Nature Photography Internships

Opportunities are available for budding photographers to intern with us in Peru, in some of the most remote, fascinating and largely unspoiled parts of the Amazon rainforest. Photographers with a love for wild nature, adventure travel, and developing countries are needed to assist with wildlife research and forest conservation activities led by one of our partner organisations in Peru.

We are particularly interested in those people who want to use their photography skills to contribute to our understanding of the natural world and to help spread the nature conservation message far and wide with imagery and video coupled to information of an educational nature.

You can join for periods of 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months. Places are available throughout 2016 and 2017. Spanish lessons are also available at field sites for those who want to improve this skill, in parallel to their photography skills.

Individuals, groups and students with their own DSLR camera are welcome.

Note: Successful intern applicants will need to cover their in-country costs (see right).

PRICING for internship

2 weeks (14 days, 13 nights) = US$1,560 or GB£1,156

1 month (30 days, 30 nights) = US$3,000 or GB£2,222

2 months (60 days, 60 nights) = US$5,100 or GB£3,778

3 months (90 days, 90 nights) = US$7,460 or GB£5,526

These prices are inclusive of airport transfers, accommodation (shared room), meals, local transport in cars and boats, access to Untamed Photography equipment pool, all support, training and supervision during your time on the projects. Prices do not include flights or travel and health insurance

Contact Us

The Project

Technology is increasingly being used to answer biological research questions and to help overcome threats to wild nature and biodiversity conservation areas. High up on the list of technology-based techniques is digital photography and videography. A project has begun in the Peruvian Amazon that uses digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, GoPros, high definition camera traps, in combination with a lot of sweat and perseverance to answer hitherto difficult research questions and to assist conservation biologist teams with accurate species identification and with projecting their work to a broader audience, via social media outlets and the internet at large. The photography professionals and biologists leading this project in the Peruvian Amazon have opened their doors to amateur photographers and videographers from around the world with the basic equipment and passion required to contribute in a meaningful way to this initiative. Find out how to participate as an intern, below.

Wildlife Photo Guides

The diversity in form and colour both within and between species in the Amazon rainforest means that correct identification of wildlife to species level can be problematic. Most existing published guides to the species of this region only contain one or two images of a species, and may rely on textual descriptions for other colour morphs. Our ambitious and long-term aim is to document (with HD macro imagery) the diversity of colour morphs and body shapes for numerous taxa in the Madre de Dios and Cusco region of the Peruvian Amazon, with an emphasis on amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, moths, dung-beetles, mushroom-eating beetles, grasshoppers, ants, stink bugs, and snails. Close contact with taxonomists will ensure quality identification of live specimens. Photography interns will use their own DSLR cameras in combination with project equipment (such as white-boxes, black-boxes, flashes, and tripods), to capture the required imagery, with training and photo-editing assistance provided by the experienced professional photography team leading this initiative. Collecting additional background ecological information on species will be an additional activity, requiring access to published material and c

Photography-based Biological Research

Photography techniques are increasingly being used to study wildlife and ecological processes, particularly as images and video allow for more detailed and repeatable (rewindable) examination of wildlife encounters and thus more accurate identification of species themselves and the behaviours they exhibit. The types of photography-based research that interns will be involved with includes:

a. Wildlife abundance and home range size – Using camera traps placed in a grid to determine relative abundance levels, area occupancy rates and home range size of identifiable individuals (such as spotted cats that have unique coat patterns). A selection of camera traps will be used for this task, with activities including placing cameras out into the field, and periodically changing batteries, reviewing imagery, and transferring data to databases. Walking long distances through jungle following GPS points will be required.

b. Predation and herbivory studies – Capturing imagery and video evidence of predation and herbivory events on focal species. In the case of predation, we are interested in understanding which species feed upon caterpillars (of butterfly and moths), grasshoppers, termites, ants, and certain types of beetle. In terms of herbivory, evidence is required on which insects consume the leaves of tree seedlings and flowers of multiple plant species, as well as mushrooms, in addition to the rodent species that consume the fallen seeds and fruit of Brazil nut trees, Astrocaryum palms, and Dipteryx trees.

c. Pollination studies – Imagery showing what types of insect and bird pollinators (butterflies, hummingbirds, hawkmoths) visit certain species of flower are required in order to identify key-stone pollinators for these flowering plants. Temporary capture of some insects may be required in order to take high-definition macro images.

d. Tree studies - Imagery showing the changing shape and size of tree leaves (from seedlings, through saplings, to adults). Imagery depicting the diversity of animals and other plants that make their home on trees, especially large, emergent species such as Fig, Brazil nut, Dipteryx, Ceiba, Chorisia, and Rubber trees. Time-lapse videos showing the velocity of growth of tree seedlings in different forest and soil types.

Documenting Research and Forest Conservation Activities

Our interns will be based at sites where research and conservation biology teams are active. These teams frequently need photo and video diaries to help document their activities and biological discoveries. This will entail following these teams around the forest as they undertake their research and conservation activities and taking representative images and video of these activities, frequently under the direction of the reseach and conservation leavers. Some formal interviews of members of these research teams may also be required at times. The teams that require the most photographic documentation tend to be those studying birds, frogs, insects, and plants. Some teams also spend time researching the forest use of native communities, and thus short expeditions to visit these communities and to document their activities may be required.

Assisting Professional Nature Photographers with Training Workshops

Both our own and other professional wildlife photographers who are based in the Peruvian rainforest are frequently in need of field assistants who are equally keen on doing photography in remote and sometimes challenging environments, in order to help them with everything from planning activities (including recce expeditions), assisting with training workshops in the field, helping to find photographic subjects (which can mean getting very hot, sweaty and dirty, and requires use of GPS at times), and some photo editing work too.