Most households in North America own at least one pet, and most people care for their animals as much as they would for their own child. People spend thousands of dollars a year on their pets to pamper and spoil and them. If you enjoy photography and love animals just as much as their owners do, you could be making money by combining these two things into a rewarding business.
All you will need is a room set up as a studio, good quality cameras, lighting equipment, tripods and of course film. You could also have different back grounds and props to make the picture more interesting, or fit certain occasions. To get the best picture you will want to get down to pet level and use toys and treats to get the pets attention. When you get the animals attention, you should have a squeaky toy, or flash that will make the animal look strait at you and perk up it’s ears.
Since cats are particularly hard to get to cooperate, you will want to schedule longer appointments for them in order to become comfortable around them. You should be knowledgeable in animal psychology and also a people person, since most pet owners will be present and a lot will want to be in the photographs with their pets.
If your photography skills aren’t the greatest you can take classes at your local community college to ensure you will be providing your customers with what they want. To attract customers you could make enlarged copies of some good pet photographs you have done and post them up at your local library, veterinary office or coffee shops. Make sure to include a phone number and your name so they can get a hold of you! You can also establish yourself by creating a small portfolio with pictures of your own pets, as well as the pets of family, friends and neighbors. You can then turn this into a flyer and distribute in people mail boxes. Of course you can always publish an add in the Yellow Pages as well. Offering weekend and evening hours will also attract more customers.
Most pet photographers charge a basic rate of $5 to $10 per person or animal and then charge between $40.00 and $175.00 per package of photographs, depending on the number of photos, number of poses, etc. You can also sell pet photos at art fairs for about $20 to $200 per picture (as long as you have written permission from the owner), or sell your pictures as cards, or note book covers.