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.
Different types of pet photography
Here are some of the different types of photography which are in the pet photography niche.
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
Pet 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 to a specialised course for pet photography or dog photography.
4. Decide what type of pet photography services you are going to offer
What type of pet photography services will you be offering? Will it be –
Once you have decided the type of pet photography services you will offer, make sure to add these to your photography website. Clients will know exactly what to expect and what services you offer as a pet photographer.
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 of the photography gear from these sites are like new.
Best lens for pet photography
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 –
These lenses do not need to be f2.8. A lens with an aperture of f4 will work perfectly well for pet photography.
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 depending on which camera lens you are using.
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 an unlimited amount of uploads.
Storing raw files online
How it works as a photographer
When you have finished with your photos from an event, a client 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.
9. Use a photo sharing website
By using a photo sharing website you will make things a lot easier for yourself and your pet photography business. SmugMug is the easiest photography website builder to use. You have the ability to easily share photo galleries to clients. Sell images online, digital downloads and prints straight from the photo galleries.
Create a photography portfolio website
Build a portfolio 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