By Saloni Khatri*

Pet parents usually fail, even after many attempts, in getting good pictures of theirbeloved pet, and these furry ones are not the kind of models who will act according to given commands; one cannot control their next move.Whether it’s a trained pet or untrained, struggle for getting good pictures is quite similar in both cases. In such situation, role of pet photography comes into play.Good and professional photographs are very impactful and create such eternal memories, which take us back to the moment.    

What Is Pet Photography?   

Pet photography is not just about holding a camera and shooting pets randomly.It requires a lot of pre-planning and patience for a professional pet photoshoot.Pet photography not only demands good knowledge of the equipment and techniques but also requires knowledge about the concerned subject i.e. the pet they are going to shoot; although it’s very pleasureful experience, shooting those sweet mischievous babies.They need to develop a bond with the pet, understand their body language, and need to have a good knowledge about their mood swings; for this, it is imperative to build a healthy relationship with pet parents and their pets before beginning to shoot them. Despite the fact that it’s like a therapy being surrounded by animals, their safety remains first priority.  

Increased Opportunities For Pet Photographers

There are two major reasons of rising opportunities for pet photographers.
First one is that pet parents, who considertheir pet as their children or family member, love the idea of having a photo shoot with their little family, and feel connected to the photographer who is expressing their babies’ life. As a pet photographer always tries to bond with the pet before having a photo shoot, so chances are that for future also they would opt for the samephotographer for any event involving their pet as comfort of their fur baby is always a priority for them.A human’s life is about 100 years but a pet’s life is very short, approximately 14-15 years, and during this short life span they make us laugh andsmile, and also adjust according to our lifestyle. Pets, specifically dogs, dedicate their whole lives in keeping their hoomans happy. For every pet parent, life of their pet is really very precious. For preserving their memories, getting a high quality portrait shot with their best friend always seems to be a tempting idea for them. Another reason for attaining ample opportunities in this career option is the rise social media.With more than 3.5 billion users, social media is growing tremendously. It is now a preferred medium for businesses to reach out to their target audience. Social media includes different gigantic social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and more.

Principally, Instagram is on top of this list and is the most trending one! People love showing how much they care for their pets.As Instagram is an entirely visual platform and photography is all about capturing visuals,promoting yourself on this can turn out to be very effective for your growth. People love sharing about their day-to-day life on social media and those who have pets, they share more about them than themselves.Moreover, photo shoot of pets for Instagram is also increasing as we can see that nowadays pets have their separate pages on this platform with more followers than their hoomans. Reaching to people who have pets has become a lot easier because of the rise of social media.   

How to Increase Your Reach on Social Media?    

No doubt word-of-mouth publicity is the best for getting more projects. But photographers who areinvolved particularly in pet photography need to establish their name socially as well.There are so many pages that feature photos of pets; contacting them is one such good idea. And the best way of getting reach is collaborating with influencers of your city who have pets. For them it will be a very different shoot experience. Moreover, if you have premium quality pictures, they will love supporting you. One thing I would suggest is approaching food bloggers; it is more beneficial as compared to other bloggers. Reason behind this suggestion is that food bloggers’ main target audience belongs to their own city,which can help you in reaching people of your own city.        
Pet accessories and pet food shops also prefer shoot for their products by pet photographers.
Visual content for marketing plays a huge role in determining sales. Such shopkeepers love the idea of having product and service shoot, which will help them for sales and marketing; infact shopkeepers even share their pet parent customers’ data base, and do a very good word-of-mouth publicity too. 

Pet Photography as a Mainstream Career Option           

People who are already passionate about photography and also love animals can really get into this. As the pet market is growing in India, making good amount of money out of this for living has become easier.An average package can start from 8000 INR to 10,000 INR. It can differ in different citiesand also increases with experience. However, it needs good fitness level to be a pet photographer because you have to be very fast and focusedfor getting that one perfect shot captured.The studio portraits will capture a lasting memory, and the location portraits will highlight relationship of the pets with their family at home or other outdoor locations. Individuals as well as organizations involved in pet business require the services that we provide in order to showcase great depth in their pictures. Pets have become an important part of the family, so people easily accept the idea of appointing a pet photographer,all you have to do is give them pictures which are worth their expectations and desires.Initially, it may be a little tough for people who have recently developed their interest in pet photography and are willing to get into it as a mainstream career without any experience, but a little extra effort can help them reach their goals in no time. Pet photography itself involves different sub categories; for beginners, best is to explore all of them and then get specialized in their field of interest.        

Pet Photographers are Artists

Photography is a form of visual arts and pet photographers, specifically, are real artists as their subject is somebody who doesn’t know what exactly is happening around. Pets are autonomous beings and pet photographers have to adjust themselves and their cameras according to their mobility. Then raw pictures taken by them need to be edited and a little colour correction always helps.Combining fine arts with photography is also in trend and people really love it.I personally have made a different category in my packages named ‘manipulation in pictures’, which gives me more appreciation and more clients.Dogs are the purest souls and their life is very unique,it’s like a fairy tale and for me getting that mood in pictures matters the most.Sites like shutterstock and getty images help in selling pictures, which can be used for marketing. As the number of pets is increasing continuously on scale, it has become more beneficial for photographers to establish themselves as pet photographers and choose it as a mainstream career option.

Helping Shelters and Animal Organizations           

We cannot predict suffering of stray animals. If you are skilled at photographing animals then why not to take pictures of stray animals and try to change everyone’s perception for them. This can even help animal shelters and organizationsin getting their animals adopted as good pictures do have a power to change the perception of people and the way they look at these helpless beings. This kind gesture also helps in your skill development as shooting shelter animals and strays is altogether a different experience!  

*Author is a 19 year old pet photographer/cinematographer from central India. She recently started her own venture ‘Sniff Stories’. She has fine arts and filmmaking background, so she loves giving a cinematic and artistic look to the pictures. She has 3 rescued pets.

She can be reached at rsalonikhatri@gmail.com. You can find her on Instagram @sniff_stories.petphotography.

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