Pet Photography with a Canon S3IS?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by PetPortraits, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I've just found this forum in my search to learn more about photography, and this certainly looks like the place to be!

    I am actually a Pet Portrait artist, but I would like to expand my business to include Pet Photography...taking baby steps and starting off small, I have been thinking along the lines of an hour or two photo shoot at the client's home/beach/park etc, and the price ($100ish Australian which is about $75 USD???) the client would receive a CD of the photos and maybe one or two prints.

    I would retain copyright on the photos (reprint permission and also models for my artwork to sell) but I would be happy for the client to print copies for their own personal use. My husband is experienced with Photoshop and Paintshop Pro so digital manipulations and print sales might be possible as well.

    I guess the main question at the moment is will my Canon S3IS take good enough photo's for a service costing a lot less than a professional photographer with more expensive equipment (which I would certainly be willing to purchase if this business proves feasable). I have added a couple of photos I shot today, unedited that I am quite like (but wonder how they could be better![​IMG]).

    [​IMG]

    Any advice, tips and other equipment requirements would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Michelle
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    You have some nice photos here...which certainly proves that you can make good photos with your camera. In good lighting, your camera should be OK...As long as you can keep the ISO setting to a low number. It does have IS, which is a plus.

    The problem is that camera (& most digi-cams) has a very small sensor...which will result in a lot of digital noise when you have to turn up the ISO. Another issue is that the small sensor makes it harder to get a shallow DOF and throw the background out of focus. I don't know how the shutter lag on the S3IS is...but a lot of digi-cams are pretty slow.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that you can probably get by with what you have...but you certainly could get a better camera if you want/need to.
     
  3. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Another thing to consider is that pet photography is really a hard market to get into. I live in Denver which is one of the dog/pet friendliest cities around and EVERYONE has one. However, getting people to shell out $ for their pet portraits is extremely difficult. I think people figure they'll just take their own pet's pictures and shell out $ only when necessary.
    Good luck!
     
  4. SHUTTERtoSPEAK

    SHUTTERtoSPEAK TPF Noob!

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    Pet photography is a tough market like others have said. However, if it is your passion then go with it. Maybe, to help get coin, you could branch off into other "more conventional" photography to help pay the bills and help you get new gear. Maybe do some special event photography (birthday parties, christenings, etc...) or even sports teams (karate schools, baseball leagues, etc...)

    If you do baseball leagues, you could use natural lighting and photograph them on the baseball field so that would help get cash without having to get studio lights.

    Baby steps.

    NICE WORK BY THE WAY!
     
  5. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    Thanks very much for the comments Big Mike, AprilRamone and Shuttertospeak!

    I understand that Pet photography is a hard/limited market and for the moment I will probably just work on expanding the photography service that I currently provide for my art pet portraits (the photo requirements for art reference material is quite different to the requirements of a good photo), so I am trying to get as much experience and having as much fun as I can at the moment:)

    I am also hoping to get my hands on an older SLR film camera, maybe a Canon AE-1, Nikon FG or similar to gain more experience. As much as I would love to jump right in an get a DSLR, I really need to determine if it is economically viable first;)

    Cheers

    Michelle
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    While I think you are starting to develop an eye for photography, I do think that your efforts would be better spent on learning more about composition and practicing than on more expensive equipment. I think your camera should be fine for now, but I don't think those images would sell. They aren't bad, but you are probably going to need ones that stand out, and that takes a lot of practice and developing your own style.
     
  7. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to TPF!
    Before you dismiss the idea of buying a DSLR, consider the cost you will invest in the film and photo processing. If you are planning on taking a great many photographs, over time, the cost of processing will far exceed the cost you put out for an entry level DSLR...just a thought.
    I love animals and you have a great eye for photographing them!
     
  8. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Michael, I definitely plan on buying a DSLR as soon as I can afford to, although that is unlikely to be before the end of next year, in the mean time I am definitely having fun learning and playing with my S3, and I am quite pleased with a lot of the photos that it takes:)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. oldnavy170

    oldnavy170 TPF Noob!

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    You do have some very cute photos. I too have a Canon S2 and I love it. I guess its not the most professional camera but its much better then most NON-DSLR. Anyways, welcome to TPF.
     

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