You may not need to develop a photographic studio to start. You may look instead at the idea of making house calls. The pet may be more relaxed due to the familiarity of the home and the common backdrops of the home may provide a stronger family link to the resulting photograph.
Be sure to include props whenever possible. This could be something as simple as their favorite squeaky toy or as elaborate as a pet sweater and umbrella. Find out as much as you can about the personality of the pet - and the pet owner. Where one owner may not mind a tutu on their pet it may be an incredible offense to another pet owner. Offer to take photos of the pet with the owner as part of the package.
Constantly add to your portfolio even if that means taking a few photos for free in order to get that portfolio started. You might also consider developing an online website that shows some of your stars in all their glory.
Remember a pet photographer will not simply take pictures of dogs and cats. You might find yourself up close and personal with a horse, a guinea pig or monkey. You might even find exotic pets or fish that require your special photographic skills.
You may begin the process with exceptional photographic skills or you might be a novice who is dedicated to further education on the subject. Your fees will largely depend on your skills, available equipment and how comfortable you are around animals.
Every business will require startup funds. In the case of pet photography you might consider purchasing the best possible camera your budget will allow. Ask around or conduct research. Try to make sure your camera choice can expand based on growth potential. In other words make sure you can affix the camera to a tri-pod and make sure the camera will work well for both indoor and outdoor lighting.
Work at acquiring additional equipment as funds allow. Take advantage of synergy - work with companies that can provide additional sales tools like key rings, magnets, calendars, shirts and even puzzles that include the pets your photograph. You may find there are many customers who want more than just a framed 8x10. By using the expertise of others you can provide services you could not otherwise offer.
Take your idea to pet owners. This could be accomplished through a kennel club, an association of a particular breed of animal or even a 4-H show or fair.
Volunteer to take photos at a pet show and then make your prints available for sale. This can be a great first step in introducing yourself and your skills to the general public.
Use both online and offline marketing strategies. Develop a website, but get out and meet people face to face. Visit local veterinarians and leave your business card. If they have a bulletin board and allow it, place a small poster outlining what you do and include photos.
Your website should include multiple photographs as well as testimonials that help others envision what it would be like to have photos of their pet to remember and share for years to come.
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Article Added on Friday, May 1, 2009
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