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Thread: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

  1. #1
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Hi guys

    I'm an enthusiast and passionate photographer totally in love with animals, the wife is hooked on dog training, agility and dog sports so we decided some months ago - let's try and do something with this.
    So we started a small week-end project (which maybe will become a business).
    I will start posting here some of our work, looking to get constructive criticism. Will be starting with one of the first shoots, about 6 months ago.
    Thanks in advance
    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Very nice start. So what is the business,"pet portraits"?

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Good luck with your new enterprise...

  4. #4
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Thank you. The project is supposed to be pets photography (together with their families of course) and I'm working with my wife who is doing the actual handling of the dogs. Hard to call it business yet because it only 'ate' money and the photos we took so far were just to have a portfolio

    The second photoshoot, this Feb/March was with a bullterrier of 4 months old:
    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro
    The image is part of this set posted on Flickr.

    The set with more images of the boxer in the first post is here

    I don't think it's worth posting all the images here, hope it is ok to put the links towards Flickr. Any critique is welcomed.

  5. #5

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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Have a good look at Richard's (rpcrowe) doggy images. You will learn a lot from him.

  6. #6
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Thank you for the advice. I have studied Richard's work long before creating the user on the forum

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Quote Originally Posted by mihaich View Post
    Thank you. The project is supposed to be pets photography (together with their families of course) and I'm working with my wife who is doing the actual handling of the dogs. Hard to call it business yet because it only 'ate' money and the photos we took so far were just to have a portfolio

    The second photoshoot, this Feb/March was with a bullterrier of 4 months old:
    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro
    The image is part of this set posted on Flickr.

    The set with more images of the boxer in the first post is here

    I don't think it's worth posting all the images here, hope it is ok to put the links towards Flickr. Any critique is welcomed.
    You may want to branch out into the show dog arena. I am sure contest winners as well as those with highly prized breeders will want to document all aspects of the canine's career.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Regarding John's comment about dog shows...

    Dog show photography is very strictly regulated by the organizations running the show (at least in the USA in American Kennel Club shows). While they usually allow personal photos of the dogs in the ring, winners photos are done by the "Official Show Photographer". That is the bread and butter of the show photographer and even though I could usually do a better job than the "official photographer" I always purchased photos from that person. Even other than the "Official Winner Pictures" the show photographers have the sole permission to shoot for profit and any other photographer trying to earn money by shooting at the show can be ejected from the show grounds.

    Here are some examples of dog show photos.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dog+...w=1280&bih=582

    None of these type photos are the money-makers for the dog show photographer. Those money makers are the "Winners Photos". Posed (and quite boring) shots with the judge, the dog and the owner or the handler. There is a sign stating the type of win and the show and photographer's name. However the name of the dog is never included.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dog+...%3B1490%3B1162

    OTOH... There are sometimes "Dog Portrait" photographers at dog shows. These portrait photographers pay the vendor's fees to the organization holding the show and usually set up in a tent-like affair with studio strobes + modifiers,, backgrounds, and various props. They often shoot tethered to a computer and have an editing program of some type on the computer as well as a printer - so they can sell finished prints. Almost always, it is at least a pair of people working this booth. One person could not do it alone. Sometimes a generator is needed when the tent is located at an outdoor show. The cost of this type of setup is pretty high. Obviously, you also need top quality portraits as examples of your work...

    My wife and I no longer show and are full time into rescue. We find the rescue work far more rewarding than showing. However, believe it or not, it is equally as taxing. My wife is the American Maltese Association Rescue National Coordinator and she works longer and harder than she ever did as a full time college professor plus a breeder and dog show person. The big difference is lots more satisfaction but, no paycheck!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 11th June 2013 at 03:21 PM.

  9. #9
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Richard, I deeply appreciate your detailed answer and the time you took. Here in our country it is a bit different, both in terms of organization and in terms of mentality of the people (and, also important, in terms of purchasing power).

    Regarding dog shows - I do not plan on going soon. I do own a dog and have participated with him as owner in the shows. Usually the shows are organized by the local associations in each town and each of them use a photographer they know (if any), paid for the event. I could go as an 'outsider' but do not see really the point.
    As starting point, you have to be aware that the concept of selling the prints is not functional in my country. Generally the first question of those who do go to a photographer here (whether for a wedding, a photo shoot or whatever) is to ask him how many photos they will get. So this is the kind of thinking we have to work with.

    For us, this project is not and most likely will not be in the near future a source of income on its own - I do have an office job in marketing. But still, I would really love to make it work as much as possible.
    As 'target' - I am addressing mainly the passionate pet owners - the ones who buy premium food for their pets, clothes&accessories etc because I think these are the people who really want beautiful memories captured in images.
    Secondly, of course we welcome breeders, Pet shops and others.

    We set up three photo packages which, if you have 2 minutes, you can see here in English: http://www.en.petstarfoto.ro/photo-sessions/
    And to understand better, even though now the prices are promotional and, in USD, would be around 55 / 95 / 150 $, there are people who say they would like to have a photo shoot but cannot afford it. So this is what makes it very hard.

    As promotional activities, we did go to some events where we did one photo for free and posted it online, just to show people what quality images look like and we're also trying to have some posters in vets, petshops. Anyway, I think WOM and social media are the basis, at least to start.

    Finally and sorry to be so long, we have done and will keep doing photos for rescue associations for free, as pets and dogs especially are too much in our hearts no matter what.

    And to conclude, another image from a shoot this spring
    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro
    The entire set is here.

  10. #10
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Few studio shots from the event where we did demo pics to get our website known.

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

  11. #11
    New Member mihaich's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    An image from this weekend photo shoot:

    Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

  12. #12
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    How does one ask a question on this site?

  13. #13
    Geranium's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    How does one ask a question or start a new thread on this site? Where are the instructions please.

  14. #14

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    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    Denise,

    Select the forum that is pertinent to the topic that you want to discuss. Click the "+ Post New Thread" button located near the top left area of the window. The rest will be intuitive.

  15. #15

    Re: Dog Photography - going from enthusiast to pro

    The best photos found that vividly capture the dog's unique spirit. See more about dog photography, dog breeds.

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