Meet an Award-Winning 13-Year-Old Wildlife Photographer

They say if you want to be expert at something, you should start very young. That’s certainly true of the subject of 13 year-old Josiah Launstein! The young Canadian began his love affair with photography when he was just five, playing with his dad’s spare camera. At age seven he decided he needed to learn to master the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography. He comes from a family of award-winning photographers, so he had lots of opportunity and support to help hone his craft.

In this inspiring video, Launstein spends the day shooting wild Bighorn sheep—his favorite photography subject:

Launstein once missed a great shot of a swooping Bald Eagle, realizing too late that he’d focused on the bird’s tail instead of its beak. This drove him to chase perfection in his images; he swore he’d never miss an opportunity like that again.

Above all, he says you need a lot of patience to be a wildlife photographer, and a lot of it is down to finding the right light and just observing the animals. You need to pay close attention to what’s going on around you, so you don’t miss anything.


Launstein’s advice to aspiring photographers is to just photographing what you love— that love will show in your pictures. He also says always to take a camera with you when you go out, then you’re prepared.

Though he’s quite young, Launstein has already attracted a lot of attention with his images. He has twice been named Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year and has been awarded three times in Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

wildlife macro photography

“Raindrops” by Josiah Launstein

Despite winning all these awards and being exhibited internationally, Launstein is refreshingly modest about his achievements. He says he’s honored that his images will be seen by so many people, and that they’re exhibited alongside the work of photographers that he admires.

young wildlife photographer

Launstein’s images really are something special, and to have talent like his at such a young age is testament to all the years he spent perfecting his craft. He’s a real inspiration to other photographers, and as he grows older, hopefully he’ll continue to produce stunning pieces of work, which we look forward to seeing in the future.

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