© Christie Newell

8 Tips for Hiring the Best Professional Pet Photographer

Capturing the essence and beauty of your beloved pets is an art, and when you're seeking a professional pet photographer, there are key factors to consider. In this insightful guide, we'll share eight essential tips to help you make the right choice.

1. Hire someone who specializes in pet photography. Yes, they exist!

The photographer 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 CPP (a Certified Professional Photographer) who specializes in pet photography. PPA photographers with their CPP credential have the training, experience, artistic eye and equipment to produce gallery-quality portraits. PPA pet photographers will not only provide you with images that exceed your expectations, but they will also shoot with color and composition in mind. Plus, they will take care of fine tuning your images: removing eye dirt, the leash from the photo, people in the background, and enhancing fur details and colors.

2. Patience and flexibility!

As you know, pets run the show, meaning sessions can take over two hours if your pet is not cooperative. Give your photographer time to get comfortable with your furry friends so they can take whatever steps are necessary to comfortably photograph your pet. For example, pros will often get down on the ground with their camera in one hand and your pet’s favorite toys in the other to capture a perfect shot. Makesure the photographer has a pet-friendly studio or is willing to drive to the location you would like your pet photographed in. This is both for your convenience as well as to ensure that your pet will be in a comfortable environment that provides the best possible conditions for your pet’s photoshoot.

3. The puppy or kitten stage is very short.

Those playful, cuddly puppies and kittens will change right before your eyes. Blink and you could miss it! You’ll want to capture these fleeting moments so that you will be able to remember them when your furry pal becomes an adult (and later 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. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to create memorabilia of these precious days.

4. Cherish the moments and capture your pet’s unique life.

The unconditional love you receive from these wonderful creatures is only for a short time. Capture those precious moments of your loyal companion in photographs before it’s too late. Many people book “rainbow sessions” for pets that are nearing the end of life, whether 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.

5. Your pet’s photography portrait can become a piece of art.

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, in larger-than-life proportions. It’s a great way to elevate the atmosphere of a room while paying homage to your furry friend.

6. Scheduling

Pets can 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!

7. Indoor & Outdoor Light.

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.

8. The eyes are the windows to the soul.

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!

Hire a Professional Pet Photographer

Hiring a photographer to capture your furry friend becomes a lot easier when you know what to look for and expect from a professional pet photographer. A Professional will take time to get acquainted with your pet, decide on a location with you, communicate directly, and fine tine their images into works of art that reflect your pet’s true essence! These same standards apply to other photography types and can be easily searched using PPA’s database, FindAPhotographer. Here, you can search by specialty, qualifications, and even first and last name!