How to become a pet photographer
By Dog Photographer Rebecca Goutorbe
Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links to the products and services I use and highly recommend including SmugMug. You won’t pay any more for the products or services they offer but I may get a small commission Thank you
Looking how become a pet photographer?
Here are 9 tips to help you get started.
1. Decide what type of pet you would like to photograph
Decide if you are going to photograph all pets or if you would like to specialise in dog photography. Maybe cat photography or small animals.
Not every pet photographer is a dog lover or a cat lover believe it or not. Some dog people are just not cat fans and vice versa.
To become a pet photographer you really need to be passionate about the type of pet you are photographing or it is not going to work for you.
Small animals such as Guinea pigs, and pet Rabbits can be great fun. These usually belong to children who can be included in the photos too.
2. Understand the behaviour of the pets
Once you have decided on the type of pets you are going to photograph. Next you need to have an understanding of their behaviour.
You don’t need to become a dog trainer to photograph dogs or have a degree in small animal care. But knowledge of your subject is going to help you in the long run.
3. Go on a photography course
If you already understand how to use your camera that is great, if you don’t know how. Then look into a basic camera settings course. Like a ‘get off automatic mode’ for example. These types of courses are usually pretty cheap too.
Learn how to use your camera and lens combination first. Then if you need to, go a specialised course for pet photography. Or a dog photography course.
4. Decide what type of pet photography services you are going to offer
Decide what type of pet photography services you will be offering.
Will it be outdoor dog photography only? Studio dog photography or a pet photography studio?
You might only want to offer event photography for your pet photography business.
Or offer everything outdoor, studio and events on your pet photography website.
5. Join a photography organisation
By joining a photography organisation like the Guild of photographers you will meet like minded people. Be able to enter photo competitions, learn photography skills and much more.
6. Be unique
Don’t be a copycat. Try out styles you like of other photographers. But don’t try and base your pet photography business on someone else’s style and ideas.
By developing your own unique style and being creative in your own way you will do well. Being unique will set you apart from the competition.
7. Buy photography equipment for pet photography
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in pet photography.
We all want the latest photography kit. But there are used photography equipment sites to take a look at first. Some the photography gear from these sites are like new.
So you are probably wondering what is the best lens for dog photography? or what is the best lens for pet photography?
This will depend on the style of pet or dog photography you will be doing.
A lot of dog photographers will use a 70-200mm lens and a 24-70mm lens. Both these lenses do not need to be f2.8.
A lens with an aperture of f4 will work perfectly well for pet photography.
Interested which photography kit I use take a look on my about page >>>
As a dog photographer to get both the dogs nose and eyes in focus you will probably need an aperture of around f5.6 , f8 or sometimes higher.
8. Set up unlimited secure online photo storage
I cannot stress enough how important for a photographer secure online photo storage is.
External hard drives are expensive and do not last forever.
By using a secure online cloud photo storage your pet photography photos will be safe. With SmugMug the secure online photo storage is also unlimited uploads.
And now with SmugMug you can add Source to your plan.
SmugMug Source is storage for raw files and a whole lot more. Dead easy to use just like the normal SmugMug has always been.
How it works as a photographer
When you have finished with your photos from an event, a photo shoot or anything else. That is not it for a photographer.
By this I mean people come back and buy more photos in time, THEY REALLY DO.
Especially from event photography, you never know when a magazine might ask for a particular photo.
This has just happened to me again 5 years on from an event I photographed. A magazine wanted to use a photo for an article.
If I didn’t use the unlimited photo storage from SmugMug I would not be able to sell the photo to the magazine. This is because my external hard drive broke with all my photos on it last year. Yet again SmugMug was there to the rescue.
9. Use a photo sharing website
By Using SmugMug which is a photo sharing platform. You will make things a lot easier for yourself and your pet photography business.
SmugMug is the easiest photographers website builder to use. You will have the ability to easily share photo galleries to clients. Sell images, digital downloads and prints online straight from the photo galleries. Build a website in minutes.
As above in tip 8 you will have the added bonus of the unlimited photo storage too.
You can try SmugMug free for 14 days and save 15% off any new account