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What’s cool about this job

We learn something new every day! There are so many exciting things going on—the stuff we get to photograph and document is truly amazing. Every day is different. There’s always something new to find out.


Job challenges

The animals don't always cooperate when we want to take pictures. Some critters are very shy and hide and are only comfortable around their keepers. Often, the photographer has to be very patient in order to get a good shot. We also have to plan our day carefully so that we have the best light for our pictures, and that's something that changes throughout the day.

Believe it or not, the biggest challenge for the photographers is getting out to take pictures! It’s easy to get distracted by the little details and office-related tasks. The only way to take a great photograph, however, is to get out of the office and behind a camera. When we’re out in the field, we come across immediate photo opportunities or get ideas for something that we’ll do in the future.


How to get a job like this

Practice taking pictures and shooting videos, and do a lot of reading. Look at your work and think about what you think is really good and what you might do differently to make it better. Study literature, liberal arts, journalism, visual arts, science writing, or some related field. Art, business, and computer classes also come in handy. And be creative!