Top Ten Tips for Choosing your Pet Photographer

Top Ten Tips for Choosing your Pet Photographer

I get it! You’ve thought about it for ages and aaaaages!

You have THE most adorable dog IN… THE… WORLD!!! EVER!!!  Seriously!!

You really should have professional photos taken so you can brag to your friends and show off that trendy wall art of your ridiculously quirky pug’s face (you know, that she always makes when you whisper “wanna treat…?”) that hangs pride of place above your bed.

But seriously, how on earth do you choose?

Well, don’t worry, I’ve gotcha!
I’ve put together this super handy guide just for you that lays out some top tips of what you can look for to help you in your search for the perfect pet photographer (and no, it’s not always me!!).

Check their portfolio.

Do you like their images and their style? Their images should show pets that are happy and relaxed, not uncomfortable or forced.

Decide if you prefer on-location or studio portraits.

Not all pet photographers offer both, so once you decide which look you prefer, that will help you narrow your search.

Find a pet photographer that has a history in animal behaviour, or has worked with pets for a long time.

It shouldn’t be just a fad to include the pet in family photos. It is actually a very special skill to work with animals properly. There can be a high level of risk involved and a good knowledge of animal behaviour is essential in preventing unfortunate incidents.

Have a conversation with them!

You need to know that you can talk to your pet photographer. Do they have a phone number? You have to “click” with them. If you are not relaxed during the photo session, your pet won’t be either.

Word of mouth is always the best recommendation.

Who have your friends used? What have past clients said?

Check their testimonials and reviews.

 

Look for a full-service pet photographer.

Do you want your images on a USB in your drawer that you’ll never look at, or displayed as high-quality Fine Art Photographic Products from only the best professional suppliers in Australia?

Look for Industry Accreditation and Memberships.

Every Professional Industry has a Body or Organisation that helps to keep their members at the top of their game. In Australia, that body is the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography).

Ask the hard legal questions no-one wants to ask.

Are their business insurances up-to-date?

PRICING!

You probably think this should be in the top three of tips, but in reality it’s not really THE deciding factor here as we all know that no-one truly “budgets” for pet photography. While we all love our pets dearly and treasure them with all our hearts, photography is a luxury item and a very emotional one at that. You will see an enormous spectrum of pricing, as well as available services and experiences. Do your research and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions.

Gut Instinct!

One last word of advice and my best tip, is to go with your gut, speak with any prospective pet photographers and you will know when you “click” with each other.

That’s it! Have fun, keep it natural, and enjoy your furries, because unfortunately, they are never around long enough!

If you want a pdf version of this blog to keep, simply pop in your details below and my Top Ten Tips for Choosing Your Pet Photographer will land in your inbox. Easy peasy!! Enjoy!

And, as always, if you have any questions or would like to chat further, please contact me.

Shilo rocks Bombo – South Coast Pet Photographer

Shilo rocks Bombo – South Coast Pet Photographer

Shilo’s mum Ashleigh is simply THE best guesser in the entire world!

How do I know this? Well, she managed to WIN my guessing competition at the recent UNLEASHED Dog Event at Shell Cove, on the South Coast of NSW. She scooped herself a pet photography session with me, along with a beautiful framed canvas, which she then chose to upgrade to a Fine Art Bamboo Print Series. You can check out some of the other aaahhhhmazing products I have on offer, over on the products page.

 

We had soooo much fun during our photo session and I’m sure I could have kept photographing Shilo ALL day, as she was such a happy little PUPSTAR. She was eager to do pretty much anything we wanted her do, as long as we paid her with many, many, many, MANY treats!! Did I mention Shilo liked treats???

 

We played in the grass, walked trails, and scrambled over rocks.

Bombo is such an amazingly photogenic location, especially when you get to frollick with an awesome little dog like Shilo.

Just check out some of the different types of portraits we were able to create during her session…

 

If you would like to book a photo session for your dog at Bombo (do it, it’s sooooo much fun!!), please contact me.

The True Value of Prints

The True Value of Prints

TECHNOLOGY FAILS:

Have you ever gone to show someone that one photo you were really proud of, only to find that it was on your old phone… you know, the one you dropped and got smashed and didn’t have backed up?  Oh the horror!!!

Or, are you as old as me, and remember when floppy disks were the things that we used to store our data on? or even CDs or DVDs, before USBs….? I know many folks who have numerous USBs rattling around their drawers with no idea as to what’s on which one.

Technology is becoming redundant so quickly, we simply don’t know HOW we are going to be storing our data and all our beautiful precious memories in the future.

