Can Pet Photography Be A Rewarding Living?
Pet photography is one of the most challenging disciplines within the business, largely because of the difficulties involved in getting the subject to pose as you would wish. Animals are not often given to being totally obedient and remaining in the same position constantly while someone takes photographs, although some are easier to deal with than others. If you have a liking for animals and a flair for photography, though, this can be one of the most satisfying ways of providing a service to the public and being paid for it.
The environment in which a pet photograph is taken can be critically important to the results. If the pet is being transported to a studio, you will have the difficulty of trying to get them to settle in an unusual environment in which they may not feel comfortable. It can help if the owner bring something with them which the pet will relate to, such as a favorite toy or something from the home which they seem drawn to. The advantage of studio pictures is that the photographer can work with backgrounds and lighting which they know well and work with constantly, improving the chances of success.
The alternative of having the pet photographs taken in the home of the owner has the advantage that the pets will feel more at home and comfortable, although this does not guarantee that they will be better behaved or more willing to be photographed. The disadvantage, of course, is that the photographer will have far more work to do in finding a suitable background and making sure that the light is as it should be. Even if you can get the pet to stand where you want them to in front of a backdrop, you may find that the lighting angles do not produce a satisfying result.
The issues of background and lighting are the fundamentals of successful pet photography, and they need to be studied in depth by anyone wanting to enter this profession. There are no formal education requirements for photographers in this discipline, as they are usually freelance, but there is a need to learn the techniques thoroughly before you start. If you are not already a highly proficient photographer, you will benefit greatly from taking a college course in which these issues will be fully covered. This does not necessarily mean studying at a campus, as there are online alternatives.
This is also a discipline which can be practiced by many people without the need for formal study, as they will have friends or family members who will will have pets, and who will only be too willing to pose them for a free test portfolio. If you are lucky enough to be in this position, it makes sense to take advantage of it and to take as many photographs as you can. You can never do too much practicing, as anything which does not work out can simply be deleted. As long as you are continuing to learn, there is no reason not to keep shooting.
If you have the ambition to make pet photography your living, you will need to be based in an area which offers enough potential customers to provide a constant supply. If this proves difficult, it may be necessary to branch out and offer other related services. This could be other types of portraits, or it could be a video service still aimed at pets. Advertising your service should be relatively easy online as there is unlikely to be a great deal of competition, but be sure to take advantage of all free adverising opportunities for pet photography.Author: Marc Knox
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