Tom Way found his passion for wildlife photography three years ago whilst travelling in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Upon his return to the UK, Tom set up a business selling his artwork at exhibitions. In the last two years, the business has grown rapidly and as a result he now exhibits around the UK, with some of his work appearing in magazines. Tom now gives talks about his photography and travels to an assortment of camera clubs and wild life groups and also runs photographic safaris and workshops. To see more of Tom’s amazing images, check out his website.
Do your research!
“I cannot stress this point enough. When you are starting out with selling your own wildlife photography, it is essential to try and ascertain what the public would like to buy and what animals are the most popular. It is only then that you can begin the extensive research on a location. Funding a trip to an area and not returning with any sellable images equal a loss of money, so choosing the right destination is vital. You also need to carefully research the animal’s behaviour. Wildlife photography is an extremely competitive business, so the key to having marketable photographs sometimes lies in capturing slightly different images to other photographers. Knowing what to expect from your subject will put you at an advantage, as it will get you better shots and you will end up with more considered, nuanced photographs that tell a story.
I have been lucky enough to set up a fox hide in Buckinghamshire, where I have been able to intimately study the lives of rural red foxes in the wild. I spend many evenings in the hide photographing the foxes, taking shots illustrating different types of behaviour. The images I get from these excursions include foxes hunting and fox cubs playing.”
The all important equipment.
“Once I have decided on my target species, where best in the world you can find them, and have an insight into their characteristics and behaviour, I look at what equipment I will need to take the best possible shots. For me, wildlife photography is about trying to capture the animal’s character within a still image. I currently use a Canon 1DX body and L Series lenses. In most situations, the natural behaviour of animals occurs when there is no human interference and for this reason my favourite lens is the Canon 500mm F4 L Series, as this allows me to be a reasonable distance away from the subject. One of the most important things in my photography is sharp images, so for 99% of shots I use a tripod to make sure that the camera is completely still when I press the shutter. There is nothing worse than having the opportunity to take a fantastic shot and realizing it is not sharp.
Once I have returned from my trip, I select perhaps one of two images that I think would be likely to sell. I then decide which medium they would look best in. Most images I exhibit lend themselves well to greeting cards or A4 prints, but there are a few images that look great when they are blown up in a larger format for impact.”
When you have spent as much time as Tom has capturing these amazing timeless images it’s so important to have a final product hanging on the wall that you are truly proud of. We thoroughly enjoy producing Toms work and always look forward to seeing what his latest subject will be from a recent trip.
“Being able to reproduce your work according to your vision is essential and it is for this reason I use Best Photo Prints for post production and printing. They are able to advise me on which images would suit which medium best, to either bring out the colour, or to enhance the detail. The format that has worked best for me at Best Photo Prints is their fantastic Photo Canvas Prints. For me, these sell very well. I have recently branched out by displaying a number of different sizes thanks to the advice from their friendly staff who have a great insight into what will work best for the individual image. I have a lot my large pieces framed in the ash frame for a more traditional look, however my favourite and the most impressive medium is the Aluminium Photo Prints. If I have an image with fine detail and vibrant colours I will use the Aluminium Photo Prints to accentuate these qualities. At my exhibitions, I use the Highline as an impact piece.
I have used Best Photo Prints now for two years and have never been disappointed. Their most impressive attribute is their fastidious quality control and attention to detail. Every image I have given to the team has been thought about very carefully, and colour managed to give a true reflection on the finished product, before it is printed to the highest quality. Their quick turnaround time enables me to sell work at exhibitions and still be able to restock my canvas or acrylics ready for my next show the following weekend whilst maintaining the highest standards of printing. It is truly the finest customer service to ensure my work is displayed at its very best.”
Tom has had tremendous success in a short amount of time and has a few tips for other enthusiasts for capturing wildlife through the lens!
“If I could give only a couple of pieces of advice to those who would are interested in wildlife photography: firstly, be a perfectionist, and take pride in your work. There are so many photographers taking pictures of wildlife now that your images need to stand out, so do not settle for an image that you think is ‘ok’. Secondly, be patient. Obtaining the best images of a certain subject takes time. Spending just two hours on your local riverbank trying to photograph a kingfisher will not result in your best photo. But spending two hours a day for a few weeks will produce much better results.”
Tom Way will be exhibiting work at the following shows. Please come and visit if you would like to see the quality of his work up close.
5th-6th: Lancing College
25th-27th: Reading Art Fair
8th-11th: Hatfield House
14th-18th: Windsor Royal Horse Show
25th: Berkshire County Fair
28th-31st: Royal Bath and West Show
29th-31st: New Forest Show
If you would like to get in touch with Tom please visit his Facebook Page or you can email him directly at email@example.com.
All images Copyright © Tom Way Photography. Iver, Buckinghamshire.