Thinking about professional pet photographs?

August 06, 2021  •  8 Comments

This week's blog post discusses the early stages when you may be thinking "I'd like to get some great photographs of my pet(s)".  Often times you may think that you'd love to have some great photographs of your dog (cat, rabbit, etc) but you haven't yet taken the first step.  So what's that first step all about?

If you're thinking about having some photographs taken, the first step is to reach out to a potential pet photographer in your area.  At VP Shoots Photography we serve the Tampa Bay area.  This area is pretty broad including Hillsborough County as well as some areas in Pinellas County, Pasco County and Polk County.   We have photographed a lot of different dog personalities with several years of rescue work. 

Initial Inquiry

The initial inquiry is to find out what you want photographed and involves discussion about your pet(s).  I know this list looks like a lot of questions, but many of these are very simple!  If we were to meet while walking our dogs, I'd probably know a lot of the answers immediately.  This is all about 'getting to know you' and your pet. 

1. What type of pet(s) do you have?

2. How many pet(s) do you want to have photographed?

3. Pet name

4. Pet size (approximate weight - just trying to determine if we have a small dog like a chihuahua, medium dog such as a border collie, large dog such as Collie)

5. Pet breed (if you know - just trying to determine a little bit about your dog particularly if they are pure breed)

6. Pet fur colors

7. Pet age (or approximate - specifically asking to determine if your pet is a youngster, adult, senior)

8. Any special considerations such as blind, deaf, 3 legs, immobile, etc

9. Do you or any other family members want to be in the photograph with your pet?

If your pet is a cat, rabbit, or most likely anything except a dog - the photographs will be taken at your home.  My experience is they prefer this location since we do not have a studio location.  We do have mobile studio equipment we can setup at your home.


1. Do you want to have photographs taken outside or inside?  If outside, do you have a particular location in mind? (backyard, park, beach, etc)

2. If you have multiple dogs, do you want photographs of your dogs together? separate? both?

3. Do you have any specific type of photograph or look that you want captured?

4. What commands (if any) does your pet know? (Sit, down, stay, etc)

5. What motivates your pet? (noise, treats, attention)

The primary goal of this initial inquiry is for us to get to know each other.  It's important that we discuss what you are looking for as well as what we, as pet photographers, can provide.  If after initial discussion, it's sounds like you would like to pursue setting up a session, we will discuss details related to your specific session and cost associated with your session.  Our primary goal is to provide you with wonderful memories from a fun, enjoyable experience as we capture special moments with your pet.

Inquiry and Consultation Example

Potential clients like to reach out to us using various methods.  A text message is often the beginning of our discussion.  I'm happy to text and get some ideas of what you're looking for, but ultimately I want to talk with you to ensure that we have a common understanding of what you're looking for and what we can provide.  A few years ago, I was approached by one of the many dog fosters we meet each year who wanted a special photography session.  She asked about having a photograph of her grandson with the Christmas decorations they put in their yard every year.  More importantly, she wanted to include her daughter's aging dog with her grandson - as she was concerned that this might be the last Christmas they would have together.  I asked about her grandson (how old was he, did he like to have his photo taken, general questions).  Then I asked about their dog - many of the same questions listed above.  It turned out the dog is a Corgi and had been with their grandson all of his life as well as a part of the family for a number of years.  Our conversation was light, nothing difficult - just like having a conversation with a friend.  That's what makes this process so much easier for you and us.

Grandson and family dog posing among all the decorations.

Christmas Portrait of young boy and dogChristmas Portrait of young boy and dogChristmas portrait of young boy and his dog in the yard.

Corgi dog portraitCorgi dog portraitPortrait of senior Corgi dog

Blogging with Pet Photographers

This is a personal project that I try to participate in each week (as much as possible).  This post is part of a 'blog circle' which is with several other Professional Pet Photographers around the world.  Each week a different theme is provided to the group and we, as pet photographers, interpret the theme in our own way.  Follow the link provided at the end of each of my blogs to the next pet photographer's blog - and when you arrive back at my blog - you've completed the entire circle of blogs for this theme.  For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to Darlene Woodward of MA, owner of Pant the Town Photography, shares how simple it is to get you started with your dog photo session experience.


Interested in a Pet Photography Session?

If you would like to discuss or book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text Linda at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Polk counties in Florida).  We have flexible rates and packages to fit most everyone’s budget as we believe that having wonderful photographs of your pet is important to so many people.



Great questions- I will have to add the one about disabilities.
We ask almost exactly the same questions in our initial contacts and consultations! Good to see that most of us are on the same page!
Awwww a Corgi! Such a sweet little face. I would love to photograph a Corgi but hardly ever see them where I live. I might need to run a Corgi Competition and see how many are actually out there.
I like that we ask many of the same questions during our pet session planning phases. Almost all of those are on my pre-session questionnaire that I send, and you're right--they really help you get to know the pet and the goal of the session!
I'm also intrigued by the text option! It is a great way of communicating in the initial stages.
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