Pet photography is one of those careers that doesn’t seem like work, at least most of the time. Pet photographers must have a passion for their work and for the pets. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it is definitely priceless to a pet owner who has outlived a pet.
The pet photography business has continued to grow, even during the economic downturn of the past few years. Having professional photographs of a pet is just as important to pet owners as having professional pictures of children and family. In fact, many families decide to include pets in their family photographs. Pet photographers are better prepared to deal with the oftentimes unpredictable behavior of animals than family photographers.
If you or someone you know is thinking about becoming a pet photographer, here are some helpful hints and tips to get you started right.
Tip 1: Must have a passion for pets. This is a must. Making a career out of taking pictures of pets is not a job for someone who is easily frustrated with pets and animals running around or not listening. Be aware that taking pictures of pets not only includes cats and dogs. It is not uncommon for proud owners to want pictures of their birds, reptiles, horses, fish, hamsters, rabbits, and any other animal that is considered a loving pet.
Tip 2: Must have basic photography knowledge. Knowing how to use a camera, light, setting, texture, and other basic skills of taking high quality photographs is key. Having a natural “eye” as they say is not enough. It is a good idea to take some photography classes, possibly at your local community college or art studio, before beginning your career.
Tip 3: Take marketing and business classes. This is important if you want to run your own business or open your own studio. However, even if you want to work for someone else, it is not a bad idea to know how a business works and how to market your work and yourself.
Tip 4: Take dog training and emergency classes. Even if you have experience training your own dog, it is a good idea to take dog training classes. Not only will it help your keep your customers in line, it is a good marketing tool. Having a certificate means you can add it to your resume and marketing material. The same idea goes for taking pet CPR and first aid classes. This way, pet owners will feel comfortable knowing you will be prepared if their nervous pet eats something he or she shouldn’t have or gets hurt.
Tip 5: Be Prepared. Make sure to have a sturdy tripod, plenty of backdrops and props, and treats. Start by taking pictures of your own pets and ask your family and friends if they would like free or discounted pictures of their pets. Make sure to get permission of all the pet parents before using the pictures of their pets in your portfolio. Begin building a portfolio that showcases your best work and keep it updated, as you are most likely to continue getting better.
Remember, taking pictures of pets can be a test of patients, but it can also be very rewarding when you see the looks on the owner’s faces.
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About the author:
Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for YeePet.com since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor...