Hello dear friends, lots of time I don’t write on my Blog due to the COVID-19 emergency. Here in quarantine, I went depressed and lost my will to keep going with my blog. Being unable to go out for shooting was terrific. But today I woke up and decided to restart hoping for a new beginning: so let’s talk a little about my story and how to succeed in Pet Photography Business also for those of you that are thinking to start over.
For all of us, this period is a terrific one and not being able to shoot and produce new material is devasting. But nothing is lost until we keep the passion going and try to plan properly our future to bloom again when the time comes.
I am now concentrating on planning the future sessions and, thank God, we have at home the possibility to enjoy our private backyard with our dogs.
We also had puppies (and this is the best part and opportunity to shoot without going outside)… so we’re not lacking ideas.
But before digging into today’s blog post, let me tell you how I personally used time in these weeks without having the possibility to go out for a photo session with clients…
To succeed in the Pet Photography Business, first, it is better to explain what is really needed to claim yourself as a Pet Photographer…
I don’t know if you’ve checked some of my previous blog posts, if not make sure to read this article about how to start a profitable Pet Photography Business.
But there are five things I recommend to pay attention to before deciding to start a business in Pet Photography… and this post will explain everything about them…
How To Succeed In Pet Photography Business
Let me tell you the honest truth: pet photography business is not a “get rich quick” thing…
You must spend some money to buy your perfect equipment and strive a little to learn the secrets of photography before offering your services to a client.
If you make sure to read my special articles about these matters, things will come easier. Here they are:
- The Must-Have Pet Photography Setup – in this article you will learn how to savvy spend your money (not emptying your pockets!)
- Enroll in a Super Quality Masterclass – check this page to ensure your spot in the best Photography Masterclass ever… this video course is perfect for beginner photographers and doesn’t require to go outside to learn… you can sit at your own pace and LEARN!
Here is what you will get with this free resource:
So, let’s come to the matter: are you wondering if starting out in pet photography is a profitable business? Read this article to get informed about it and answer the following questions…
Do You Really Love Animals?
Pet Photography can be a messy job, without any doubt…
I also wrote an article about Shooting Sessions for Breeder Clients that explains perfectly what you’ll have to deal with…
You need to be comfortable with being jumped on by Great Danes, pawed by pugs, and scratched by cats. You need to be happy crawling through the mud, and bending and stretching at weird angles.
You also need to be exceptionally patient. Often at the start of a shoot, your subject will spend about half an hour running around like crazy, and jumping all over the place before finally calming down enough for you to photograph.
You also need to accept that you will never have that much control over your subject – try telling a puppy to sit still and tilt his head 45 degrees!
At some point, your camera equipment will get covered in drool, your shoes will get peed on, and you will end up ruining several pairs of pants.
So if you don’t really, truly, love animals, you are going to find the whole process miserable and give up very quickly.
Be prepared and be patient, but first of all, BE INFORMED.
I also provided, some time ago, a 10 days free email course for those willing to start in the Pet Photography Business.
Make sure you check it out now: it’s free and you’ll receive a pill a day about pet photography tricks.
Is there a Pet Photography Marketing Niche?
Or better said, is there a market for pet photographers?
I am lucky enough to live in Italy that has the highest rate of dog ownership in the country.
People here absolutely adore their pets.
There are high-end pet stores, hundreds of dog-friendly cafes and parks, and so many Dog Shows that I have lost count. Also, I have the privilege to be a Dog Breeder, so I often attend them as a competitor and never lose the opportunity to bring my camera with me for some occasional clients…
But that’s not always going to be the case for your area, so do your research. Some good things to find out are:
- What’s the rate of pet ownership? Your local council is a good resource. Or ask a Vet to tell you how many dogs are registered with a microchip in your area to find out if there’s a concrete chance to get in touch with owners.
- What is the general attitude towards pets? Do people see dogs as “just dogs” or are they part of the family or substitute children?
