So you have decided that you would like to invest in a dog photography experience for your dog, now what?
Dog photography is becoming more and more popular with both customers and professional photographers so with so much choice out there, how do you work out which is the right photographer for you?
Do your research!
What I will say is don't just go with the first photographer you find when you search on Google, do a bit of research and make sure that you are going to come away with exactly what you want from the session. Just because we are all dog photographers does not mean we are all the same. Each photographer will have their own style, some prefer more natural colours in their images, some like to shoot close up with wide angle lenses, other prefer a soft dreamy background. Take time to look through the photographers website and social media and make sure that you love their style before you consider hiring them.
The final artwork
Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do with the final images before you start looking for a photographer. Not all photographers will provide digital copies of their work and each photographer will have a different range of products on offer. It is no good booking a photographer to create a bespoke piece of artwork for your wall to then realise the biggest print they offer is 8x10! Again, take the time to browse through their websites and look at their product offering as well as their sessions.
Money Money Money
I hate talking about money but unfortunately in today's society it is a big factor in most decisions. Firstly, I would recommend researching the average cost of dog photographers in your area and then set yourself a realistic budget. The truth of it is, professional photography is an investment so you must be prepared to pay for it in order to get the best quality. If you go into this process naively expecting to get fantastic quality photography with all of the images included for less than £50 then you are more than likely going to be very disappointed. Like my mum always says, you get what you pay for. Saying that do not go out and book the most expensive photographer you can find and get yourself into debt, set yourself a budget and look for someone at the top end of that budget.
A photography experience is meant to be enjoyable so it is important you are going to get along with your photographer. The idea is that you are not just booking a photographer, you are making a new friend! If you have identified a professional dog photographer that you like and can afford, follow them on social media for a bit and interact with them, read their About me section on their website to make sure that they are suited to you and your dog. Maybe you will find out that they own the same breed of dog as you, or they have similar hobbies (other than dogs!), now you will have more to talk about during your session. Remember the more at ease you are during your dogs photography session, the more relaxed your dog will be and the better the photos will turn out.
Location Location Location
It may seem obvious but remember to factor in location when searching for your dream dog photographer. A lot of photographers will travel across the UK but this usually comes with an added travel cost. Obviously you can travel to them in order to avoid these additional costs but remember to factor in your petrol costs and time. I would recommend starting locally and working your way out to find your ideal photographer. Make sure your online searches include your area to avoid falling in love with a photographer only to realise they are at the other end of the UK.
Finally be sure to check that your photographer is the real deal and not just anyone with a camera that likes dogs. Your photographer should be set up as a legitimate business and properly insured.
Hopefully that has helped you overcome the overwhelm of choosing the perfect dog photographer for you. If you have any questions or need a bit more advice I would be happy to help.