Posts Tagged ‘pet photography business’

Photographer Creates Dog Photography and Modeling Business

From the article:

What began as a hobby to take Guelphite Joann Pearsall’s mind off her cancer has turned into a thriving photography and dog modeling business.

Operating from home, Pearsall goes to clients with her equipment and sometimes her dog models in tow.

Her photography has been featured in advertisements in 12 dog magazines in the last eight months including Modern Molosser, Canine Chronicle and Dog News.

Click here for the full article, and for more photography business and coaching, be sure to visit (text mycoupon to 82257 for your coupon code).  See you there!

Pet Photography Q and A with Andrew Darlow

Andrew Darlow, pro photographer and author of the book:
Pet Photography 101: Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your
Dog or Cat (Focal Press) has kindly agreed to answer some
of our readers' questions on the subject of pet photography.

Pet Photography Q & A (Questions by Shuttermom readers and Shuttermom
University members, Answers by Andrew Darlow)

Hello! First, I'd like to thank Cindy Bracken and everyone who asked
a question for me to answer for this article-that makes my job much
easier! I've been photographing and making prints of people and their
pets for over 10 years, and over that time period, I've learned a lot
about what works and what doesn't work. Of course, I'll be sharing my
own opinions, and what has worked for me may not always work for you.
So without further ado, let's get the treat ball rolling…

Q: How do I get my pet photography business going?

A: Pet Photography, like other forms of portrait photography, can be
handled in many ways. I'm going to assume that you have the technical
part down, and you want to focus on the business side of things.
Definitely start with the great resources inside of ShutterMom University
(but I'm guessing you know that!). One way to quickly start getting
assignments is to begin by contacting pet-related businesses.
Groomers are at the top of my list. One idea is to work with
a groomer to set aside a specific day in which you do a photo session
for no sitting fee (or a low sitting fee), but if the client likes
one or more of the photos (which you should show to them on a nice laptop
or other screen), they can be offered a few specific packages. One
approach is to make the packages available only if they order that day
(or a discount/special offer can be offered). Of course, they can order
more later, but I think that taking the order right after the photo shoot
is the best approach.  It's also important to have at least one example
of everything you are planning to offer.

Other good pet-related businesses are Vets, dog and cat daycare/boarding
facilities, training facilities/obedience schools and and stores who sell
pet-related products. 

After the photo shoot, you can put the photos up on a site that helps
photographers display and sell their prints and other products, but it's
even better to meet with people in person if possible at your studio or
their home (with a projector and screen or large screen monitor/TV).
I use Zenfolio for online proofing/sales, and I'm very happy with it
overall. You can see a non-password protected gallery on my Zenfolio
site here:

Q: I love photographing pets. What about outfits? Should I supply them?
I would like to keep costs down.

A: I don't think you should supply any outfits for the pets. I would,
however, recommend that you ask the pets' owners to bring a few outfits.
I would also ask them to keep their clothing choices in mind if they
want to be photographed together with their pet. They don't have to
match their pet(s), but they should compliment each other.
Accessories are a different story, and very useful. I would have
some pet-safe sunglasses, a few different types of hats, and pet-safe
items that fit in with the season, depending on the time of year.
A plastic cupid's arrow is a good example for Valentine's Day, and
bunny ears are a perennial favorite for either Easter or Halloween.
I would keep backgrounds and tables (ideal for small dogs) simple.
Brown muslin backdrops are good, as are beige, black, red and purple
silk-like, wrinkle free fabrics-check fabric stores for these.
See my Zenfolio sample gallery linked above for some examples.

Q: I always have trouble with white dogs and cats. In the home studio,
there's no problem, but at the location pet store we do shoots (with
the overhead flourescent lights), they just don't come out the same.

A: I would re-create the light you use in the home studio instead of
relying on the store's lighting. As long as you set your aperture to
about f/8 and shoot at 1/125 sec. at about 200-400ASA, you should be able
to make the flash do all the work (essentially negating the effect of
the store's lighting). There are many good portable flash units and
portable power options as well. The other advice I'd give is not to
photograph white dogs and cats on a white surface. Instead choose just
about anything else. Having some falloff from one side (not lighting
them straight on) can also help give their fur more detail, and the
photos will just look more natural (similar to daylight streaming in
from a window).

Q: What is a good getting started price to charge? 

A: I don't have a good answer for this, because there are so many
variables. You can see what others in your area are charging to get
some idea of the market, but pricing is really about what you need to
charge to stay in business and keep moving forward in both slow times a
and busy times. Also consider your taxes, overhead, insurance, etc.

