Furbabies hold such a special place in their owner’s heart. That’s why their smart phones are normally filled to the brink with daily photos of their furbaby. So, why then do people spend money, a lot of money, to engage with a professional pet photographer when they can, just as easily, take lots of happy snaps on their phone?
I can only talk from personal experience….. When I added Marishi (who we call Ishi) to my family I was overwhelmed with love for her and spent countless hours trying to teach her to pose for the camera, which lucky enough for me, she now has down pat! It wasn’t until I got Akatsuki (more commonly known as Suki) did I realise that through my thousands of photos of Ishi I didn’t have one single gorgeous puppy shot of her. Well I did, hundreds of them actually, but there was always something in the background that I didn’t like, mostly some dirty laundry that she has stolen or chewed up jarrah skirting boards, that I’m still trying to fix and forget about.
When Ishi and Suki were 6 months and 3 months I “won” one of those free photoshoots with a photographer. So, I thought why not use it for the dogs and get some really nice photos done. It was then that I loved the experience, as a proud new furmum. But, even more so, I adored having beautiful high quality photos of the pups, still hanging in pride of place, in my home, to this day, seven years later. Even though I was thrilled in my first photography experience, and since been personally involved in over 25 pet photography photoshoots, there are some things I have learnt…
Those competitions where everyone wins a “free” photography session are never that. You will always end up paying significantly for the photos after the session. You want to make sure you do some research before you commit to a single photographer as it is a major investment and it’s a moment you’re about to capture forever.
My biggest recommendation would be to make sure the photographer has a repour with animals. Just like every industry, photographers specialise in certain specific areas, some wedding, some landscape, some portraits, and some animal photography. Those photographers that specialise in animal photography have spent years learning how to capture that special moment that captures the personality of your furbaby and that is of utmost importance.
FurBaby held a photoshoot a while back with 7 to 1 Photography with Kelly Pilgrim-Bryne. Our quest was to get six of our grooming clients, that had never met each other before, and take a photo with them all sitting in a straight line ‘smiling’ at the camera. Now, personally I think that Kelly is one of WA’s top animal photographers and I am in awe of her work. But, what striked me more, was Sam, Kelly’s partner. Sam’s dog behaviour knowledge impressed me to no end. She was able to build trust with each of the dogs and demand their attention with positive reinforcement to get them to pose and look relaxed in each of the shoots. What that meant was; by Kelly and Sam working together they were able to capture each dog’s personality perfectly, that I am now proud to use these photos time and time again in all my grooming advertising. This wasn’t a normal family shot, where the dogs knew each other, it was six completely strange dogs, including a 12 week old puppy, in an unfamiliar studio. I thought the task at hand was impossible, but Kelly and Sam made it look effortless. It was during this photoshoot that I learnt the dogs’ demeanour is what makes a photo perfect, so the photographer needs to be able to build repour and mostly importantly build trust. Especially, since big black cameras making weird clicking noises can be very scary to some furbabies.
Any professional photo that you purchase of your furbaby is inevitably going to end up as a piece of art in your home. Therefore, it needs to fit in with your style. If you’re outdoorsy type people, then it would be pretty important that the photo is outdoorsy. If you have a very colourful house, then you would want your photo to match with your décor. So, I suggest look at the style of the photographer you use. Some are great at studio, some are better outdoors. Choose one that fits with what you see in your house for years and years.
Just remember that, not all animal photographers are the best of people photographers. So, if you want the entire family captured in the photos check out the photographers people skills as well as their animal skills. As each photographer has their own skill set that needs to match what you want out of the final masterpiece.
And finally… photoshoots have to be fun! If you or your furbaby is stressed during the photoshoot I promise you will be able to tell in the photos. If you relax, so will your furbaby. Some of my fondest memories of Ishi and Suki are during photoshoots. As they seem to want to join in the fun between the photographer and myself, they didn’t want to miss out on the action. And, the best thing is; I get to have that memory captured for all of time in their beautiful photos!
Cuddles to your furbaby!
Love Shari – FurBaby Owner xx
FurBaby recommends the following pet photographers in Perth…
7 to 1 Photography by Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne
West Coast Woofers
The FurBaby Team have also heard of these pet photographers in Perth…
Petography – https://www.petography.com.au/
Janet Craig – https://janetcraig.com.au/
Houndstooth Studio – https://www.houndstoothstudio.com.au/
Pixel Pets Photography – https://www.pixelpets.net/
Mischeife Wags Pet Photography – https://www.facebook.com/mischeifewags
Photojemic Photography – https://www.photojemicphotography.com/
Brett Sandells Photography – http://www.brettsandellsphotography.com/
Eric Lloyd Photography – https://www.ericlloydphotography.com
Melissan Anne Photography – https://www.melissaannephotography.com.au
Jane Earle Photography – http://www.janeearlephotography.com/
Do you know of any other pet photographers who should be on the list? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep this list updated!!