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Are you ready to start photographing pets?
Let’s pretend that you are an experienced photographer shooting babies, kids and families. There are only 100 of us per square mile these days. How do you set yourself apart from your competition? Start shooting pets, right? They’re cute, everybody’s got one –how hard can it be?
Think about a few of these scenarios before inviting pets in to your studio:
- What happens if Max, the black lab, refuses to look at the camera and chooses instead to take off after a squirrel? Chaos follows. Now you’re watching your profits go flying out the window as everyone takes off after him, messes up their hair and clothing, scaring the baby who erupts in to tears.
- A 50ish couple calls and books an appointment for a session with their elderly Schnauzer. After they arrive, they announce that he’s deaf and almost blind – but that’s okay, right? How do you get his attention, where do you seat the three of them and how do you make all three of them look younger, healthier and blissfully happy?
- Your favorite clients want you to photograph their new baby with their old baby – a 9 year old Golden Retriever. How do you set up the shot?
- The Smiths show up with their three Jack Russell Terriers and want great portraits but they forgot to tell you they didn’t want to be in them. Now what?
- The young couple down the street wants shots of their Australian Shepherd catching his Frisbee in mid-air, in the park, in the middle of the day on a Saturday. Are you ready?
You’re laughing now because you KNOW one of these things is going to happen to you (or already has) and you know you were unprepared. So back up a few steps. There are lots of great reasons to photograph pets and it WILL increase your sales and it WILL bring new clients in your door –but be a professional and do it thoughtfully. Take a workshop, buy a book, get some practice and build a great pet portfolio that will actually BRING in new clients. Find out what Pet lovers buy and what you have to charge to actually make a profit. Then update your website and start marketing to pet lovers. Adding pet photography brings all sorts of benefits to your existing business –not to mention puppy breath!