Do you remember any wildlife photograph winning a Pulitzer Prize? I don’t. The Pulitzer Prizes honor excellence in journalism and the arts including photography, but photography as part of photojournalism. Images from photographic safaris or wildlife photography courses are not the ones that win the prize unless the safari becomes news or wildlife conservation is the subject. And the last is actually a very interesting thought to follow.
It will need more than a photographic safari to the Masai Mara to make a documentary about conservation. One needs to do already a lot of pre-production work to understand the topic, read a lot, talk to people in conservation and focus on one specific issue to deepen it out in a photo documentary. This will be the base for the photographic safari to capture the images and to tell the story of this specific problem or success.
Practicing this kind of wildlife photography documentaries in wildlife photography courses can be very nice, inspiring and may lead one day to a Pulitzer Prize. Even team building photo safaris can benefit from this approach, although there will most likely not the prize be the goal. Anyhow, never think never. Powerful wildlife photography telling a powerful story can have the potential to be Pulitzer Prize winning, although it will have to compete with what happens elsewhere in the world. It’s worth thinking about it and one can also start small, growing towards bigger prizes.