Downeast Dog News

Choosing a Pet Photographer

By Debra Bell | Aug 01, 2017

Pet parents everywhere happily snap away hoping to capture “the image” that perfectly encapsulates their pet. While anyone can take a pet photograph, a good pet photographer will have some additional skills and training to help your pet look and feel its best. These are professionals who specialize in creating meaningful, cherished images. Not all photographers have the specific skillset that it takes to help your pet — and you — feel at ease in front of the camera.

Here are some tips to help you choose a great pet photographer.

Start with research. Work with a photographer who specializes in pets. A pretty website or cute Facebook page are not enough. Ask to see a full session or to speak with past clients. What you should look for is consistency and a style that matches your own home and decor.

Some pet photographers strictly work on location while others have traditional studios and also work on location. Knowing the kind of style the photographers use is important. Ask them what kinds of sessions they offer and what kinds of locations they choose to use.

Experience matters. Right after research, experience matters. Your pet photographer should have worked with a variety of animals, breeds, and temperaments and will have an understanding of pet body language. This is especially important in ensuring that your pet is at ease and has a good time while being photographed. A nervous or shy dog will not do well with a photographer who does not take its needs into account.

It goes without saying that your photographer should also have a strong background in photography. He should also know when and where to photograph the pet, how to properly light the subjects, and how to elicit meaningful reactions from your pet.

If you’re hiring a photographer to create images of a senior or an ill pet, discuss any special needs or accommodations your pet will require to make the session successful.

Prepare to have fun! A great pet photographer will make the session a complete delight for both you and your furry friend! Not only will you have the chance to sit back and watch your pet in action (and it’s OK if the pet isn't perfectly behaved), but you’ll have the added advantage of someone else’s eye. Great pet photographers will be willing to crawl on the ground, get dirty and have fun with your pet. They’ll also know how to read its behavior to make sure the pet is having a blast as well.

Invest. Good photography is an investment and you get what you pay for. A beautiful portrait can create beautiful art for your walls or gifts for family and friends. Your chosen pro will be able to help you choose the right products for your needs and make suggestions for pieces that would look good in places in your home.

When you set up an appointment, find out what is included in the session fee as well as what the costs will be for additional products. If possible, meet with your photographer to view the images and order. The photographer will be able to help you decide on the images you’d like to have printed or turned into something for your wall, desk, or even the Christmas tree. Many times a second set of eyes will help narrow down the decision making rather than just viewing a session online.


Debra Bell is the owner of Bell’s Furry Friends Photography (a division of Bell Imaging & Design LLC) and she and her husband Bill are owned by Buddy, a greyhound, Olivia, a Maine coon cat and an angel greyhound named Laura. View her work and find out more at