I grew up in a family of film photographers. My Grandfather had his own dark room and was heavily involved in Camera Clubs, and in turn my Father, and later, my Mother was drawn to the “dark-side” (yes, pun intended!).

Growing up surrounded by physical photos and large prints on the walls as reminders of family holidays, along with albums of special events, it was just so special. Each and every image said “I existed, I had a story, I was here…”

As a child though, I was not allowed to have a dog, so when my partner and I had the opportunity to rescue our first dog, Bella, we jumped at the chance (see the about page for more about Bella – my heart dog). Bella became my muse, my first photographic star. I’m so very thankful I have gorgeous prints of her, as unfortunately, she was not a very healthy dog at all.

This is why I am so very passionate about printing your images, we love our pets with our whole hearts and they simply don’t stay long enough.

“If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left”  – Missy Mwac

 

Tempus visits Kangaroo Valley

Tempus visits Kangaroo Valley

Kangaroo Valley Pet Photography Session with Tempus –

A few months ago, I shared a post about a gorgeous Golden Retriever puppy called Northern…. weeeeell, meet her beautiful sister TEMPUS. She is (was) a 16 week old Border Collie puppy at the time of our session, and we headed to the picturesque Kangaroo Valley for our shoot.

A HUGE thank you goes out to The Heavens Mountain Escape in Kangaroo Valley, they kindly supplied the perfect backdrop for Tempus’ first photo session.

Now, you may think, another puppy in such a short timeframe….?? What the heck? That’s just asking for trouble!! Well, let me set you straight, Kellie, from Totally Pawsable Dog Training, is an amazing dog trainer. She already has TWO older dogs, Southern, a 10-year-old Border Collie, and Bella, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever… you can see a breed theme happening, hey?

Kellie has done an amazing job in creating beautiful, balanced and happy dogs. They all get time together, but also time apart so they don’t become dependent on each other. Training, walking, sleeping, playing, Kellie is all over it. I’m in awe of what she has achieved with her four dogs.

SUPER AWESOME JOB KELLIE!!!!!

Now, back to the newest addition, TEMPUS… she is just THE sweetest puppy!

Check out a selection of images from our photo session at The Heavens… I make no apologies for the number of images contained – there were soooooo many favourites!!

 

If you are interested in capturing your puppy in all their awesomeness before they grow up, please get in contact with me, I now do sessions around Wollongong, the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, South Coast of NSW, and more…

Get in touch and let’s chat.

Double Trouble – Hawkesbury Pet Photographer

Double Trouble – Hawkesbury Pet Photographer

Double Trouble in the Hawkesbury:

I recently met up with Marcia from Pawsonality, to photograph her two awesome dogs at her home.

When you are a dog guardian, you know your dog inside and out – you know each and every little expression they use, the nuances of their body language, and every little quirk they have. Sometimes, they don’t show their full personality or the entire range of quirks to a complete stranger, especially one who wants to stick a big fat camera in their face. We, therefore, spent some quality time together so that I could get to know the dogs, and of course, so they could get used to me. Dogs that are happy and relaxed are more likely to freely express themselves and show all their quirks.

I absolutely loved getting to know Roxy and Winston and watching them open up to me. It was a joy to be able to capture a range of expression – serious, happy, goofy, cheeky, handsome, regal, as well as the personal details that Marcia loves about her dogs – Roxy’s forehead wrinkles, Winston’s uneven ears.

This is why I adore my job!! I provide joy to pet guardians, capturing the uniqueness of each pet and providing memories that will last a lifetime.

Check out a small selection of images from Roxy and Winston’s session below…

 

If you would like to book a photo session for your pets, please get in touch with me and we can chat about all your options. In the meantime, enjoy your pets, love them, and appreciate all their weird little quirks.

Northern – Southern Highlands Pet Photographer

Northern – Southern Highlands Pet Photographer

Northern in the Southern Highlands:

I’ve had a lengthy hiatus from shooting due to a major relocation from Dural in the Hills District of Sydney down to the beautiful South Coast of NSW. It was a huge move for us, but one that was very overdue, and we are loving every second of being on the coast. Being on the beautiful South Coast  is a huge inspiration for me, and is proving to provide some much needed motivation.

I am also so very pleased to reconnect with old friends who have also moved away from Sydney. Recently, I had the opportunity to have an amazing photo session with Kellie from Totally Pawsable Dog Training, and her new Golden Retriever puppy, Northern. Well, what an absolute joy Nothern was. Every golden wiggly inch of her 🙂

Check out a selection of photos from her session below…

 

 

If you are interested in capturing your puppy in all their awesome goofiness before they grow up, please get in contact with me, I now do sessions around Wollongong, the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, South Coast of NSW, and more…

Get in touch and let’s chat.