- Are there lots of pet-friendly cafes, restaurants, and parks? What are the pet shops in your area like? Do they sell just the basics or are they a bit fancier?
I have been contacted not only for dogs but also for cats… and believe me, here cats are simple “cats”, nothing compared to dogs.
It’s a matter of people’s sensibility towards pets!
Do You Have The Right Equipment and Know How to Use It?
Pet photography is similar to sports and wedding photography in the sense that if you miss a moment, it’s not likely to be repeated.
We all know that equipment doesn’t make the photographer, but at a minimum, you want to have a DSLR, prime lenses that autofocus (the 50mm f/1.4 is a great place to start), a good quality zoom lens, high-speed memory cards, and a speedlight you can use off-camera if necessary.
I already wrote a post about the right equipment for pet photography purposes and don’t need to repeat it in this post, so make sure you read this article to know more about the pet photography perfect equipment.
No need to recommend to make sure you know how to use your equipment, and avoid some mistakes beginners do often while approaching pet photography.
Get to know your equipment back to front before you start charging for your work. Figure out how to change your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO without looking, and know how to change your lenses quickly.
Some of the best shots come without warning, and if you’re staring at your camera wondering why something isn’t working, you’ll miss the shot.
Pet Photography is a challenge: make sure you perfectly learn how to set up your camera before booking a session for a client, or you will get lost!
Once again, I will never get tired about repeating it, learn a bit about photography before starting your journey into the business…
As you know, practice makes perfect, and the only way to get really good at photographing pets and knowing your equipment is to find the most badly behaved animals you can and shoot, shoot, shoot.
Are You Legally Prepared for the Business?
Lots of people start claiming themselves as photographers but forget to have the minimum requirements to stay legal…
At this point, it’s important to remark the necessity to have a clear idea that Pet Photography is a Job, and by the moment it is a job, it is also recommended to have clear you will have to pay taxes on it and know all the legal aspects involved…
To help you better understand this point, I find useful recommending this article here:
6 things every pet photographer should know…check it out here!
I found it so useful, and I’m sure you’ll too.
Here below three examples of Agreements and useful resources to stay legal in the pet photography business, you should have at your client’s disposal, learning how to use them, case by case:
- a distribution agreement;
- a reseller agreement;
- an exclusive distribution agreement;
… these are just some of the great number of possibilities you will face in your business.
Also, you must consider having pre-built receipt modules, payment modules, premade purchase order charts and so on…
If you need premade free templates of what’s needed to stay legal as a photographer here is a link to a website I found: simply registering your business email you can download tons of FREE samples you can edit according to your needs:
I am not running any affiliate program here: it’s all FREE and I don’t earn any commission from that. This app really helped me in finding what’s needed to grow my business with the right legal tools and saved me precious time.
I also saved thousands of dollars on legal fees using this reliable DIY legal forms used by over 10000 legal firms!
Stay legal as a pet photographer!
Organize Your Business Plan
As an entrepreneur, also the pet photographer needs a solid plan to succeed in the Pet Photography Business.
Owners and their beloved pets … this is what makes our world go around.
When I started, I was perfectly aware that there are many photographic studios, at either end of the spectrum, that will consider photographing a pet.
However, they do not openly welcome your furry family members.
When I personally designed my own business plan, pets were my only business.
I am dedicated to capturing a moment you can remember forever to preserve a special relationship.
With many years of experience and a gentle approach in an unhurried environment, I preserve memories in a beautiful piece of photographic art.
A strong commitment to client satisfaction is showcased by the perfect photograph that captures the personality of the pet and the loving relationship between the pet and owner.
That was, and still is, my personal purpose. And, around that, I built my business plan.
Try drawing your own business plan nailed on your purposes.You will need to stay concentrated on your focus points to be able to provide a successful service to your clients!
If you need a tool that can help you with drawing one, here it is!
And don’t forget to comment here below to let me know how you feel in this period to support each other!
See you next article, friends.