The Best Nature Photography Schools

A photographer at work.

Although all that’s necessary to undertake nature photography is a camera and some wildlife, the difference between amateur nature photographers and professional nature photographers is as wide as in any field. Not everyone can take pictures like those published in “National Geographic,” and that’s because nature photography is a complex skill that takes years of practice to master. For those interested in pursuing nature photography professionally, several schools specialize in training future nature photographers.

Brooks Institute of Photography

Brooks Institute of Photography is a leading photography school located primarily in Santa Barbara, California, with a second campus about an hour away in Ventura. Best known as a photography school, Brooks Institute also caters to those interested in film-making, visual journalism and graphic design. Brooks Institute is located in a beautiful area with lots of opportunities for nature photographers to “learn by doing,” which is a pervading philosophy at Brooks Institute. The Brooks Professional Photography Program offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Photography and a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography degree. Brooks Institute is known to be a cutting-edge program with an emphasis on digital technology and technique.

Brooks Institute of Photography

27 E. Cota Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Rocky Mountain School of Photography

The Rocky Mountain School of Photography is a renowned photography school located in Missoula, Montana. The Rocky Mountain School of Photography caters to everyone from photography enthusiasts to photography professionals and offers a variety of programs including career training, workshops and weekend courses. The career training programs include special focuses in outdoor/nature photography and documentary/photojournalism among others. If you are looking to study nature photography without necessarily obtaining a higher-level degree in photography, then the Rocky Mountain School of Photography most likely has a program that will fit your goals, schedule and financial means.

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Rocky Mountain School of Photography

216 N. Higgins Ave.

Missoula, MT 59802


New York Institute of Photography

Although the New York Institute of Photography is located in New York City, it is still regarded as a leading nature photography school. It is the oldest and biggest photography school in the country with a great wealth of resources for aspiring photographers. The Institute offers an array of distance photography training programs in which students learn the craft of photography from the comfort of their own homes. These unique programs help train people from around the world to become professional photographers by using illustrated lessons, audio guides, personal advisers and DVD courses among other things. The New York Institute of Photography is especially admired by nature photographers and boats many great programs relating to outdoor and nature photography.

New York Institute of Photography

211 East 43rd Street

New York, New York 10017