Hello friends! 🐹 Debs again! And today I’m going to share with you some useful tips on how to Turn Pet Photography in a Profitable Job.
Pets are for sure our best pals and today they have become family members too. They are able to support us, making special moments being unique. Someone of us treats them like a child or loved ones. We celebrate their birthdays and rejoice whenever they achieve a milestone.
Our pets are stars, models in the show ring and we struggle to post their best pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
That’s why people are often in search of skilled professionals that are able to capture a moment and make it last a lifetime.
If that’s your aim, take a look at this article, where I am trying to explain how to turn your passion for pet photography in a true and profitable full-time job!
Do you want to come back later here? Pin this image here below now for your reference:
In this article we will follow 13 essential steps and Tips to Turn Pet Photography in a Profitable Job!
Also, make sure to check my previous articles to prepare yourself to go pro!
- The Must-Have Checklist for Pet Photography Business
- The Must-Have Photography Setup for Pet Photography
These two articles here will prepare your mind for the job you’re building.
Before we dig into the tips of today’s blog post, let me tell you that taking photos of pets is not an easy peasy task… so, how easy is not to take blurry photos? Here an article can explain to you everything about this matter.
🐥 HATCHED-TIP: into this article you may find some advices, affiliates from which, if you give them a chance, I can earn a small commission. Be sure, please, to read my disclosure about it.
We were, so, talking about to avoid blurry images both for you and your clients’ pictures. Not so easy as a starter in pet photography, no?
But, let me tell you my secret!
Enrolling a Photography Masterclass course may help a lot! Do yourself a favor and enroll in a photography course before selling your services. This will give you the material and knowledge to appear much more professional and let you have all the instruments to get properly paid from your hard work.
This video course is very comprehensible and useful for beginners, but also to intermediate photographers, leading you to the industry standard essentials.
And at the lowest price ever! Sounds good, no?
All this is brought to you as fundamental Tips to Turn Pet Photography in a Profitable Job.
Then you can start taking pictures of pets as a regular and professional job!
In this article, you can find some suggestions on how to properly start organizing your photography jobs before you effectively start getting paid for your pictures. Following those steps will help you be prepared for every happening… or just in case…
Now that you’re ready to start and have bought a decent camera to produce nice shootings, you can start taking your pets or your clients’ ones out for the session.
Keep in mind also that taking pets for a walk with you is easier than making them pose for your camera. This is understandable, of course, because our pets do not really understand what we’re trying to do.
Pet Photography as a Profession
Pet photography can be done by anybody. But, it takes a lot of training and knowledge to take really good pet photos that effectively tell stories. Since the genre has become popular, a lot of photographers have decided to turn their photography hobby into a profession.
Although it is not mainstream as portrait and wedding photography, professional pet photographers are growing in numbers.
People keep on asking me Tips to Turn Pet Photography in a Profitable Job, and also some other questions like:
- Is it possible to earn money through pet photography?
- What to do when you love taking pet pictures and want a job from it?
- Is pet photography really profitable?
Here you can find a Facebook group to join for sharing your pictures, of which I myself am part too, that shows you how much populated is this niche.
Also, more and more pet photographers are discovering the positive effect that pet photography has on them. Taking photos of pets, especially cats and dogs, seems to be a good antidote for stress.
If someone wants to capture everlasting moments with his/her beloved ones, hiring a professional pet photographer is the best option, and you’re there to offer your professional work!
If you want pet photography to stay a hobby, you can do it the same, obviously… but be sure to do it the right way the same!
Pet Photography Tips and Techniques
Before you get down to all the dirty work, you need to answer the following question honestly:
Do you really love pets? Or animals in general?
If the answer is NO, then Pet Photography is not for you.
Pet Photography can be quite challenging, so you’ll need to really love what you’re doing including the pets you’re taking pictures of.
In my experience, during my first starting period, I was called to shoot for a reputable Dobermann Breeder. As a Labrador Breeder, I knew very well how to express the best of a Labrador Retriever but totally NOTHING about the breed I was going to shoot at…
My photos were due to represent the main features of the breed, so I had to study the best position from which to take out the best of every single dog I had to shoot at. And, most important, I had to learn how to masquer all the defects each dog had, so to make them all look perfect in my final shoots!