Mini Session Goodness with Little Kenny

Mini Session Goodness with Little Kenny

Sometimes you meet a new dog at a new location and it takes a little time for everyone to relax and get comfortable with their surroundings.

Meet KENNY!!

He is a beautiful little Tibetan Spaniel who was a little nervous about this new location to start with. I took some time just chilling out with him on the grass, getting him used to me, and the camera gear. I always like to observe my subjects for a little while, and never force them straight into a “sit” on this, or “stand” over here.

A lot of folks worry that they don’t have “obedience” trained dogs, and that they would never sit still long enough for a good photo. Guess what? Young Kenny here is the perfect example of an untrained dog coming away with gorgeous images that capture his personality – cheeky, happy, alert and playful! What a little spunk!

#WDPets Campaign

I was recently commissioned, along with some of Australia’s most talented photographers, to be part of a campaign to raise awareness for pet adoption and rescue groups.

Working with Western Digital and Rescue Groups throughout Australia, myself and the other commissioned photographers aim to shine a light on all the wonderful animals that are currently waiting for their new and forever homes.

By sending professional photographers into the shelters, each armed with a donated Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro, we were able to capture gorgeous and happy photographs of these animals, which will greatly improve their chances of adoption.

This campaign is gaining traction on social media, with folks sharing images using the hashtag #WDPets.
Even photographic magazines and online forums are picking it up and running articles. This is FANTASTIC, as it will raise much needed awareness.

Check out the following links:
https://www.facebook.com/WDAustralia/app/137541772984354/

http://www.capturemag.com.au/projects/wd-s-wireless-workflow-raising-awareness-for-pets-in-need

http://www.australianphotography.com/news/photographers-get-behind-animal-rescue-campaign

http://www.itwire.com/strategy/74841-wd-supports-aussie-pet-rescue-and-adoption.html

Myself and my partner have adopted 4 rescue animals so far (2 dogs and 2 cats), so we certainly understand the immense joy that comes from adopting rescues. Truth be told, I had to stop myself from attempting to smuggle out a couple of these cuties during our session.

Please check out these gorgeous guys, and contact the Animal Welfare League Ingleside for more details.

And remember #adoptdontshop #WDPets

Here are some of the animals that were available for adoption during the #WDPets campaign…

The Outrageous Adorableness of BAILEY the Pomsky

The Outrageous Adorableness of BAILEY the Pomsky

It’s not often I can say that I fall in love on first sight, well actually, it has happened several times in fact; when I met my partner (aaawwwwww!!), when I laid eyes on our first rescue dog Bella, when we met our second rescue dog Oscar, when Pud our cat wandered into our yard and never left (don’t worry, we did try to find her owners), and then lastly when we found our latest rescue cat Chili, as a teeny tiny little kitty at the pound.

Well, it has happened again in my most recent shoot. I won’t lie, I wanted to bundle this little puppy up and sneak him out with me in my camera bag. You’ll understand when you see the images, trust me!!

You may ask “What on earth is a POMSKY?, well my friends, a Pomsky is an absolutely adorable mix of Pomeranian and Husky… WOW is what I first thought, and then I tried NOT to imagine the logistics of that mating 🙂  But upon meeting little Bailey the minute I got in the door, he was the sweetest, most adorable little puppy I’ve ever photographed (sorry Oscar)!

We had an on-location shoot at the apartment where Bailey and his humans live, which was just divine.

Check out Bailey in all of his outrageous adorableness below. Sometimes he channels his inner Pomeranian, sometimes his Huskiness shines through and at other times I’m sure I was photographing a little fox.

 

Until next time, enjoy your pets and snuggle them often!

Top Pet Photo Tips You Can Use at Home

Top Pet Photo Tips You Can Use at Home

Do you struggle to take good photos of your pets at home? I was honoured to be contacted recently by BUPA Insurance to be one of the featured photographers for their article “Top Pet Photographers Share Their Secrets” on their BUPA Pet Insurance website.

Over the years, I’ve found a few tricks to help. Capturing your pet’s attention can sometimes be quite hard. I find treats and favourite toys always help, and then there’s always silly noises, like squeaking, chirping, and meowing.

Those who know me and my photographic style, know I love to capture the little details like the curl of a tail, the whiskers of a cat, or a single paw. These are all things that are very personal to your pet and make great stand-alone shots.

I also like to get down at their level, so lay on the ground and get eye to eye with them, like the below image of my beautiful cat, Pud, taken at home with natural light through a window.

To check out all the tips from the BUPA Pet Insurance feature article, head over to “Top Pet Photographers Share Their Secrets“.

Until next time, keep it fun and happy shooting!

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