hypocritical given that most safari-goers long to see a kill, but editors are very shy
  • Species which however worthy, aren’t visually stimulating

Technical standards:

  • The world is awash with images – so to catch the eye of an image-weary picture buyer and command a sale images have to be instantly captivating and technically perfect
  • Pin-sharp at point of focus
  • Perfectly exposed
  • Creatively framed
  • No irrelevant distracting elements in image
  • Minimum 50 mB Tiff file, Adobe RGB, 8 bit, shot in RAW on professional standard camera

About the author

AWL Images is a world-leading brand of premium quality travel images.
Be inspired by fresh, creative imagery that will enhance your project. Dynamic advertising images, captivating front covers, double page spread “hero” images, beautiful calendar images – AWL offers you the best.

Our specialist travel image library is the carefully curated synthesis of images supplied by many of the world’s leading photographers and the edited highlights from the very best international image collections.

For more see; https://www.awl-images.com

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