National Wildlife's Photographer Guidelines
National Wildlife Federation, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190
National Wildlife® is an award-winning, bimonthly magazine known for high-quality photography and articles covering a broad range of issues related to wildlife and habitat conservation worldwide. It is published by the National Wildlife Federation, one of the oldest and largest non-profit, conservation and education organizations in the United States. Circulation ranges between 400,000 and 450,000.
The editors of National Wildlife® magazine rely on high-quality images of wildlife from both professional and outstanding amateur photographers. We seek images obtained in the wild under natural conditions and in an ethical manner that places the welfare of wildlife above the photographer’s desire to obtain an image. Photographers should make every effort to avoid any action that might interfere with natural wildlife behavior or habituate wild animals to humans. The editors must know the circumstances of how a photograph was obtained so they can make an informed judgment about publication and disclosure in captioning.
We appreciate and value the time, effort and skill necessary to obtain high-quality wildlife photographs in the field. We are also concerned by the use of wildlife photographs obtained at commercial game farms where captive animals are placed in ‘natural’ settings and enticed to ‘pose’ for photographs. While expedient and often compelling, such photographs devalue the work of photographers who take the time to obtain images of truly wild animals in the wild. Those are the images we wish to publish and celebrate.
Upon submitting a photograph, photographers must therefore disclose:
Photographers may only submit images as digital files via email to email@example.com. We are not able to respond to all emails, but if we see potential for your work as suitable for publication in the magazine, we will get in touch and/or invite you to submit more images. Please note: NWF is not liable for unsolicited slides, prints or disks sent by contributors. Such material will not be returned.
Via Online Lightbox, File-Storage Service or FTP Site:
Optimize images (digital capture or scanned) for brightness, color, sharpness, etc., but be careful not to oversaturate or over-sharpen an image, and always disclose any such alterations.
We will contact photographers about images in which we have interest, however, we cannot always respond to those who submit photographs we cannot use. We receive a huge number of images, and while we hope to review all images as quickly as possible, the volume of work to produce the magazine may lead to delays. We appreciate your patience. If images or manuscripts are deemed suitable for publication, we will discuss a potential publication date. In some cases we may hold materials for future consideration. Holding such materials does not automatically constitute an acceptance or agreement to publish.
Payment for the use of photographs is based on one-time rights with limited promotional use. Rates are based on size and placement and are competitive with other national magazines. We keep a hi-res scan of all published images for consideration by NWF for other uses. Any such uses will only be with the photographers’ permission and payment.
National Wildlife® magazine welcomes ongoing relationships with top-tier, professional wildlife and nature photographers and agencies that represent them and their work. We also welcome submissions from highly skilled amateur photographers. We no longer send out general want lists, but if we are familiar with a photographer’s work, we may contact him or her requesting images for a particular story. We also rely on photographs submitted to our annual photo contest, and do some photo research online at photographers’ and agencies’ websites.
Thank you for your interest in National Wildlife® magazine. We look forward to seeing your work and appreciate your efforts to celebrate and conserve wildlife through photography.
The crisis isn't just a global problem—we're facing it in our own backyards. Meet some of the species that are already seeing an impact.Read More
President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment.Watch Now
What's on deck with the National Wildlife Federation? Check out our scheduled events—we just might be coming to a city near you!See Events
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Learn More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.