For years now I've been working hard to zero in on a specific style for my wildlife photography. For me that has become something a bit more scenic with the subject much smaller in the frame than is commonly seen. Of course this doesn't mean I don't ever shoot or share closer cropped photos with a bird larger in the frame, I do share them plenty. I do however always try when possible to create something with a bit of space.
What I have learned over the years is that creating an image with a small subject in the frame in which the subject still stands out and the overall scene is pleasing is no easy task. That is part of the challenge I enjoy with this style of photography. When I first started wildlife photography getting close was a big part of the challenge. Once I got decent at that, the new challenge became backing up and creating a nice overall scene.
I never consciously decided to create a specific style for my wildlife photography, it just sort of happened. For me that was a great way to acquire a photography style, it simply naturally evolved from what I personally liked. Even with all the other photographers I was looking at and looking up to I always naturally leaned towards more space in the frame. I think a big part of that tendency was what I was doing with my wedding photography at the time which had a similar style of more scenic shots that I enjoyed.
I think having a style that you work towards in your wildlife photography can be a good thing. I also think you have to be sure to not get stuck thinking only about that style and missing out on other great opportunities because of it. I remind myself of that often while still trying to create photos that fit into my style preference. One of the best compliments I receive occasionally is when someone tells me that they recognized a photo as mine before they even saw my name attached to it. That to me means I have succeeded at portraying my somewhat unique style to the viewer, which I love to hear! Below are some of my favorites that fit this style. In general they all have a subject that is less than 5% of the frame.