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Photography Question 
Joan Castillo
 

Getting Started in Pet Photography


How do you get started? I'm being told the best way to start is volunteer at pet adoption agencies, etc. I just noticed there's a huge pet adoption event taking place in a couple of weeks. I guess you could say I'm still building my portfolio, and haven't officially started as a business, so I need pointers as to how to go about this. If allowed, I was thinking of taking my camera and a portable printer to the event, and just taking pictures of people and their new pets for free - and putting a sticker with my name and contact info on the back. Any advice?


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4/20/2006 12:49:18 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Joan,
There is really no reason to do this as a volunteer. I do charity events all the time - pet events as well as children's events: I offer a percentage return. I set up a backdrop, bring props, my lighting, etc., as an on-site studio.
I load all portraits onto my laptop for viewing (or print a proof sheet with my Epson picture maker). Then they pick their package, and I print. I usually give 3 packages.
Anything that works with children will work with pets in most cases. Another thing I like to add is an extra sheet of wallet sizes made as business cards.
These work great for any and all events.
People may hand out or keep your business cards - but if they have a card to hand out to friends and nieghbors with their loved ones' picture on it - just think of how much excited they will be to hand it out.
I do hope this helps.


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4/20/2006 2:19:41 PM

 
Jill Flynn
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/6/2004
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Jill's Gallery
  Hi Joan. I do pet photography. You can check out my Web site and gallery for samples of my work. And yes volunteering at shelters is a good way to go. I would highly recommend you do that. You not only give back to the community and help animals, but you also make a lot of contacts, which in turn leads to jobs, Also, contact and work with local veterinarians. I display my prints with them and get a lot of business that way. But definitely look into volunteering. It is amazing how much you "get back" when you volunteer!


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4/20/2006 3:56:15 PM

 
Joan Castillo   Hi Debby and Jill,

I've thanked you guys "personally" but wanted to say thanks here as well.

Well, don't forget I'm just starting out (and I will put up more photos when I get a chance) - so with a limited budget and still waiting on my new digital SLR, I'm thinking of either bringing the camera and a compact printer, or just using a Polaroid if I don't have my new camera by then.

Thanks again for your input - any other advice you could provide would be great, as I am new at this.


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4/21/2006 10:31:37 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Joan,
why don't you take a look at the Epson Picture Mate.
I love this thing, you can then print out a proff sheet for them to order off of.
It has been found for at little as 25.00 to 40.00
I think you'll love the idea though.
Good luck


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4/21/2006 10:37:36 AM

 
Joan Castillo   Thanks again, Debby! I am looking at one of those "lunchbox" printers but I'm partial to Canon, so I may get a Selphy. This is just for "on-the-fly" pix.

I am still thinking of ordering those CD's - I just have blown so much on camera/equip. and another course that I'm a little short on funds right now.

I also forgot to mention, since I'm just starting out, that I have no studio equipment so if I do anything right now (especially on-location/outdoors) I'll be relying on natural light. At least, until I can get a backdrop and stand and simple lighting.


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4/21/2006 10:44:03 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
  Puppy in the bath tub
Puppy in the bath tub
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Fuji FinePix S2 Pr...
 
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who's filling in for santa
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send us some ginny piggys....
© Debby A. Tabb
Fuji FinePix S2 Pr...
 
 
The backdrop stand is easy to make for now- as in the Studio Cd, it can be made of PVC.
backdrops out of 25.00 drop clothes, from lowes or home depot.
and with lighting PLEASE make sure you save for something decent( there is a comparision chart in the studio CD as well of 4 major companies)
You can do pet photography with 1 light to start.
here are examples of a one light sysytem- it just seems you need more as you add more subjects and humans.
I hoep this helps,
Debby


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4/21/2006 10:49:00 AM

 
Joan Bellinger   There is an exampleof a business plan for pet photography at www.bplans.com. When the page comes up, click on the link for the 60 free business plans, then click on "P" for the Pet Photography Business Plan. Hope this helps.


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4/25/2006 7:25:45 AM

 
Simon  A. Stone   although I do not have a business, I have gotten a name and reputation for a young photographer. I started out just entering contests on the internet but I reallized how many people just like me are out there. so I went to my high school and started a photography club. I took classes at the local college, while they don't really help, It gave me the oppurtunity to help others, since then I have gotten an internship at a local newspaper. then our club sponsored a photography contest I know it seems stacked but I won 1st in two cattegories. I have also been asked to teach a class of children the basics of Photography. also at my internship they saw some of the pictures I submitted to a regional contest and said they would want to feature them in their paper as points of interest, or even make a calendar expressing the beauty of our area. I know its not a lot but it might offer you some ideas, I live in a small Rural town, so it is harder to find oppurtunities. but if you look hard enough you can find them. look for contests, charities, town displays, ametuer galleries, sporting events, anything you can to get your name around. good Luck I hope You succeed


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4/25/2006 11:42:22 AM

 
Joan Castillo   Thanks, Simon. Sounds like you're already on your way to making a name for yourself! Wish I'd thought of this years ago............


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4/25/2006 11:47:45 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Sorry to do this guys, But Roger Poole contacted me about CD info.
I hope he is watching this thread or the Studio Photography one.
Rodger I am leaving this message because I tried to return your email request for more info on My Posing CD's for families and pets and no matter how much I tried the email would come back.
Please email me a phone number and I can call after 7:00 Ca time or another email address.
Also you can go to my gallery and click on the CD cover for details.
Thank you for your intrest,
Debby


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4/26/2006 6:05:39 AM

 
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