How to Start a Pet Photography Business

Starting your own pet photography is a dream job for people who love animals and photography. Not only will you get to make new friends with pets everyday, but also earn money in the process.

This is one great business idea, which involves making dogs, cats, and other animals smile. A very simple (but unique) business that doesn’t require much skill or investment, and is just so much fun.

You can offer ‘still’ as well as ‘motion’ (video) photography for pets.

What you need is a good camera and some photography skills; and you are ready to start clicking photos of pets; each click making your wallet grow fatter. Learning a few tips about animal photography will help – this includes things like how to make them smile or how to get them to stay still when their picture is being taken. Do not forget to buy a tripod for your camera; it really enhances the quality of ‘still’ pictures.

With today’s technology even a mediocre photographer or someone with just basic skills can produce wonderful results. So, do not worry if you are not an expert at photography, you will just need a reliable easy to use camera.

Tip: Use attractive pet costumes to dress up the pets for a photography session. Another idea is to use backdrops e.g. backdrops showing a river or any other beautiful natural surroundings (or maybe a mouse, for example, as a backdrop for a cat’s photo etc.) However, keep the costs under control and don’t buy too many backdrops initially.

Your list of potential customers will include all animals that are kept as pets (cats, dogs, horses, birds, fish, etc). You can start with building a portfolio of pet photographs – by snapping photos of your friends’ pets (fee free of course). You can then develop the photos and ask your friends for reviews, comments, ideas, feedback etc. A portfolio consisting of 20 good photos (with positive customer comments) should suffice.

Tip: Choose good-looking pets for your portfolio and make sure that your portfolio looks well arranged and attractive.

The most important step is to get customers. Set up a simple website. You can host your portfolio on your website to display your skills to the world at large. Obtain attractive pamphlets, flyers, and business cards. Distribute business cards and pamphlets to friends, family, business associates, customers, and acquaintances and ask them to spread the word about your skills and business.

Stick flyers to the bulletin boards at restaurants, laundry mats, grocery stores, pet stores, and distribute pamphlets at places where you have a large influx of pet owners e.g. pet shows, pet fairs, and other pet events. Veterinary clinics are another great place to stick your flyers (of course, you need to ask the permission of staff/doctor before doing that).

Tip: Once your business gets going, you can collaborate with some other small businesses to sell other products/services e.g. getting images of pets inscribed on mugs, t-shirts, calendars etc.

One last (slightly humorous) thought..

“That alligator had a million dollar smile and gave me a few bucks for a quick job.”

So, do watch out if you’re planning on doing ‘close ups’!