If you’re already a professional, there are LOTS of reasons to start shooting pets. For one, you’re probably doing some anyway because we all get those occaisional requests –but are you doing it well, or just faking it?
Don’t discount the value of adding pets to your portfolio! People often assume that pet owners won’t spend like the average family portrait customer, but my data tells a different story. We see almost the same sales totals from pet sessions vs non-pet sessions. And unlike adding a complete new genre (like adding portraits if you’re a wedding photographer or vice versa) you can use the same price lists and product lines — and even use a lot of the same props and shooting locations.
But take the time to learn it right. Handling pets and managing the session is very different and if you’re not paying attention to the differences, you can quickly become frustrated. Your pet clients love it when you roll out the red carpet for their pets and just like their pets, they will be loyal if they’re well treated. Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider before you decide to add pet photography to your existing business:
1. Do you re-brand, or have a separate logo and website for pets?
2. How long should a pet session last? Answers are all over the map on this one, do you know why?
3. Studio or location only? Is it worth renting studio space just to shoot pets?
4. Do I run specials to get started? Where do pet clients come from?
5. What type of average sales can I expect and where do I advertise?
Join us for Unleashed 2012 in Dallas, June 2-4th as we go in to all of these questions and more. Oh, and did I mention the sexy live models?