Q: What are some tricks to use to get pets attention? 

A: I recently wrote a whole article on this topic, so I think it's
best to just link to it:

Q: How do you keep from getting green glow eyes?

A: The best way is not to use on-camera flash, and if you do use flash,
keep it at least about a foot away from the lens. To remove
red-eye/green-eye, there are a few options. You can
generally use the same tools as those used for human red-eye.
Another option is to use "Replace Color" in Photoshop CS4 or CS5.
Just target the green and change its color to something more appropriate.

BIO- Andrew Darlow

Andrew Darlow is photographer, writer and digital imaging consultant.
He is editor of, an online imaging blog/magazine.
His photography and technical articles have been featured in numerous
magazines and websites, including Photo District News, PDN Gear
Guide, Popular Photography, Rangefinder, Professional Photographer,
Studio Photography and iMagazine (Japan).

Over the past 15 years, he has taught thousands how to improve their
photography, workflow and digital print output at conferences, industry
events, and educational institutions, including the PDN PhotoPlus Expo,
PhotoImaging & Design Expo, the Arles Photo Festival (Arles, France),
the School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, and the International
Center of Photography ICP) in New York.

His book, 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques: An Essential Printing Resource
for Photographers, (Course Technology PTR) was chosen as the winner in the
"Photography: Instructional/How-To" category of The National Best Books
2008 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. Free excerpts and the table of
contents are available for download on the book's companion site at

His newest book, Pet Photography 101: Tips for Taking Better Photos of
Your Dog or Cat (Focal Press) covers tips and techniques for photographing
people and their pets. Excerpts and more info can be found at

Follow him on Twitter:
or Facebook:

Mobile Pet Photography

Kathy McBride, the owner of Pet Shotz animal photography, has created her own mobile pet photography business. From the article:

Kathy McBride has been traveling to residences and businesses alike for several months to photograph both pets and their people and finds “it is well received.”"Many people like the convenience of a home photo shoot, particularly if they want their pets included,” McBride said in a news release. “They are intrigued by the idea of a professional shoot right in the comfort of their own homes or businesses. They especially like the idea of staying home with their animals.”

Click here for the full article, and be sure to join in the fun over at Shuttermom University for more great photography business ideas and tips.  See you there!

Are your prints dull?

Tired of dull prints?  Mama Shan of PhotoshopMama shows us how to get great color!  Enjoy the video, and I’ll see you over at Shuttermom University for more photography tips, lessons, and business coaching.

Do you have a promo video for your photo biz?

Want to put your photography business ahead of the competition when it comes to building relationships, getting more calls, and booking more clients?  Looking for a relatively inexpensive way to market your photography business?  Look no further than your video camera.

Promotional videos are becoming more popular, and for good reason.  If you want potential clients to be able to see you working and interacting with clients, video is the way to go.  You can also speak directly to potential clients through video.  This gives them the feeling that they already know you before they call.  Video is also a great way to show off your still images, and can easily be embedded into your website or blog.  Check out the promo videos below.  One is very simple, the other more complex.  Both of them are a great way to get more business.

If you are new to video, start out with an inexpensive flip video camera and have a friend shoot you during a session. Set it to music and include some still shots (using windows movie maker or whatever came with your computer). There’s your first video.

Want to know more?  There is a full 21 minute video on the what, why and how of promotional video for your photo biz on the members only side of Shuttermom University.  Come and join in the fun for less than $5 a month (and use coupon code 80BE6FB23E for a 10% savings today and tomorrow only)!  See you there!

Natural light tutorial

Hi There!  I came across this natural light tutorial and thought that you might enjoy it.  By the way, I just added my popular Natural Light Project to the members side of Shuttermom University!  Be sure to check it out.  Enjoy the video, and I’ll see you there.

Photography Biz Marketing Tip

I just posted a new tip on marketing your portrait photography business by partnering with dentists and orthodontists.  You can see the whole post by going to and clicking on the “discussions” tab.  Be sure to click the “like” button while you’re there to become a fan!  See you there.

What to do when clients procrastinate?

You had a great shoot and captured some fantastic images. The client raved about
how much she loved them, but it has now been over a month and still no order. Sound
familiar? Here are some tips to get clients to complete their orders in a timely manner:

1. Charge session fees
Most of you probably already do this, which is good. If you don’t charge session
fees, and then the clients don’t place an order, you are simply out of luck (and
money !). You NEED and DESERVE to be paid for your time and talent. The
session fee is a way to make sure that this happens.
Some photographers go the route of charging a very large session fee, and then
charging very low print prices. This way, they make their money up front (for their
time and talent), and do not have to rely on selling prints or packages.

