Professional photos of your furry best friend are the perfect way to add charm and personality to your walls. Whether you’re looking to get photos taken of your new kitten while she’s still tiny or a few great shots of the beloved family dog you’ve had for years, a fun photoshoot will help you capture memories of your companion for years to come. Here are a few tips that will help you find the very best photographer for both you and your pet.
What do they do best?
Getting a dog, cat, or other animal to sit still and look at the camera is no easy feat, especially in an unfamiliar environment. You need a photographer with the patience and skill set to beautifully capture your pet’s unique personality. Look for a photographer who loves animals, understands animal behavior, and specializes in pet photography. Pet photography is very different than other genres. While family photographers may allow pets in the family's session, they often are not equipped with the knowledge and skills to work with pets.
What experience do they have?
Make sure your photographer has ample experience photographing pets -- and, in particular, your type of pet. Not all animals act the same, and even different cat or dog breeds can behave drastically differently. Ask about your photographer’s previous experience and the animals he or she feels the most comfortable photographing. Consider choosing a pet photographer that works with rescues. They will have experience with many different breeds, sizes, ages, and temperaments.
What’s their style?
Each pet photographer will have their own unique style. Do you want formal, posed photos of your pet or more casual and candid shots? Are you looking for fun, bright colors or classic black and white images? Do you want more artistic images to display on your wall or a classic photo for your Christmas card? Take a careful look at your potential photographer’s portfolio and decide whether their previous work matches your vision. If you don't see what you're looking for, describe what you have in mind and ask if they can do that. They may be able to accommodate your needs. Your photographer should want to have a conversation to understand what you want, to be able to bring your ideas to life.
What do they offer?
Every pet photographer offers different packages and levels of service. Look for a photographer whose offers various options to fit your needs. Ask whether they’d be willing to travel to your home or your pet's favorite spot. Do you want a photographer who will just show up at a location then email you the files or do you prefer one that will consult with you prior to the session to learn about your dog, your style and decor and will guide you and create custom one-of-a-kind artwork for your home?
What will the session be like?
Find how long the photoshoot will be. Some photographers may impose a time limit. It's important to have enough time for your dog to feel comfortable with the photographer and the location. Dogs also need time for breaks and rest. It should be more like a play session for your dog, free of stress. Do you want a photographer that schedules in 20 minute blocks of back-to-back mini sessions or do you prefer for your dog to be the only session that day, so that you can let your dog set the tone and pace of the session?
A great pet photographer will be able to perfectly capture your pet's personality, creating meaningful images and artwork to cherish for a lifetime. So don't put it off! Schedule a session for your companion, because they can't do it themselves!