Do you love pets and photography? Then why not combine the two. Pet photography is a growing trend and is proving to be a profitable business. Statistics from the AMVA reveals that market research that was conducted in 2007 in reference to the amount of pet owners in the United States was approximately 43,021,000 households at least owned a dog and 37,460,000 households had a pet cat. The average number of dogs per household was 1.7 and the average number of cats was 2.2 and that does not include statistics of bird, horse and exotic pet owners. Comparing the 2007 pet owner statistics with those of 2001 in the AMVA market research statistical findings show that these numbers have increased. Let’s face it, more and more people own pets and treat their pets like a special someone in their household.
What better way to forever capture the memories of our beloved pets by having a professional photography shoot? There are three different locations that can be used in taking pet photography. The first option would be to open and set up a photography studio. The second option to taking pet photographs would be to operate a mobile pet photography studio; in instances where you would bring a mobile trailer to an interested client’s location or an agreed upon location for a fair or a promotional event in which pet photos are being taken. The third option would be to travel to the pet’s location home and dwelling. Positives about taking pet photos on their own territory would be that they may be more comfortable in not leaving their home or yard and more clients may like this option because they would not have to take “Fido” out in the car.
There are several points to be considered, business wise before deciding to start a Pet Photography business. You must have a love for animals. That is a first and foremost principle to this business. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets etc, all have different types of personalities and some people are just good working with them and understanding them, so if you have a knack and love for animals then this might be your gig. Pet photography has shown to be able to make a great profit, so why not work with two things you love and make a profit as well? It is not that easy. There are other points to be considered before starting this type of business for profit:
1. Research local market: Do thorough research of the area you are located in or the area that you desire to open up a pet photography business and provide these types of services. Are there many pet owners in your particular area? Are there enough families that own pets and have “well-cared” for pets, in other words they would spend additional money on their beloved pet and have the financial background to spend money on portraits of their pet both alone or even with themselves. Some areas, for example, New York City, have such a high population of people, pet owners and high-earning potential households that this would be a more favorable area to start a pet photography business in and assure if you are taking all the necessary steps that it would be highly profitable. Pet photography is considered a luxury expense item for normal household expenses, so consider that economic downtrends may readily affect a business that is solely running with the purpose of pet photos.
2. No excessive competition: Scope out your area and make sure there are no major competitors in your area or the location you are deciding to open up a business in pet photography. If the area is full of businesses that offer this service, perhaps you want to branch out and offer a mobile pet photography service that makes this service available to a location that statistically demonstrates the need for pet photography, but does not have a vendor in the immediate surrounding area.
3. Must be a knowledgeable photographer: No one wants to buy services from someone who does not show any knowledge in the field that they claim to be an expert and hang out a shingle for. Before deciding to open a pet photography business, you must already have a great knowledge of photography and be able to show many aspects of your work. Taking photos of your family and friend’s pets can demonstrate how well you are able to interact with animals and even what type of attitudes are portrayed in the pictures you are displaying. It would be recommended to display these other pet photos that you have already taken in your studio either stationary or mobile. It is not likely that a pet owner has the time to leaf through a portfolio binder, all though it is always good to have something put together like that in case you work at different types of events in order to expose your expertise.
4. Make sure you have proper equipment: Before beginning a profitable pet photography business, after you have done all the necessary research as to the need, location and marketability the next step is review all of your equipment and make sure you have all the proper equipment for working a successful business. Besides necessary photographic equipment, other accessories would be backgrounds and backdrops that are unique and popular so as to give client’s many options that will suit their needs.
5. Keeping a professional workspace: The final point to be considered when proposing the idea of opening up a successful and profitable pet photography business is to keep the workspace clean and professional. It does not matter what the location is, current clients and potential clients would be more willing to believe your professional qualities as a trustworthy photographer if they see that the studio or area you work in, (except if you are doing a pet photo shoot in the client’s home), that the space be clean, professional and without any smells that are repelling.
It can be a profitable and lucrative business, pet photography, but you must love animals, love photography and be a dedicated individual who is willing to put in the hard work to reap the benefits and rewards.