Pet Portraits

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Heretotherephoto, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    My wife and I have been asked a number of times if we would go to horseshows in our area and photograph their kids in competition riding. We have generally declined because we know nothing about horse shows or horses. It has gotten us to thinking about trying to do some pet portrait work though. We already have most of the equipment, maybe a couple of speedlights would be necessary but it seems like most people do that kind of thing with mainly candid unstaged shots where a bunch of studio equipment is unnecessary.

    What kind of equipment would be needed, and what kind of time in post production would the average shoot require? I know specifically would be tough to say but just an idea. We both work full time so it would be maybe one or two shoots a week tops in order to do the post producion and all the other stuff. Any input?
     
  2. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    UM, nobody?
     
  3. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Not sure why there are no responses... Maybe because you need the same equipment as for people portraits. The only equipment difference I can think of is pet treats instead of lollipops.

    You can do indoors (including studio) and outdoors shots. The main difference with people photography is that you are dealing with a subject who doesn't really understand your directions and most of the time could not care less. So, you need to practice with your own or some friend's pet and figure some tricks to make them do what you want.

    Make sure you have liability insurance. Any time you are going to work on someone else's property or bring someone into your studio, you should have liability. Any time you are going to work with a person or pet you should have liability. Accidents do happen. And don't forget some people care more about their pets than about their kids.
     
  4. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    I am not a pet photographer, but I would say that you have the necessary equipment with strobes etc. The challenge is going to be to ensure a non-visually distracting background. You need to be shooting from the same height as the pet and making sure that the eyes are in the shot. This was shot in the shade under a tree to avoid harsh shadows.

    As far as post is concerned, I brightened the dark eyes and cloned out a heavy choke chain. I also brightened the shadow area around the neck.
    The problem was that the tongue was moving even too fast for a fast shutterspeed.

    skieur
     
  5. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks ffolks,

    i hadn't thought about liability insurance but its a good point. I am hesitant to invest in studio equipment as I would expect to do most work outdoors, and a little in a pet owner's home or favorite spot. Most sites I've looked at that do this don't seem to do a lot of posed shots, they seem more candid and action oriented.

    We are planning to photograph dogs owned by people we know. We would like to do some shoots with these folks and their pets and put together some idea of packages to offer, we would probably not print many shots for now until we have paying customers, but this should give us an idea what we are facing, and the amount of time involved, plus it would give us a chance to build a portfolio so possible customers can see examples of our work.

    i am not a big editing guy other than cropping and some minor color correction so would have some learning to do there too. Would something like photoshopp elements be sufficient or would it require making the investment in photoshop? Not really in a place hwere that kind of investment would make sense for what is for now only a small side business to make some extra money with something i enjoy doing.
     
  6. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    These are just my opinions.

    I think you should go in the opposite direction you are thinking. Most pet shots I've seen from people look only slightly better than what a normal person could do. I believe you should give people images that make them completely feel that they could never take them on their own or by their nephew with the fancy camera.

    I'm not a pet photographer but am looking to test the waters since people are crazy about their pets. Some of the shots could be natural light, pray and spray shots. But I think if you set up a small studio in your clients homes, it would elevate what you can offer.

    Below are some shots of my friend's dog (disregard my cat). I don't think they are perfect. But I think the quality of having them studio portraits will help get me get future clients, since most people can't imagine taking these type of pictures on their own.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    Those are good points. I like the cat picture the best which is odd because I'm not a real cat guy. We are looking into this slowly, but not being pros at this we want to make sure we learn enough before we try to represent as something we are not. I think we are going to try and build a portfolio with the pets of friends and family and just see how it goes. See what works and what doesn't. With both of us having full time jobs though it may not be anything more than a hobby which occasionally makes a few bucks.
     
  8. Jamie71

    Jamie71 TPF Noob!

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    I use the same equipment for pets as people. I like the shots with backdrops better than just the outdoor type ones. But I think your idea of taking pet pictures is a great one. People love their pets!


    [​IMG]
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    wow, diggin up some old threads here today........
     
  10. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    Wow this one is old. We have put the idea on hold as we are expecting a baby in a few months and I have started back to school and we still have full time jobs. Doesn't leave a lot of time for sessions and post work. Or money for the extra equipment. Just gonna stick with the fun landscape and nature stuff for now. Thanks for the pointers though.
     

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