2. Build print credits into your session fees
Building a print credit into your session fee encourages your client to order, and it
also guarantees that you are being paid (at least for a few prints) even if the
client is slow to order. I would recommend doing at least $50 as a print credit.
So, for example, if your session fee is $150, then $50 of that goes toward a print
credit. Make this clear to your clients so that they understand. This credit can be
applied to a package or ala carte prints.

3. Show proofs in person
It has been proven that your sales increase when you show proofs in person
(projection is optimal). The emotional impact goes way down with an online
gallery only. Ideally, you should strive to take orders immediately after the proof
showing, but of course this isn’t always going to happen. If you can, show
projected proofs in person, and THEN make the online gallery available so that
they can complete their orders at home.

4. Limit the number of proofs that you show
I would say no more than 10 to 15 images. When you offer too many images,
the client simply has too hard a time making a decision (especially if some of the
images are very similar). Narrow down the options, and the client will have an
easier time ordering.

5. Enforce deadlines
Have deadlines in place and then enforce them. Don’t cave. Offer to have
their online gallery up for one week, and then start charging a hosting fee. Also,
if you offer a print credit, have an expiration date when that credit will expire.

6. Give incentives for ordering on time
Tell your clients that they will save 10% or so by ordering within 5 days. After that,
no discount will be offered. Make sure they are very clear on this (state it in your
contract and remind them). If you don’t want to do a discount, you could offer
them an additional free print if their order is completed within your chosen

7. Remind them by email, phone, or postcard
First reminder – at the in person proof session
Second reminder – email or call after two days to see if they need assistance
Third reminder – the day before the gallery or discount expires (phone call is

Bottom line: don’t feel like the bad guy for having and enforcing policies. You are
in business to make money. If you clearly state all of your policies (and go over
them in person with the client), then there should be no arguments about time
frames and ordering.

Like this blog post?  It was taken directly from Shuttermom University! For more photography business and technical tips, come join in the fun.  See you there!

Aaron Eckhart - Fashion Photographer?

I found this article about the actor Aaron Eckhart and how he is aspiring to be a photographer and thought you all might find it interesting. From the article:

“He may have been all about fighting Batman in the The Dark Knight, but Aaron Eckhart tells PEOPLE that he has a new real life obsession — fashion photography!”

Click here for the full article, and be sure to visit us over at Shuttermom University for more photography lessons and business coaching!  The BRAND NEW Shuttermom University is launching soon!

Meet Greg Lumley

I recently did an interview with photographer Greg Lumley.  We became facebook friends and I really admire his gorgeous wedding photography!  Hope you enjoy the images and reading a little about Greg.  His website may be found at  For more photography and business tips and coaching, come visit us at Shuttermom University.

SM:  Tell us a little about you (where are you from, are you married, do you have kids, etc.)
Married with two children one 8 and the other is 18months, both girls! That’s going to be fun a little later ;)

SM: What made you get into photography?
GL: I’ve always had a “thing” for capturing time, I tried to take photos when I was a lot younger but neither of my parents were particularly interested so it never really got fed. I remember taking photos of this amazing Jackson 5 video on TV as a teenager, they had all this stardust they were throwing it looked amazing for the time, I tried to capture it using an instamatic on with ASA 100 film and full flash, I had no clue what I was doing… I was quite disappointed when the photos came back, the TV was “off.”

SM:  When and how did you start your photography business
About 5 years ago, before that I worked as a Sound engineer in the TV industry for 10 years (I think this is where a lot of my photographic influence came from, I was always interested in lighting and directing people) Eventually I got bored with the TV industry and got into programming, sounds like a strange change but by then everything was running on computers and I wanted to learn more. It was my first daughter that really kicked it off… I got fed up with missing shots because of slow cameras so I spent a little more money and bought a digital SLR… as my shots got better people started to ask me if I would shoot portraits and events.

SM:  What is the most rewarding thing about photographing weddings?
Being appreciated so much for what I love doing and being hired for what I do and my style and way of doing it.

SM:  What is the most difficult thing about photographing weddings?
I’m sure every wedding photographer answers the same: It’s a once off event, if the light is awful or someone steps into your shot as the bride walks down the aisle you have to deal with it, there is no going back.

