6 Tips To Becoming a Pet Photographer

A career as a pet photographer can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor. It takes a special kind of person to be able to pull this off. If you already have a love for animals, this may be something you can consider looking into. Here are some tips that will help you further your career.

1. Passion for All Animals

A pet photographer will have to take pictures of many different kinds of animals. While it's most common to find people desiring to have photos taken of their dogs or cats, it's also not uncommon for people to want photos of their beloved birds, reptiles, or horses. You have to love all animals, and be comfortable around a variety of species and breeds. Knowing how to deal with very hyper dogs is also a plus. Since pet photography will often mean you need to take photos of animals in their natural element, it won't be unheard of for you to have to get down and dirty as the animals play.

2. Photography Experience

While no formal training is required to become a pet photographer, it's a good idea to at least take some basic photography classes. You will want to understand lighting, using different equipment, and most importantly, how to photograph movement effectively. Most community colleges will offer basic photography classes as part of their continuing education programs.

3. Dog Training Classes

As a pet photographer, the majority of your clients will want to have photos of their dogs taken. A basic dog training course will give you knowledge in basic dog psychology, as well as simple training techniques. This will help you to understand the traits of different breeds, and how best to handle dogs that are ordinarily hard to handle. It will also make the dogs more comfortable around you, making it easier to get great photos.

4. Build a Wardrobe and Backdrops

Holidays are always a big time for any photographer, this is no exception for the pet photographer. Having an assortment of costumes made specifically for animals and some cute holiday backdrops will help you out tremendously. Having props readily available will also be helpful. For example, a pumpkin patch backdrop and some hay bales can be used for Halloween or fall photos. Santa or elf costumes will be popular during the Christmas holiday. A staged Easter egg hunt can provide an adorable setting for early spring photos.

5. Know the Laws

Even if you don't have a permanent studio, most states require you carry some type of liability insurance for any business. As a pet photographer, you want to make sure your insurance covers you while you work with animals on location, or in a portable studio. 

6. Take Marketing Courses

Advertising is everything with any kind of business. Photography can be competitive, so you will want to be creative with how you advertise. Taking some basic marketing courses, either online or at a local college, will help you tremendously at being successful.


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