• Emily Bienek

So You Want Photos of Your Pet - How do you Find a Pet Photographer? | Portland, Maine

Updated: Feb 19, 2020


Hi there, I'm Emily and I'm a professional pet photographer in Maine and Boston! I work with dogs, cats, horses, and many other small animals to create fun, quirky, timeless, and completely endearing portraits of your furry friends. Read on to learn more about why a professional pet photographer is important when working with your baby, and how to find the right one (or you could just get in touch with me via my contact form).


FINDING THE RIGHT PET PHOTOGRAPHER


If you are reading this, you probably love your pet a lot and would like to integrate them into your home in a more permanent way. You have family portraits, but what about pet portraits? We all know that animals have a relatively short life-span compared to humans, and it's absolutely devastating when they leave us. Being prepared by investing in quality pet portraiture early in their lives will ensure that they have a prominent place in your home for generations.


After you decide that you want to find a pet photographer, the trouble becomes finding one! Sure, there are tons of photographers and tons of people with cameras, but just like you need a specialty photographer for newborns, you need a specialty photographer for pets as well.


Why? Well, because just like newborns, pets can't speak with words, so they use their behaviors in very small ways to communicate their feelings. If you're working with an untrained photographer who isn't experienced with animals and who may not even be comfortable with them, then you risk having a really bad experience for your pet, and maybe even you. What if your pet is showing signs of being uncomfortable, but the photographer doesn't notice and your pet escalates?


A pet photographer will have the ability to be patient and get on the pet's level so they can get a portrait that truly represents their calm and relaxed personality.


I know you have some questions about Pet Portraits, so here are some expectations and things you should look for to make sure whoever you take your loved one to is the best option for your furry (or scaly) baby!





DO THEY SPECIALIZE IN PET PHOTOGRAPHY?


This is sort of a two-part question. First, you'll want to make sure the photographer has the skills and patience (and experience!) necessary to deal with animals. Even if someone has pets of their own, dog breeds are all very different, and a rescue pet is very different from one that's been bred. Your photographer will need to have the skills to work with animals no matter their temperament. Horses are particularly touchy as they can easily get startled by equipment and noises - your photographer will also need to know enough about horses to capture them when they're looking curious and engaged.


Second, you'll want to ask how much of their business is actual pet photography. If someone mainly works other genres, and occasionally has a pet show up, they probably aren’t as specialized in pet photography as you may think. Typically, a pet photographer will work exclusively with animals, or work half and half – half animals, half other type of portraiture.  Use your judgment, but the more someone works with animals, particularly in controlled environments like a studio or with off-leash animals, the more likely they are to be able to work safely and efficiently with yours.



Maine cat photography


ASK ABOUT STUDIO SPACE


Is their studio dog friendly? Is it quiet, ca