Did you know that there are a bunch of wonderful pet photographers right here in Seattle? Have you been having a hard time deciding who to work with? Well, I recently discovered that I made it onto a list of “The 8 best pet photographers in Seattle,” created by Peerspace. How cool is that?!!! I think there are more than eight great pet photographers here in Seattle, so I decided to put together some tips on how to choose the right one for you. You can watch the video below to see me be an absolute goof, or you can just skip ahead to the tips I will list below the video. But, you really should watch the video because I say some things that aren’t included in the text in this post. Trust me, it’s worth it.
The four most important things to consider when choosing a pet photographer to capture your pet’s story are:
- SKILL of the photographer
- Your BUDGET
- How much TIME you have
- The CONNECTION you feel with the photographer
These are not in order of importance, just in order of what came into my head when I decided to do the above Facebook Live.
This one is really big, at least in my opinion. It is SO IMPORTANT to consider the quality of work of the pet photographers you look at. Take the time to look through all of their work that you can find: their website, social media, blog, etc. If you don’t LOVE their work, you’re not going to love what you end up with. It’s important that the pet photographer you choose CARES deeply about the work and final products they are putting out into the world. They have taken the time (and continue to) to master their craft because they want to do the greatest work possible for their clients.
Pet photography is a luxury expense. I admit it. Obviously, I look at the experience of having your pet’s story captured as a necessity because I know that it has incredible value to the clients I have had the pleasure of working with. For some people, budget is a huge concern while for others, it isn’t. Whether it is a big deal for you or not, I believe that when you are looking at pet photographers, it is important you understand how their pricing works. If any photographer is hesitant to talk to you about their pricing, they might not be a good fit. When you inquire with me, I send you a link to view my pricing packet so that you can have a better idea about all the amazing things I offer. You know what, I’ll drop the link RIGHT HERE so that anyone reading this can get a head start on understanding how professional pet photography is priced. If you have any questions about anything, you can reach me through my inquiry form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How much time do YOU have, when you are starting your search for a pet photographer? Did something happen in your pet’s life that has prompted you to start the search? Are you planning ahead for a special occasion? There are so many factors that are affected by time. If something has happened, such as a recent diagnosis in your pet’s health that leaves you with not much time left, you might not have as many options for session dates and locations. When choosing a pet photographer in this scenario, it’s important that they give you just as beautiful of an experience, if not more, as if you had all the time in the world. When someone contacts me when their pet has very limited time left, I do whatever I can to get their session booked. They get all the same information and options as any other regular session, only they do not have to book their ordering appointment right away. We just concentrate on creating the portraits while their pet is still with them. If budget is a concern, but they really want to work with me, I have flexible payment plans for packages and products they choose later at their ordering appointment. The most important thing is capturing their pet’s story while they’re still here.
For scenarios where you are planning ahead, the more time you give yourself, the better chance you have of booking with the photographer you want. I like to give the example of booking in time to give the most amazing gift at Christmas. If you’re looking to give someone you love beautiful printed portraits of their pet, the best time to have your session completed is no later than the end of October. Of course, this depends on each photographer and the products they offer. Most of my clients purchase packages that include a portrait book. The portrait book requires design, proofing, production and shipping, so we need more time to be sure that everything arrives in time for you to be the hero of the holidays.
For me, the most important thing of all is the connection you feel with the pet photographer you end up working with. How do you know if you feel a connection with them (beyond LOVING the work they create) if you’ve never met them in person? Well, maybe you’ve been following them on social media for a while because you love their work, or you love the things they are saying about the work they create. If you’re regularly interacting with them on social media, that’s a great indicator that you feel a connection. My favorite way to learn more about any business I am considering working with is to check out their blog (if they have one). Blogs are a great way to get a feeling of the person behind the business, at least when it comes to photographers. And finally, another great thing to do when researching pet photographers, is to check out the reviews that people have left for them on various review sites. These are different from testimonials because testimonials (although wonderful) are things that photographers have chosen to share on their websites. On a review site, that is something that a client, or someone who has experienced some part of the process has chosen to go share. So, go check out reviews on all the pet photographers you’re considering working with!
When you research all of the areas that pet photographers are sharing their work, you might find out more about things they’re doing outside of their business. Is it important to you that businesses you work with are involved in their community? It’s important to me, and I have built my business with giving back to my community (through collaboration with rescues and other businesses) in mind. There are a lot of wonderful pet photographers who do amazing things in the community, and those things might just be what makes you connect with them the most.
I realize that I am not going to be the right fit for everyone looking for a pet photographer, but it is important to me that I make it as easy as possible for the people who do need me, to find me. This is why I put these tips together. I want to make it easier for you to find the best pet photographer for you and your pets, whether you’re here in Seattle or not!
If you are in the Pacific Northwest, and you’d like to know more about working with me, go ahead and fill out my inquiry form on my CONTACT page, and we can get the story-capturing process started. I can’t wait to learn more about your pet’s story!
Thanks for taking the time to learn how to choose the best pet photographer for you and your pets!
Owner, Dirtie Dog Photography
Founder, Seattle Pet Collective