7 Reasons Not to Book a Pet Photography Session
After nearly ten years of being in business as a professional pet photographer, I've heard so many stories of people not getting around to booking a session, only to regret it later. There are always reasons they didn't book... I think I've heard them all!I'd like to share the most common reasons here so you know you're not alone.
Also, the reasons why those reasons suck.
1. "My dog is young and healthy - I have plenty of time!"
Back in September 2015, I lost my beautiful 8 year old Great Dane, Luna.I was working from home on a Friday afternoon, with Luna snoozing on her bed behind me. We took a break outside in the front yard and Luna was wandering around on the grass, enjoying the sunshine and sniffing around, in no apparent distress.
Suddenly and with no warning, she collapsed and died instantly.
The vet said it must have been a heart attack or stroke - there was nothing I could have done.It was a huge, huge shock and I was in total disbelief for a long time. You know when you think you're dreaming, and you keep trying to wake up?
That was me for the first week.
Luna was so happy and apparently healthy, enjoying life and loved by so many the world over. She left a huge hole in my heart and an empty spot by my side.
You never know when you might have to say goodbye - and in some cases - you may not even get the opportunity at all.
Losing Luna so unexpectedly (in the wake of losing her sister Kaya at the tender age of two) has driven me share her story and remind you that (fatalistic as it seems) you never know when your time with your precious fur-kid will be up. It's a timely reminder to make a habit of showing them how much you love them every single day. Make every second you have with them count and make their lives absolutely awesome!Don't delay booking your session because your dog is young or apparently healthy. You just never know what the future holds.
Don't be left with only blurry iPhone snaps of your beloved family member.
2. "My dog isn't well behaved enough."
I bet you didn't know that most dogs I photograph are untrained and on-leash during the session? You’re paying for a dedicated professional to get amazing photos of your pet – which means you get to sit back, relax and let me deal with all the details. You also need to read this!
3. "My dog is timid, scared, camera shy, or not comfortable with strangers."
Dog behaviour and body language is a complex field of expertise. Being experienced, sensitive, observant and most of all - having a "feel" for dogs - is essential when working with them in the sometimes challenging environment of a photo shoot.
Through owning and training my own dogs and constant exposure to our canine friends on a daily basis through my work, I have gained a solid understanding of doggy behaviour.
Each dog teaches me more and I never stop learning.
Over the years, I've worked with every type of dog personality - from hyper to indifferent - from outgoing to timid. Dogs that have had a rough start in life and simply don't trust people, I have managed to make friends with - through an understanding that comes naturally to me.
There are so many different ways I can work with your dog that don't involve having a camera shoved in their face or having them feeling out of their comfort zone.
Most importantly, I also know when to quit.
If your dog is truly terrified or really unhappy with the experience, rest assured I can recognise this and will never push them further than they can handle. If we need to end the session (which has happened maybe a grand total of 2 times in ten years) we'll always end on a positive note, then regroup later with Plan B. And there is always a Plan B!I think my past clients say it best:
4. "I just can't afford it."
I believe pet photography should be accessible for everyone, so I provide flexible payment options. There's no need to pay for your product order in full and up-front, you can pay it off over time with my flexible interest-free payment plans. You could also put the full payment on your credit card, get your products sooner, and pay it off at your own pace.
Your session can be booked months in advance, giving you time to budget and save.
I want you to have this experience, because I know how valuable it is.
Not in terms of money, but in memories.
Years down the track, I guarantee you won't remember the price, but you will forever have those precious memories of the love you have for your pet that were created at your photo session.
5. "I'm just waiting for a scar to heal / shaved hair to grow out or my dog has tear staining / lick marks etc."
Spot the difference! Jenkins had some skin issues that caused hair loss on his face, easy enough to fix up in Photoshop.
I totally get it, you want your dog to look their best in photos. So you postpone booking, waiting for that scar on their face from their latest misadventure to heal. Waiting for the hair to grow back on their leg from their last vet visit. Waiting for that hot spot on their side to go away.
I'll share a little trade secret with you.
Photoshop is a wonderful, wonderful tool in the hands of a professional photographer.
Minor imperfections (and sometimes major ones) really are no problem at all for me to fix up in the editing stage. Don't let the little things get in the way!
7. "I want to be in the photos too, but I'm not confident in front of the camera."
No posing or even showing your face if you aren't comfortable with that - there are many ways you can be in the photos!
Lack of confidence in front of the camera is such a common concern. Having been recently married, my incredibly camera-shy husband and I experienced life on the other side of the camera.
Looking back, I really don't know what I was worried about.
Our photographer Lyndal did a really great job, putting us at ease and allowing us to concentrate on each other and focus on having a great time, rather than being consciously aware of posing for photos.
I learned that when it comes down to it, regardless of how you look - if you relax and enjoy the experience, remember to smile and laugh and most importantly love your dog (why else would you be doing this?) - it will show in the resulting images.
And that is the important thing!
You can choose to have posed portraits, or if you're not comfortable with that, let me know you're only up for candids - or only want to appear in the background - all fuzzy and out-of-focus - but there nevertheless! And you know what?
You don't even have to be in the photos at all.
Many of my clients only want shots of their dog - and that is perfectly okay. It's your photo session and you call the shots.
7. "I don't have time / I'm too busy."
Having to relocate overseas for work at very late notice didn't stop Ayse from making the time to book a session for her beloved boy Yagmur before she went. As a result, she was able to take her beautiful products with her when she went as a precious memento of their time together.
Being busy is another very common block to booking a photo session. I get it, I really do. Busy is an epidemic in our modern world - but I've come to understand over the years - it's also a choice we make.
Please make the choice to make time for this experience.
As well as mid week sessions, Saturday sessions are available and you can book up to 6 months in advance (which also give you time to save up for all the goodies you're going to want to order once you've seen your beautiful photos) and check my availability online before you book.
Any more excuses? Go on, I dare you! Leave them as comments below. ;)