5 Ways to Sniff Out the Right Pet Photographer for You

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It’s one thing to find a photographer for yourself, but it’s a whole other ball game (pun intended) to find the right photographer for you and your pet. While you might think your pet would rather play “catch” than hang out in our Houston or New York pet photography studios, you’d be surprised to learn that many pups enjoy their time being photographed with us. 

Is your pup super energetic? Maybe they get spooked easily. Check off this list of things to look for in a pet photographer, and you’ll find a pawesome pet photographer who will accommodate your pet’s unique qualities:

1. Do They Specialize in Pet Photography?

Technically, any photographer is capable of photographing your pet. Here’s what makes the biggest difference: whether they specialize in pet photography or not. 

It’s like choosing between a plumber or general contractor to fix the broken pipes under your kitchen sink. Sure, most general contractors could probably fix the pipes. But wouldn’t you rather hire someone who is an expert at doing exactly that? 

When someone chooses to specialize in a niche within their field, they’re clearly a skilled professional in that area. It demonstrates passion and success in a particular niche! 

John fell into pet photography by accident, but it’s the majority of his business now. 

He says, “Pet photography honestly started as an accident. I was doing studio family photography, and then we got my dog Daisy. I brought my kiddos and Daisy into the studio to take some photos with them. I got a couple of photos with them and decided to promote it. I figured I would give it a try, and if I didn’t like it, I would stop promoting it. I fell in love with dog photography. It has its unique challenges, but I LOVE it. I am more of a dog person than I thought I would be, and now 80-90% of our business is dog photography!” 

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2. Does the Photographer Love Pets?

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Photographers who love pets will be more enthusiastic about your session. It would be strange for a photographer to offer pet photography if they didn’t like animals at all, but you may come across some photographers who offer pet photography and aren’t the biggest animal lovers. 

Dogs can read body language, facial expressions, body movement, tone of voice, and a person’s “energy” to examine what someone is feeling at that moment.

Do you think your dog will feel comfortable hanging around a photographer who’d rather be shooting a wedding or headshot session? Of course not!

Your photos will turn out much better if you find a photographer who loves pets and wants to meet yours. Don’t ever feel bad when asking a potential pet photographer if they’re an animal person. 

3. Do You Like Their Photography Style?

Every photographer has a unique style. Your pet may be able to sniff out whether a photographer likes them, but they won’t know if you appreciate the photographer’s style. 

Here’s a great way to figure out whether you should hire a specific pet photographer:

  • Browse their website.
  • Look at their portfolio.
  • See if you can envision those types of photos hanging on your wall.  

4. Does the Photographer Shoot On-Location or in the Studio?

Two dog owners sit on the couch with their two pups.

The photographer’s preferred location for the shoot plays a massive factor in the outcome of your pet’s photos. There are only three locations for a photographer to take pictures of your pup: 

  • In-home 
  • Studio
  • Outdoor

While most pet photographers are considered on-location photographers, John chooses to offer his pet photography services in the studio. Why? 

Pet photos taken in a studio environment allow a pet’s personality to shine. 

John says, “In my opinion, the negative with on-location photos is that the photo can look really busy with other things — not focusing on the dog and its family. The Houston weather is another negative to deal with. In the summer, it’s 100 degrees, humid, and you never know when it is going to rain. I used to do on-location sessions when I started, and I was constantly having to reschedule, which was really inconvenient for my clients. 

He continues, “Offering studio pet photography sets me apart because we can control the lighting; we are able to do things with light that creates looks we wouldn’t be able to do outdoors. It creates some beautiful images that are unique on the wall and very artistic.” 

5. What Type of Experience Do They Offer?

Not only does every photographer have a distinct style, but every photographer offers a unique experience. Most photographers typically describe the experience of photographing with them somewhere on their website. 

The video on your right is a brief glimpse into one of John Glaser Photography’s pet photography sessions. Notice that John has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to distracting your dog for a photo. 

You can only make a dog sit still for a short time, so John uses a variety of toys and noise makers to catch your dog’s attention. Using these treats and toys are some of the best ways to add character to a photo! 

You’ll get the best photos of your pup when they’re enjoying their time being photographed. Ready for a super fun photography studio experience with your dog? Contact us for pictures of your dog that you can’t help but frame fur-ever.