This may seem like an odd blog post, coming from someone who does pet photography, but this isn’t me just saying that I’m the best pet photographer. Given my experience I feel like I can give a really good run-down on how to find a pet photographer that best suits you, but it may not be me! Read on to find out more.
Look for a Pet Photographer who has an extensive portfolio online. This isn’t just to show you that they can take good photos of pets, but it’s so you can see if you like your style. Everyone has a personal style they like and photographers are no different. If you really love bold, bright and sharply contrasted images, look for a photographer with that style. Maybe you prefer light and airy or a completely different style. Imagine the style shown in the portfolio as pictures of your pet and ask yourself if it is something you’d love. If not, keep looking, there are so many wonderful pet photographers taking photos in different styles.
Decide if you prefer indoors or outdoor photography and find a photographer that has experience in your preferred setting. This one takes a little bit of decisive action, but some photographers have a preference for studio and others for natural light. Some photographers can do both, but you’ll have to check back in with the portfolio and see how you feel about the work. Much like style, the difference between studio and natural light photography is vast and you are best picking the photographer who captures that best.
Editing style differs between photographers, some like to do minimal edits, others enjoy editing after the shoot and once again, you need to decide what is most important to you. Generally pet photographers at a minimum will edit out leashes and do some colour correction, but if you prefer more editing or a different style, it’s best to go with a photographer who can offer this. Same with if you rather no editing to be done, it’s best to find a photographer who doesn’t price in any editing.
Session structure can be quite different again. Do you prefer a quick 15-20 minute shoot, or would you rather a longer shoot with more images to choose from? What suits your pet, do you think they’re better to have a longer session, or would a short and quick session suit them better? All photographers tend to structure their sessions differently and there are quite a few options to choose from.
Business practices and insurance can set some photographers apart. For some it is more of a hobby, but it is still very important to still run sessions as a business. This means quite a few costly overheads, such as insurance, public liability, seeking permission to shoot in certain locations, having a registered business, ensuring backups and thorough maintenance of equipment to help avoid any potential disasters. Don’t be hesitant in asking if the photographer you want to work with has insurance, permission to shoot at their suggested locations and ways to back up their work. These are things that could save you a lot of heartbreak and a photographer will be happy to share with you all the details.
What you want to get out of the session is something very important to consider. If you want someone who will take photos of your pet that could be printed in to an album, make sure they’re shooting for print. Also it’s worth checking if they will do all the hard work of setting images up for print vs digital and if you want to DIY print, if it’s something that is included in their packages. This should all be decided up front, because there is a big difference between taking photos that are only for digital sharing and photos that can be printed professionally.
Costs and location these two tie in together, because if your preferred photographer isn’t local, sometimes there are considerations for travel, either them coming to you or you having to visit their studio/location. Travel costs, session costs and the final supply of artwork all need to be factored in to your budget before booking. Make sure to read all the fine print and work with someone who communicates their costs clearly and upfront. If you feel like they aren’t answering your questions or are vague about costs, it’s better to step away before booking, as many deposits are non-refundable once you have secured a date.
Finally, this may seem a little silly, but ensure they are a pet photographer! Pet photography requires a certain set of skills, tools and willingness to work with pets. Working with someone who has that experience and readiness makes a huge difference before, during and after your session. They’ll be focused on making sure you and your pet are relaxed, having fun and will know exactly how to bring out the best photos that capture everything you love about your pet.
There are many amazing pet photographers out there and I know following this guide you’ll be able to find the perfect pet photographer! If you’re ever unsure, always get in touch with the photographers you like and ask some more questions, book in to have a chat and then go from there. The best pet photographers want to work with you and will be happy to answer your questions and take time to connect!