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How to Start a Pet Photography Business 1-2-3

Imagine having a high-paying career that you actually love doing. With a pet photography business, you use your creative skills and set your own schedule. And if you enjoy being around animals, why not start a business in this quickly growing niche?

Work from home, open your own portrait studio, or get a change of scenery offering a mobile photography service. With pet photography, you can work part-time, make money taking pictures at community and special events or offer the service as part of another business that you run.

Photography Business Training

Having experience around animals is essential in this business. You need to be comfortable around a variety of different animals, and they around you. You don't need a college degree to start a pet photography business, but having basic knowledge and skills will enable you to take better pictures, charge higher prices and attract more clients.

What Equipment and Supplies Do You Need?

If you are on a budget, you can start with a digital camera a high-quality photo printer (I think Canon is a great brand for photo printers). If you are opening a portrait studio, you can get a photo studio portrait background and photo studio light kit for under $500

It's important to have a portfolio of your work that you can display to customers, and a website is a great way to do this. Not only is it accessible anytime anywhere - you can easily revise it anytime to complete a new photography project. A domain name and website can cost you as little as $50-$100/year.

Get a second phone line for business (Did you know that you can get an 800# with voicemail for as little as $2/month?). This way, customers don't have to call you on your personal number. You can manage your own business bookkeeping with low-cost accounting software like Quickbooks Simple Start.

Register your company name with the county clerk (you want to make sure it is available and that another business is not already using that same name). Apply for a business license at your city's government office. This is a fairly simple process where you fill out a one or two page application and pay a small fee. Then, open a business bank account to separate business finances from your personal account.

Pet Photographer Business Start-up Guide

Get insider tips on how to become a professional photographer and run your own profitable photography business. Use the shortcuts that the experts know about, including cutting costs, finding more clients and increasing your profits.
  • How to teach yourself basic photography without going to school
  • How to build your portrait portfolio
  • As Seen in Oprah's NewsletterAdvice on photography equipment & supplies - where to buy, lighting requirements and how to save money and start a business on tight budget
  • How to get new clients with free publicity, arranging "portrait parties", making big money at trade shows and a list of online photography directories that you can get into

How to Become a Professional Photographer


T I P : Professional Pet Photography Technique Tips
Want to know how to set up a pet-friendly studio, find easy props and get special techniques for working with dogs, cats, horses, birds, ferrets and reptiles? Professional Pet Photographer Debrah Muska shares these secrets and more >> Pet Photography Tips

Photography Business Start-Up Resources:


Find Customers for Your Pet Photography Business

Partnering with other companies in the pet industry can be a great way to jump start your marketing (ie. pet supply stores, doggy day care services, dog groomers, etc..). Established businesses have a client base, and brick-and-mortar shops have customer traffic that may match your target market.

The way you go about partnering with these businesses is to give them an incentive to work with you. First, you want to make sure you don't directly compete with them. Second, offer a monetary benefit such as a referral fee for customers they send you.

You can have them display your business cards or brochures in their reception area or at the store checkout where customers will see them. Business owners are generally interested in ways they can generate more revenue - especially when it doesn't involve a lot of work.

Of course, you want your marketing materials to get people's attention. I suggest adding samples of your pet photography. A coupon or special offer works too. The coupon can include a coupon code related to each partner you work with so that you can easily track referrals.

You can save money by designing your own business cards online and upload your photography to have printed on your cards. Brochures and even flyers can work well because they are able to display a portfolio of your work.

Looking for More Ways to Sell Your Work?

If you enjoy photographing animals, these animals don't necessarily need to be pets. If you like taking pictures of animals in the wild, or even if you have your own pets, here are some ways you can sell your photos.
2014 Home Business Start-up Checklist!

Home Business Start-up ChecklistGet the complete checklist free! Follow step-by-step ...from choosing your niche to bringing in customers.

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