What to look for in an outdoor dog photographer?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing your dog photographer. In this blog I hope to lead you through a few things so you can make a considered decision.
What should you consider?
Which type of images would you like of your dog?
Your first port of call is to decide if you would like studio portraits or outdoor ones. Some dog photographers do both; others specialise in one or or the other. Here at Nic Bisseker Photography I am highly trained in both, but am currently without a studio so I work only outdoors for the time being.
Studio images are traditionally more fine art style, but my outdoor images generally follow a similar idea. I prefer outdoor dog photography sessions because they enable dogs to be more relaxed within their natural environment. Lights and a studio can sometimes lead to some dogs becoming over excited.
Look through dog photography websites.
Google is your best friend. Search for dog photography and your area for example East Grinstead or West Sussex. Don’t be afraid to look a bit further afield. You can always travel to the photographer or you can meet in between. That is the beauty of outdoor shoots.
Take your time to work through the websites and look at the dog images. Are there many? Some photographers call themselves pet or dog photographers but it is a minor part of their business. It goes without saying that the more experience you have, generally the better your photography is going to be. Just because a business photographs families or babies doesn’t mean they can easily turn their hand to dogs at a high level.
A photographer who understands dogs and is comfortable handling them is essential or they are not going to get the best out of your four legged friend. I have photographed dogs since I first started out in photography and they really are the core of my business. The best images are those in which the personality of the animal shines through and I hope you agree this really makes my images stand out.
Look at the images on the websites. Really look…… Would you like something similar in your house? Do they excite you?
If you are unsure whether the photographer would be able to get similar images of your own dog due to its personality, contact the photographer; ring or email and ask the questions. See what types of responses you get. I would be lying if I said every image I shot was perfect. Some dog shoots are more difficult than others, like with most things, but I am patient and work extremely closely with you as owner. I can remove leads if need be and this was done in the image below.
I have never had a dog shoot where someone has walked away without ordering from me. In fact take a read through my testimonials – these are so, so important.
My clients are usually thrilled to bits as we always achieve some lovely images. I have won many awards for my dog photography and all of these have been taken on regular client dog photoshoots.
I am qualified photographer with the Master Photography Association and last year (2020) my panel of qualification images won best LICENTIATE PANEL OF IMAGES in the UK !!
Ask for recommendations.
Ask around but be wary of general photography recommendations. Be specific that you are looking for a Dog Photographer – especially on Facebook to be assured of the best experience.
Should I shop on price?
Be wary of shopping on price. It’s certainly relevant but look at value. What is the photographer offering me? How long is the session allocated to me? What are the quality of the images on their website? If these are not perfect, it is likely that their general work will definitely not be! When I say perfect I am thinking about the finish of the images.
Does the photographer take time with editing, remove distracting parts of the photo and produce an overall cohesive work of art ? Is their consistency in their work that if you chose them would likely guarantee you images of a similar standard?
Then look at what they are charging – if this isn’t clear from their website then do not be afraid to ask. Different business have different pricing structures. What I find works for me is to have a session fee which acts a little like a deposit and covers a small amount of my time. This also includes a complimentary professional print. I also have a Print and Product Guide with a variety of packages and wall art that you can look through priced separately. That way you are only choosing what you love after your session. My website sets this out in basic form and I have a Guide I sent you once we are in email contact but before booking. No part of the process is hidden.
Some photographers choose a very low session fee but then there may be a minimum spend afterwards for example or their prices may be relatively higher for prints and products.
Creating a high quality experience and product.
Remember, photography requires a lot of training. investment, running costs and time. It is far more than just the time involved in the shoot itself if you are shooting and editing to a high standard. Cheap photographers may not be able to sustain their business and are unlikely to be achieving the same standard that highly qualified award winning photographers do. The choice is of course yours!
What makes me different!
Being a specialist dog photographer I have been trained to photograph dogs in action which lots of owners love.
I LOVE capturing the relationship between owners and their dogs and often find these end up being the most heart-warming images I provide. As I am also a family portrait photographer which separates me from most specialist dog photographers, I am ideally placed for family and dog or couple and dog photoshoots.
If you’d like to book a session with me or simply have a chat do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Nic is an award winning specialist East Grinstead dog photographer based in West Sussex but also covering Kent and Surrey. She has had many hours of training and experience photographing your furry friends. She believes photographs of your dog are as important as those for your children. All too often we don’t think about creating memories of our animals until it is too late.
Find out more about her dog photography.