A pet photography business can be a great side gig or be a professional enterprise on its own. If you want to start a pet photography business, start by installing the studio and getting the right equipment. Market your business in pet friendly locations so that you can get clients. To develop your business over the years, work on making your customers high quality work and making them happy.
Establishing the Basics
Take classes in animal behavior. While photographing pets, you can deal with animals who are nervous, rowdy or timid. An animal behavioral class can help you learn useful skills which are important for career as a veteran photographer.
You can take classes in online or local community colleges. You can also check to see if businesses like veterinary doctors and animal shelters offer any class on animal behavior or not.
If a class is out of your price range, then try to buy books on animal behavior to teach yourself a little about the subject.
Find out the type of pictures you take. When you start setting up your business, it is important to reduce the type of services you provide. Decide if you are providing portrait-style pictures or outdoor shots and any additional services.
Reducing the services you provide is often a matter of determining your abilities. If you do not have a room in your home with solid lighting, for example, you should probably advertise yourself as someone who takes externally pictures of pets.
Do you have any special skills? If so, find a way to use them to woo customers. For example, if you know printmaking, then offer to print t-shirts with people’s pets.
Invest in quality equipment. You will need technical equipment, including digital cameras, tripods, reflectors and various lenses for different types of shots. If you work inside the house, you will also need a background stand along with the background to shoot. If you plan to shoot indoors, then you have to invest in the lighting designed for photography studios.
For the camera, see the DSLR camera and use the prime lens with autofocus.
If you do not know how to use your camera or other device, read it manually before starting. You can also watch the tutorial online or consider taking a photography class.
Make a place for your business. Where is your plan to run a business? If you are shooting inside the house, you have to clean the room with good lighting to be your studio. Even if you are shooting outside, however, there should be a room in your house that is in your office. Your office will be where you go to customers to go to your prices and services.
As long as you are not already renting a location for studios or other purposes, it is best to turn off the rental place for your business. You never know how much money you will make, and it is best to wait until you have a stable business to invest in a stable place.
Decide how much to charge. Review the price range for professional photography in your area including other pet photographers. This will help you get a rough range of people who are ready to pay for professional photographs. If you are starting, charging a bit less than competition can be helpful.
In addition to the fees for photographs, think about any additional fees which may be appropriate. It ensures that you will earn profit. For example, if you shoot out, customers reimburse you for gas if they want photos taken in distant locations.
Write a business plan. A business plan is a document that creates the basis for your business. For a small self-photography business, you do not need a comprehensive plan. However, it is a good idea that if you decide to expand your business in the future, then there is a thick outline of a business plan to specify it.
Your plan should include your company’s description, mission and goals. Think about the general philosophy behind your business and the kind of market you are trying to reach.
Think about how your business is structured. See a loose organization for things like money, time and resources.
See an accountant. Unless you have a comprehensive experience in financial management yourself, you need to look at an accountant before starting your own business. An accountant can help you finance your finances and look for any financing or debt you need.
There may also be tax documents you need to fill before starting your business. An accountant can help you walk through the process.
Marketing Your Business
Make a website. Since photography is a visual medium, you will need a website where potential customers can see your work. Use a site, such as WordPress, which allows you to design and customize your own website. Then you can choose a charming template and fill it with information about you and your business.
You should have an “about” section, where you explain who you are, how long you have been in photography, and you have a special qualification.
You should also include things like your rates, hours and contact information.
Your website may be slightly sparse in the first place, because you will not have things like praise of the customer, but it should be increased over time.
Take some pictures of your pet. You will need a portfolio that you can upload online to attract customers. Not only can you help your pet show your skills, it will give you some practice. Take pictures of the quality of the pets you have, and upload them to your social media page and website.
If you do not have your own pet, ask friends and family members whether you can take a picture of your pet for your website.
Advertise in a field with a solid market. Keeping passengers and cards around your hometown can help you gain clients, but only when you are targeting the area where there is a market for your work. Think about the places where people have a lot of pets.
In addition to keeping pets, explore areas with business such as dog day and spa. This indicates that people are willing to spend a lot of money on luxury for their animals.
Start with local publicity. For regional magazines or publications about pets and pet related services. Remove ad space in these publications. List your business in local yellow pages. Take your business cards and passengers into local shopkeepers’ offices, dog days, pet spas and other pet friendly establishments.
Ensure that it is OK to leave your flyer in a business first. Some businesses do not like people who put passengers on their establishments or leave a brochure.
Develop a social media presence. Create various social media accounts for your business, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account. Use them to promote your brand and post any recent photographs with relevant content such as photo shoots.
Stay tuned about posting. The more you post, the more likes and shares you will get, the result will be a large social media.
Keep your brand in mind while posting. If you are advertising yourself as a fun and bizarre business, for example, post the mindless content, such as the funny memories of animals.
Advertise in pet friendly events. Look at pet friendly events in your area, such as adoption events and festivals. Try to establish a booth on these events and get directly with potential customers. Brochure handing and talking to pet owners is an invaluable way to increase your business.
Donate to your work. To gain exposure, donate some pictures or get free photography. For example, try to do free photography for a local animal shelter. An animal shelter will appreciate free professional photography and it will expand your own portfolio and get your name there.
Maintaining Your Business Over Time
Be patient and work enthusiastically with animals. If you do not really love, then you are not going to bring it into the pet photography business. For years in your business, be emotional. Remind about the things you like about animals, even in those moments when the animals are frustrated.
For example, if you are working with a timid dog, then be sympathetic. If the dog came from an abusive background, then remember it.
Apart from this, pets do not live as long as people. Your customers will take pictures of this animal after you go, so work hard to get some successful photos.
Keep your schedule flexible. You never know when clients can be available, so keeping a flexible schedule can help you get more clients. Be ready to shoot last minute. For example, customers want pictures of an animal that has to be kept for sleeping, so be prepared to devote your Saturday afternoon to an emergency shoot.
Continue to develop your animal skills. Working with animals is a continuous process, so continue your education because you are more involved in business. Take extra classes in animal training and practice and learn from your own experiences. If there are any certification classes, you can get animal training, take admission in them. A comprehensive skill set can attract more customers.
Extend your experience to work with different types of animals. Advertise in pet stores that sell things like reptiles or deal with shops so that you can work with horses or animals.
Widen your photography skill set. In addition to building your skills of working with animals, learn more about photography as soon as you build your business. Take photography classes or use online tutorials to learn things like editing, lighting and other technical skills. The more you know about photography, your customers will be as happy with your work.
If necessary keep the staff at work. As your business grows, you can find that you can not keep everything to yourself. In the future, you may need to hire employees to help with things like set up, scheduling and editing. Hire employees to complete the growing demands of your business.
If you do not have a business experience, consult an attorney or accountant to help fill up the necessary documents to keep staffed.