How to Start a Pet Photography Business


With a little preparation and a love of animals, you can start a pet photography business. Many people treat their pets like family members, and they often want professional pictures of their pets. Animals are not usually accepted at typical photography studios, so you can start a business by offering photographic services that accommodate pet lovers and their beloved "family members."

Things You'll Need

  • 35mm-camera
  • Professional lighting
  • Studio or access to one
  • Photo-quality color printer
  • Business cards with a picture on them

Volunteer to take pictures at your local animal shelter. You can either set up lighting on the premises, or take location shots with a flash. This will give you some good examples of your photography for your portfolio, and it will give you publicity as the shelter advertises animals for adoption.

Ask friends to let you photograph them with their pets. You'll acquire photographs of pets with people, which is one of the staples of the pet photography business. Either bring them into your studio, or rent a local studio and use professional lighting.

Order business cards with one of your best pictures on them. You may get a good deal from your business card printer if you order fliers and post cards at the same time. Your photographs on these items will go a long way toward getting people interested in having your photograph their pets.

Put up fliers, business cards and postcard-size notices at pet stores, pet supply stores, pet shelters and pet fairs. You may also put up a website with the same pictures on it. This will get you started, and word of mouth will bring you even more customers.

Offer photo packages instead of individual photographs. Packages can include wallet-size photographs, 5-by-7-inch photographs to send to friends and relatives, and 8-by-10 photographs for framing. For an additional charge, you can put all your clients' photos on a flash drive they can use to load photographs onto their home computers.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have studio space, offer to take location shots at people's homes or in nearby parks.

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