Written by distinguished photographer Nicki Cameron
Do your research
If you decide to book a professional photograph of your dog, what is the best way to find the right photographer for you?
First of all, do your research. Photographers specialise in differing areas of expertise such as weddings, commercial, landscapes etc.
Some will offer several genres but it's best to look for a photographer who concentrates on pets & is familiar with animal behaviour & safety.
Have a look at websites or Instagram accounts to see what style of images you like. Some photographers work in studios, with props such a crates/cushions to show off a cute pup or have various backgrounds for different occasions like Christmas. These pictures are often posed, traditional & formal.
Others, like myself, prefer to shoot on location for more spontaneous images and action shots, using natural light wherever possible.
We are at the mercy of the British weather however, apart from rain, most conditions will give fantastic, atmospheric photos.
Have a chat to a photographer you think would suit you & your dog.
Be clear on the price you are paying, if a deposit is required, what you get for your money and if there are any hidden extras.
Some offer bargain photoshoots but the cost of digital downloads & prints/frames can be eye-watering & the pressure to buy is immense.
It's difficult to resist an adorable photo of your adored furry best friend.
Match their character
If you decide to proceed, then the photographer should ask for lots of information about your dog. For me, the more you can tell me about their habits, quirky features, energy levels etc, the better our photoshoot will be.
Check how experienced the photographer is with dog behaviour, especially if you have an elderly, nervous, reactive or high energy dog.
Together, you & your photographer can choose a location which could be a favourite haunt where you regularly walk or somewhere the photographer suggests for the sort of shoot you'd like.
If you've picked a studio session, then talk about the backgrounds, props & suitability of the studio to suit the character of your dog.
After the session, you will get to choose which images to buy or pick as part of your agreed package. This is mostly done online and will be really pleasurable. What's more fun than looking at beautiful pictures of your furry best friend.
Just be wary of photographers who promise a rapid turnaround from shoot to choice or offer a very high number of images to choose from as the editing may well be done in bulk and not individually finished image by image. My own philosophy is quality over quantity.
If you do your background checks & find the right pet photographer for you, I'm certain you'll be delighted with the images of your dog that can hang proudly on your wall forever.