SM:   Do you have a studio?
I don’t have  a studio, most of my work is done on location, I’ve got 5 Alien Bee studio lights (including a Ring Light) and a Vagabond portable power supply.

SM:   What type of photography do you like doing best?
That’s a difficult one, I’d say the biggest satisfaction is getting that shot that I would be proud to show my piers is what drives me most, it could be Weddings, Fashion or Landscape. What I specifically like about wedding photography is that I’m working with people and I’m not limited in my creativity, I’m the Creative Director.

SM:  What type of photography do you do most?
Weddings without a doubt!

SM:  What is your photography style?
Stunning and spontaneous! That’s what I tell my clients anyway, I like shooting dramatic different work using off camera lighting a lot but there is nothing better than getting a great natural moment on camera!

SM:   Do you remember the first wedding you shot? Tell us about it.
Yes it was a friend’s wedding,  she had a low budget and could not afford the “big guys”, years later I’m a lot better but even now I’m not unhappy with what I gave her. What I remember most is the stress! I still stress but because of the experience I have I’m a lot more controlled and know what to expect even when the unexpected happens.

SM:   What type of marketing do you do to get wedding clients?
Mostly word of mouth and my website, I cannot emphasise how important it is to have a good website that is updated regularly! I also brand all low res images supplied to the client because many of them appear on Facebook.

SM:   What are some of your favourite places to shoot?
That’s a good one, I’d say anywhere with interesting people and architecture a few years ago I went to Argentina, the culture change was amazing and so were the people, it was so easy to get really great pictures!! I’d love to go to Cuba or Mexico or New Orleans.

SM:  What is your advice for aspiring wedding photographers?

GL: a. Know what you are going to shoot and when!,

b. Shoot manually when you are in low pressure situations, experiment (not at a paid wedding!!!)

c. If you don’t know what “M”,”AV”,”TV” mean or how to use them call the bride and tell her to find another photographer.

d. Don’t mess around with cheap equipment it is generally slow to focus and will lose you shot after shot apart from the fact that the lenses are slow.

e. Expect the unexpected

f. If you don’t have a backup camera call the bride up and tell her to find another photographer!

g. Shoot the wedding like it were your own but remember, it’s not your wedding!

h. Be prepared, have backup gear, I’ve had a flash break on me as well as one of my camera’s because I had backups they bride never knew anything was wrong.

14. What do you like to do outside of photography?
Films and socialising, we’ve got a great group of friends and my wife loves watching movies too.

SM:   Who are some photographers that you admire?
There are so many brilliant people out there, but:

Weddings: Ben Chrisman I love that he is extremely creative but also captures the most incredible joy in his shots

Editorial: Joe McNally, everybody loves Joe! He shows just what can be done with a bag full of equipment and limited time and I’m an off camera flash addict!

Portraiture: Sam Jones, damn this guy is good, he is brilliant at avoiding the obvious, his concepts are so clever!

Candid and photojournalism: Alfred Eisenstadt, he was one of the originals to recognise and capture moments, many people won’t have any idea who he is but they will all know at least one of his images.

SM:   What is in your camera bag?
2x Canon 5d MII (I really  love the low light ability of this camera!!)
1x 24-105 f4 IS (I love this lens for the 5d’s I’ve never really had the urge to get the 24.70 2.8 because the IS excellent and the reach is too) my ideal lens would be the 24-105 “2.8” IS (it would probably be the size of a small barrel!)
1×17-40 f4 – Great wide lens

1×70-200 2.8 IS this lens is incredible, it’s incredibly sharp and a pleasure to use.

1×100mm 2.8 Macro – although this is not a “pro” lens this thing is incredibly quick to focus and use in low light for people shots! Of course it’s a macro too which does not hurt!

1x 8mm MC peleng fisheye – this is more of a toy and personally I prefer it on a 40D or anything that has a 1.6 multiplier, it suffers from flare like you can’t believe but get it into the right situation and it’s very good for its money.

Polariser for my L-Lenses

Canon 580ex MII Flash
Canon 430ex Flash
4x Pocket Wizard Plus2’s

1x Pocket Wizard TT5 (more so I can have pocket wizard and an on camera flash for fill when I need it)

2x Nikon sb28’s (Yes you got it NIKON!) since I use them on manual with my pocket wizards it does not matter that they don’t “talk” to my canon and they are only used for off camera flash.

Thanks, Greg!  Be sure to check out Greg’s website at and his blog at

June 2011
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