Pet Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
My name is Alan Hess and I love being a photographer. I am really lucky that I get to photograph things for a living. This year we will also have a Professional Bull Rider event. But even with the wide variety of events I get to shoot, once in a while I still find myself in a creative rut. That's where personal projects come in.
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I have two rescued boxers. They make for great subjects for a couple of reasons. They are always available since they live with me. They have distinct personalities that makes photographing them more fun or challenging. And best of all they never want to see the photos, and never complain that they don't look good. On the downside, they don't have a great attention span and can easily wonder off in the middle of the shoot, and getting them to pose can be challenging.
I started off by just trying to get a portrait shot to use as a wallpaper on my iPhone, which led to experimenting with lighting and learning how to create the invisible black background portraits. This was the most fun that I have ever had writing a book since it didn't seem like work at all. I was able to take all that information I had accumulated while creating photos of my dogs and turn it into something that could help others get great photos of their pets.
First I want to tell you what this book isn't. This book is not about having to go out and spend a lot of money on special gear. It is just about getting better photos of your pet, or any pet. I photographed dogs, cats, birds, horses, lizards, snakes, fish, hamsters, mice, rats, and bunny rabbits. I spent time at leash free areas getting to capture dogs in action as they ran, jumped and played with other dogs. I got nudged by horses and had a lizard climb all over my gear. I spent time with an exotic pet vet, and even though I did not cover spiders as pets in the book, I ended up with a tarantula crawling on my hands.
I spent some time photographing big dogs at play.
How To Take The Best Pictures Of Your Dog - Dogtime
These dogs are playing together on the beach, but if you just saw the fangs you might think that it wasn't a friendly encounter. Getting to lie in the grass and photograph a group of puppies the first time they got to roam around outside is a great way to spend a morning. I wanted to make sure that the book dealt with all pets, and not just dogs and cats. So I tracked down a wide variety of different pet owners and rescue groups. The best part was that pet owners and rescue group volunteers are really passionate.
The passion that they have for their pets is really contagious. Need a little pick-me-up? Ask a pet owner about what their pet did recently. I learned more about snakes, frogs, mice, birds and lizards in the past few months than I thought possible. Every photo shoot was a new adventure.
Let Your Dog Get Used To The Camera
I spent quite a bit of time photographing cats as they are the second most popular pet in the US, right behind dogs. Cats turned out to be both easier in some respects and much more challenging in others. They love to stand in doorways and look out. Turns out that this makes for great portrait light. A tough day at work. Photographing cats became an exercise in patience. Getting up close and personal with a horse was really quite awesome. I was in constant awe of their power and size. Watching the muscles under their coat as the walk and run was fantastic, and getting to photograph them up close was really amazing.
On a final note, I used to think that personal projects were just a time suck. When was I supposed to go out and shoot stuff just for me and at the same time try to earn a living. There just didn't seem like enough of a payoff to spend the time shooting for myself when I could be out trying to earn a living. It got to the point where I didn't pick up my camera unless I was off to shoot something for a job….
Turns out that taking the time to go out and photograph something just for me not only recharges the creative side but can lead to other work. You can find out more about Alan and his work at AlanHessPhotography. I hope I can score some more goals for us this season.
It was good for me but the result is a disappointment. I will complete the season at Rayo Vallecano. We will see. I love being a photographer because of people like you! An accountant can help you delegate finances and seek any funding or loans you'll need starting out.
An accountant can help walk you through the process.
Pet Photography From Snapshots To Great Shots
Method 2. Make a website. As photography is a visual medium, you will need a website where potential clients can see your work. Use a site, such as WordPress, that allows you to design and customize your own website. You can then choose an attractive template and fill it in with information about you and your business.
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You should also include things like your rates, hours, and contact information. Your website may be a little sparse at first, as you won't have things like client testimonies, but it should grow with time. Take some photos of your own pets. You'll need a portfolio that you can upload online to attract clients. Not only can taking pictures of your own pets help show off your skills, it will give you some practice.
Take a handful of quality pictures of any pets you have and upload them to your social media pages and website. Advertise in an area with a solid market. Placing flyers and cards around your hometown can help you gain clients, but only if you're targeting an area where there's a market for your work. Think about neighborhoods where people tend to have a lot of pets. This indicates people are willing to spend a lot of money on luxuries for their animals. Start with local promotion. Look for regional magazines or publications about pets and pet-related services. Take out ad space in these publications.
Get your business listed in the local yellow pages. Take some of your business cards and flyers to local vet's offices, doggy daycares, pet spas, and other pet-friendly establishments. Some businesses do not like people putting up flyers or leaving brochures at their establishments. Develop a social media presence. Create various social media accounts, such as a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram account, for your business. Use these to promote your brand and post relevant content, such as any recent pictures from photo shoots. The more you post, the more likes and shares you'll get, resulting in a bigger social media following.
Keep your brand in mind when posting. If you're advertising yourself as a fun and quirky business, for example, post goofy content, like funny memes of animals. Advertise at pet friendly events. Look for pet friendly events in your area, such as adoption events and festivals. Try setting up a booth at these events and meeting with potential clients directly.
Handing out brochures and talking to pet owners is an invaluable way to grow your business. Donate your work to charity. To gain exposure, it can help to donate some photos or do photography for free. Try doing free photography for a local animal shelter, for example. An animal shelter will appreciate free professional photography and it will expand your own portfolio and get your name out there.
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Method 3. Stay patient and enthusiastic working with animals. You're not going to make it in the pet photography business if you don't truly love what you do. Over the years in your business, stay passionate. Remind yourself of the things you like about animals, even in moments when animals are being frustrating.
If the dog came from an abusive background, remember this. Also, pets do not live as long as people. Your clients will treasure the pictures you take of this animal after it's gone, so work hard to get some successful photos. Keep your schedule flexible. You never know when clients may be available, so maintaining a flexible schedule can help you land more clients. Be willing to do last minute shoots. Clients may want photographs of an animal that's going to be put to sleep, for example, so be willing to dedicate your Saturday afternoon to an emergency photo shoot. Continue to develop your animal skills.
Working with animals is an ongoing process, so continue your education as you get more involved in the business. Take additional classes in animal training and behavior and learn from your own experiences. If there are any certification classes you can take in animal training, enroll in them. A broader skill set can attract more clients. Advertise in pet stores that sell things like reptiles or tack shops so you can work with horses or livestock. Widen your photography skill set. In addition to building your skills working with animals, learn more about photography as you build your business.
Take photography classes or use online tutorials to learn things like editing, lighting, and other technical skills. The more you know about photography, the happier your clients will be with your work. Hire employees if it becomes necessary. As your business grows, you may find you can't keep up with everything yourself. In the future, you may need to hire employees to help with things like set up, scheduling, and editing.
Hire employees as necessary to keep up with the increasing demands of your business. If you don't have business experience, consult a lawyer or accountant to help you fill out any necessary documents for hiring employees. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.
Tips Take breaks every 15 to 20 minutes and give the animal some time to run around. Edit Related wikiHows.