Pet photography ranges from portraits of domesticated animals (dogs to cats to birds) to more editorial type shots that strive to capture the beauty of animals (think horse and equine photography) interacting in their natural or domestic environment. Great pet photography seeks to display, artistically, the character of the creature photographed. These shoots can be held in various locations, from studio to on-location. Most pet photographers have a sense of style and while some may shoot all sorts of animals, certain photographers tend to specialize as some shoot only and focus on specific kinds of pets.
Tips for Pet Photography
1. FIND YOUR STYLE
When choosing a pet photographer, you really want to choose someone who loves and is comfortable with your pet – someone who is allergic to cats, but loves dogs is not a great choice to shoot Kitty. By the same token, a love of dogs doesn’t mean your photographer is comfortable or has experience shooting horse photography in an arena. Seek out a photographer who has experience shooting your species of pet, let them know what you’re looking for in your pet shoot, and check out their online portfolio to check for experience and style compatibility.
2. DECIDE ON DELIVERABLES
Collaborate before the shoot with your pet photographer on what your goals are for the shoot and what you intend to do with the images. Communicating where and how you plan to use the images can help your photographer get the images you’re looking for and ensure that the final deliverables meet your expectations.
When shooting outdoors consider the comfort of your animal and try to schedule your shoot with favorable lighting conditions – usually late afternoon. By minimizing the equipment and lighting your photographer needs on the shoot, you also help to lower the stress the photo shoot may cause for your animal. When shooting in a studio, bring a favorite toy or other pet item. And in all cases, bring treats.
4. AFTER THE SHOOT
Most pet pictures will be delivered digitally. If you use SmartShoot, you can use the image preview room to select your favorites. These are often touched up in post-production (where the photographer corrects lighting, color grades or removes blemishes, etc from the image).
How much does Pet Photography cost?
Animal photography pricing will need to be set based on the type of photography (studio or in the field) required and the level of equipment and skill needed to get the shot for the client. Factors that will determine the price will be experience, equipment, travel, hazards, environmental elements and the client requirements. Some photographer will charge per session and others may charge by print. Communicate with the photographer about what their pay structure looks like and how they would like to manage rights as purchasing full rights to the images will add to the cost.