9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pet Photographer

Having your pet professionally photographed is an investment. Make sure you hire someone who specializes in capturing pets in a way that will make you smile. So, how do you find the best fit for your furry pal? Ask these questions and you’ll be sure to find the best pet photographer for your non-human friends.

Dogs and cats aren’t inclined to stay in one place; they smell things and chase balls! Check the photographer’s website to verify that they indeed have experience producing the kind of photography you would like for your furry friend. Your photographer should be used to working with animals and engaging with them to bring out their unique personality and beauty.

Pets are very special beings. Until you have one of your own, you never truly understand them. That’s why photographers who have pets often relate better with your furry friends. They’ll know how to put you two at ease and capture the most natural-looking photographs.

PPA photographers do more than just snap pictures. They have the training, experience, and equipment to produce gallery-quality portraits. And they have to abide by a strict code of ethics. They will not only provide you with images that you never thought possible, they will take care of fine-tuning your images: removing eye bugs, the leash, people in the background or enhancing fur details and colors.

The goal is to determine how well-prepared the photographer is. Does he/she have goodies for their furry subjects or props to create unique shots – treats, squeaky toys, balls, blankets and more? And if they don’t know your dog’s breed, how will they prepare to best interact with them? A photo session with a German Shepherd is very different than one with a Chihuahua. A well-trained German Shepherd can hold poses for long periods of time whereas a Chihuahua is food motivated so stinky treats are a must.

Your pet photography session should be a fun, comfortable experience for you and your pet. If your pet doesn’t like your photographer, there’s nothing that will change your pet’s feelings.

Professionals will photograph your furry pals wherever they can be themselves and their spirit and personality can be captured. Sessions can be done in your home, in your back yard, in a park or in a studio. Pros know how to adapt to their surroundings and make lighting adjustments in any situation. Most pet photographers will spend time getting to know you and your furry pal before your session. This is so they can learn about your dog's personality and make sure your pet feels comfortable with them and the environment. Throughout the photo shoot, they will use positive energy, toys, treats and fun to engage with your pet and capture images that best express your dog’s personality and your relationship with them.

Dogs will be dogs and cats will be cats. They do what they want to do and they really don’t care if the clock is ticking. Let’s say you book a “mini” 30-minute session and right when the pet photographer says “time’s up”, your pet does the most adorable pose ever! Professional pet photographers know and anticipate these things and as such, should put you at ease, so that your expectations are understood and met.

Don’t be fooled by seemingly super low rates. A lot of photographers undercut their standard session fee because they aren’t running a legitimate business or don’t have the experience. Make sure you convey your own expectations clearly. This goes for your session timing, budget, image printing, delivery methods, timelines, etc. Ask to see recent clients’ proofing galleries. You’ll see a variety of poses and settings that will help you determine if the photographer represents the style you are looking for.

Do we reschedule the session? What’s the photographer’s plan B in case something messes up an ideal outdoor location? Will he/she still be able to produce good images with a muddy or drenched pet? What’s included in the contract? Knowing how prepared your photographer is and asking for the details to be spelled out is very important. It goes back to setting and sharing your expectations clearly, so that your photographer can meet or even surpass them!

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8 Tips for Pawsitive Photo Sessions

Have you ever wondered how pet photographers capture those candid, playful poses so that the picture comes to life in front of your eyes? Pet photography is a very particular niche... the dogs and cats run the show, but a great pet photographer knows how to capture the spirit and beauty of your furry pal forever. So, Spike and Fluffy, the next time your mom and dad schedule your photo session, ask them to follow these tips to make everybody smile!

He or she should have experience working with animals and be able to bring out their unique personality and beauty. Great pet photographers know how to engage with pets and capture your favorite companions in a way that will make you smile. Ideally, you want to hire a PPA (Professional Photographers of America) pet photographer. PPA photographers have the training, experience, artistic eye and equipment to produce gallery-quality portraits. PPA pet photographers will not only provide you with images that you never thought possible, but will shoot with color and composition in mind. Plus, they will take care of fine tuning your images: removing eye bugs, the leash from the photo, people in the background, and enhancing fur details and colors.

Pets run the show so a session can take over two hours if your pet is not cooperative. Let the photographer get comfortable with your furry friends so that he or she can do whatever’s needed to photograph your pet. Pros will often get down on the ground with camera in one hand and your pet’s favorite toys in the other to capture that perfect shot! Also make sure that the photographer has a pet-friendly studio or is willing to drive to your home or the location you want your pet photographed in. This is for your convenience as much as to ensure your pet will find a friendly environment that will create the best possible conditions for your pet’s photo session.

Those playful, cuddly puppies and kittens will change as if before your eyes – blink, and you could miss it! You’ll want to capture those moments so that you will be able to remember them when your furry pal becomes an adult and eventually a senior. This is the sweetest and most innocent phase of your pet’s life, so the sooner you immortalize it in photography, the better. That time won’t last and most people wish they had some memorabilia of these sweet days. Don’t miss that opportunity!

The unconditional love you receive from these wonderful creatures is only for a short time. So before it’s too late, capture those precious moments of your loyal companion with photographs. Many people today book “rainbow sessions” for pets that are nearing the end of life due to old age or an illness. It’s great to get those photo opportunities in before it’s too late, but why not take photos of your furry pal every couple of years when he or she is still strong and healthy? That way when they do pass, you’ll have something to illustrate their whole life.

Pet photographers work many different angles to capture your pet’s unique personality. Imagine the action shots, the cute poses and expressions framed perfectly on your wall, at larger than life proportions.

Pets convey many characteristics. From a lazy cat yawning to a playful puppy, your photographer should always schedule your sessions according to your pet’s personality. If you have a wild puppy or kitten, schedule your session when you know your pet will be tired out. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your pet is lazy, this could be great for capturing close-up shots. It’s imperative for a professional photographer to capture your pet’s true essence! It’s what will make your photographs so endearing.

Professional photographers know how to use light to make your pet look their best whether it is in their studio, in your home or backyard, or at your favorite park. They have the expertise, artistry and equipment to beautifully light and capture the unique features of your pet. Worried that your black dog will look like a blob or your white dog will have no detail in their coat? No need to worry with a pro! Whether they use natural light, location flashes or studio strobes, pros know how to use light to show detail in your dog's fur and make them look their best.

A great professional pet photographer will always capture photographs of your pet’s eyes. Look for plenty of images showing pets’ eyes when viewing photographers’ portfolios. It truly is amazing to see their beautiful eyes full of expression!