By Priyanka Paul*
Pet photography is an art where we aim to capture the soul of pets and the beauty of their goofy, crazy world!
It comes as a surprise to many that pet photography is a profession and is gaining popularity. However, this is not new for pet owners. Pet owners have always tried to capture the right moments with their pets and have countless pictures of them stored on their phone or computer. But, quantity does not always equal quality and they are left unsatisfied. This need to capture the perfect fun-filled moments with their pets has resulted in the increase in pet photography services. In my opinion, it is better to have a small collection of creatively captured pet photos that showcases the true personality of pets.
Another factor that has played an important part in the growth of this profession is the bond between pets and their parents (not owners). Pets are no more being treated as guard animals or a status symbol, but are seen as a part of the family. Rather, they are family! Pet parents understand that they deserve love, attention, and care just like humans. This is clearly evident on social media platforms where people not only have their personal accounts but also pet accounts. Pet parents want to showcase their love for their fur buddies in every possible way, be it celebrating birthdays, ‘gotcha’ days or just a picnic experience. Pets are constantly doing something that is photo worthy – even when they’re being naughty, and the need to capture these priceless expressions has created a place for professional pet photography in people’s lives.
Down The Memory Lane
While I was aware of the growing demand for pet photographers, the decision to take it up as a profession was not pre-planned or even something I thought I would be doing in the long run. Photography was my passion and I have always felt that it is more about pictures that narrate stories. Being a product and fashion photographer for 2 years, I have always felt lack of emotion and inspiration. It was during this time that I found my reason to start OneShutterMoments as a pet photography service. The idea came from a simple, yet beautiful incident that I witnessed on a normal sunny day. As I was taking my regular evening walks, I happened to notice a woman at a distance who stepped down from her vehicle with a large bucket. All the strays began to gather around her. Curious, I walked a little faster to understand what she was trying to do. As I reached a little closer, I saw her filling food into bowls from the bucket she carried. She gently placed one bowl for each dog and waited until they licked their bowls clean. She then sat down, cuddled, and played with them. As I stood there watching her, I was overwhelmed by her actions, the joy she was spreading, and the happy wagging tails. This was their moment and they were living it to the fullest. Though I couldn’t capture that special scene, it still remains close to my heart. I knew then, that if I had to do something with my camera it would be to capture moments that spoke a thousand words, just like the scene I witnessed. Ever since, I’ve been capturing the beautiful moments of pets and cherishing every memory.
Wet Noses, Fanning Tails, And Drooly Kisses – A New Experience Everday
The experience and process of starting a new venture has surprisingly been a smooth sail for me. The reason is definitely the love I have for animals, which makes work seem more of a fun experience. Every pet has a personality of its own. Some are goofy, some are energetic and outgoing, while others might be silent and loving. Despite their varying traits, all pets spread love and happiness. The wet noses, their fanning tails, and drooly kisses are what I look forward to. It’s not about waking up to go to work – OneShutterMoment is about waking up to new experiences every day!
Vision Behind the Camera
Being a pet photographer has its perks but the amount of time and energy that has to be invested in the process to capture that ‘one in a million’ moment that would otherwise slip away is the key element. An immense amount of planning and patience is required while allowing pets to adjust in new environment where they are being the center of attraction. While it is essential to ensure the pets’ comfort when there are new faces and bright lights being focused on them, it is our responsibility to not miss the perfect emotion or expression that captures their quirky personality. This explains that it is not just the importance of photography skills but also the vision behind each photo shoot; to understand the character of each pet, the requirement of pet parents, and the beautification of a wonderful moment – plays a vital role in this profession.
Creative Experimenting – Creating Art with Photography
To build these skills, one requires a great amount of creativity, the ability to visualize the next action or reaction of the pet and to be ready. While education in the field of photography provides knowledge about the technical skills required, the creative experimenting with different props, angles, and frames is what brings reality into each picture! It is the constant trial and error, the ongoing effort for improvement, and practice that is required to make a mark in this fast growing field of service. Although there are no specifically curated educational courses for upcoming pet photographers, one can attend various workshops and events organized by established photographers. These events help to understand the requirements of pet photography, to gain an insight into the personalities of pets and how to deal with them. There are creative workshops that inspire young minds to provoke their imagination and create art with photography.
Even with the minimum exposure given to pet photography as a profession in terms of educational resources and the general lack of awareness among people, it is slowly gaining popularity among the millennial pet parents who want to celebrate their pets and create an unforgettable experience. The increasing interest in pet photography can be partially credited to social media that is encouraging youth and the experienced alike to foray into this field and establish themselves. By looking at increasing pet adoptions and ownerships, it can be concluded that the future prospect of pet photography is bright.
*Author is the founder of OneShutterMoment. Her passion for photography and love for pets has been her source of inspiration to begin a professional pet photography service. She began OneShutterMoment in the year 2020 while she was working as a product and fashion photographer.