🔔 PRO-TIP: if you're going to shoot at purebreed dogs, it's useful to read the Breed Standard of the breed you're called to shoot at. This is the best way to learn how a dog must be placed to be fully appreciated. Depending if you're under AKC or FCI breed standards, you can refer to their official websites to search for standard documents of each breed.
Plus, I find very useful reading breed books (that usually have some high-quality pictures in) to refer to in case you need inspiration.
Also, reading good photography books can be very useful to learn a bit more about the niche you’re passionate about. And this will naturally be shown your pictures’ quality.
One more question before you start out:
Are you extremely patient?
If your answer is YES, then you’re good to go. If not, try to train yourself to be so. There’s a big possibility that you’ll spend hours just getting your pet model to relax and calm down; and this before you can actually shoot.
Now that you’re ready to start, here are the basic tips and tricks that you need to consider:
- Prepare yourself for the shoot by making sure that your equipment is complete and fully working. While the brand you’re using will not really dictate the result of your shoot, it is important to work with those you’re comfortable with; with the equipment that you feel do the job for you. If you don’t have a DSLR, go ahead and use your mobile phone or your point-and-shoot camera. If you have a DSLR, be sure to pair it with zoom lenses with at least 40mm as its farthest zoom (your kit lens will do). Prime lenses, on the other hand, will offer a much different experience, as you cannot get in close from a distance with a prime lens – but you can simply get close to your pet model instead. Additionally, do not forget to bring extra memory cards, camera batteries and a speed light (flash).
- The next thing you need to do is help the pet feel comfortable. Like babies, pets can feel whatever we feel. So, find some time to do some deep breathing and relax. Stretch those muscles and get ready to have fun.
- Step number three is to find the right location or setting for your shoot. If your model is a dog or cat, try shooting outside. Not on the streets, but probably in your backyard or in the park. Not on the streets, but probably in your backyard or in the park. An outdoor location will help your dog or cat act naturally as it is their natural environment and they can move freely. If you’re shooting snakes or slow-moving/relaxed animals, the best location would be in your studio, a wildlife park or at a zoo.
- Before clicking the camera, check out the lighting in your location. The best choice would be to go for natural light as your camera’s flash may result in some red-eye and, in some cases, may even frighten your pet.
- Focus on the pet’s eyes if you want to create meaningful photos that can also tell stories.
- Although you can use your camera’s macro feature, it is still best if you move as close as you can to your pet. Use only your macro lens if you want extremely close-up shots of your dog or cat’s fur or face.
- When you’re ready to take that shot but the pet is still moving around, don’t force him to stop what he is doing. Instead, allow him to continue playing. Be observant and when you think you can take a good shot, call out to him or whistle so you’ll get his attention. Make sure your camera is ready to take a shot as soon as your pet looks your way. A fast lens with a fast focus would surely help you with this situation.
- The best time to shoot your pet is a few minutes after he wakes up, or when he is sleepy and about to doze off. This will make it easier for you to control him.
- However, if you want to take action photos, find your pet’s most active and energetic moments.
- Just like when you are shooting humans, make sure that your background has no clutter or any unsightly objects. For example, it won’t look good if your dog or cat is photographed beside a bundle of garbage. Look for a good and clean background, one that will help enhance the total visual effect of your photo.
- Experiment with your shots. Don’t shoot without checking out the different angles you can make use of. Take two shots of each angle and choose the one that captures the pet in his best.
- Be careful not to make any unnecessary noises, especially loud ones, as this might confuse and frighten your pet. It is also important for you to be careful with your movements. Move as slowly as you can, as pets can be extra sensitive when you move even just a little bit.
- Finally, do not forget to reward your pet. If human models are paid professional fees, pets also need to be paid – with their favorite treats. These can come in different versions, according to what your pet likes. Cats, for example, like fish-like toys or milk. Dogs like delicious treats, although they will also love it if you pat and show them some love. Horses can be rewarded with hays.
Subscribe my Newsletter and get a tip per day on pets in action photography!