Not Just A Pet Photographer
Pets have always been a huge part of my life and my career. I grew up with many. I worked as a registered veterinary technologist for 10 years. I’ve been involved in dog sports for 8 years. I learnt how to use my camera shooting flyball. I have experience with ALL types of domestic animals. It’s easy to see I’m pretty obsessed with pets, especially dogs!
So some might wonder why, after almost 7 years in business, I haven’t decided to move to being strictly a pet photographer. Believe me, it crosses my mind quite often! I think, if I did just pet photography, would more people trust in me to be able to get great images of their pets? Well, there are a few reasons that come to mind when I talk myself out of becoming only a pet photographer.
One of the working environments I thrive in is one where the days are never the same. It’s one of the things I enjoyed as a veterinary technologist. Photography is a quite different, but sort of the same, instead I want my days to be different in a creative way. Shooting things other than pets allows me to be creative in various ways. It also gives me inspiration to use towards pets, and vice versa.
I don’t want to limit myself. I always want to be able and open to try something new. I never want to turn down an inquiry that doesn’t include pets, just because I only shoot pets. I recently was asked by a local singer/songwriter if I would shoot a cover for their new single as well as promotional images for it. It felt amazing to be hired for the job, the session was so much fun, it totally filled my creative bucket, and now a photo I took is on Spotify. If I was only a pet photographer, that opportunity would never have happened. And that’s just one example.
Shooting not only pets, but also people regularly, gives me the experience to mix the two. I absolutely love engagement sessions, and pets are commonly included. I love having to capturing a couple’s love for each other, while being able to include their pet, and have the ability to provide great images of everyone and not just the pet. I definitely don’t want to lose my ability to photograph people the way I do by limiting myself to only shooting pets.
I know that a lot of people consider me a pet photographer, and that’s great! I mean, they make up the majority of my work, so why not? But I also love being called a wedding photographer, a family photographer, and now even a car photographer! I absolutely want my business to continue to be mostly about pets, but there’s a lot of other things I enjoy having in front of my camera as well.
What does it mean to specialize in a certain genre, such as pet photography? It means that I can read the body language of a pet and I know how to change it. You wouldn’t want a child frowning in your photos. There are lots things that dogs do that I wouldn’t want to see in a photograph. It means I know what position a pet looks great in. It would be the same as shooting a person from an unflattering angle. Our pets should be photographed in a flattering way as well. It means I know how to find out what will bring out the real personality of your pet. It’s the same as making fart jokes to a young boy to get them to have real smiles! You can have this kind of knowledge and specialize in something, while still being open to so much more.
My goal is that even though I’m not just a pet photographer, I’m still able to gain the trust from all pet owners to work with their pets and get amazing images of them. As a pet owner myself, I’m extremely picky on who I trust to interact with my pets, such as pet sitters, veterinary staff, those that help with training, etc. It wouldn’t surprise me that someone would only trust a photographer that 100% works with pets, I totally get that! But having a photographer that is creatively open to more than one genre, means a photographer that will always have new ideas to bring, won’t have cookie cutter sessions where they always supply the same kind of images, and a photographer who isn’t stuck in a creative rut.