Pet photographer: a dream job
Two questions that I am often asked, by what means I managed to be a photographer but also why I chose this job in which I have flourished for almost 2 years!
How I became a dog photographer
I did not study photography. When I was in college, I asked for a photo school which did not accept me because I did not have good enough grades. In college I was far from being the best student, so I tried a school to work in pet sales which accepted me. Unfortunately this year was a nightmare, I was heartbroken for all its jailed animals, I did not realize before going there and looking at these animals locked up.
So I changed schools to go directly to a new high school in management studies. After graduating, I tried to start an advanced technician’s certificate in Management Assistance, but I quickly realized that I was going more and more in a field that did not interest me at all.
So I dropped out of studies to go work everywhere and discover the world of work by going from bakery sales to clothing store. In the meantime, I register myself as a professional photographer in order to start my activity slowly with additional income. Time was passing and my job as a photographer took me more and more energy and time, I decided to no longer work as an employee where I was, to devote myself to pet photography.
I never went back and I don’t regret it!
Why an artistic profession?
I have always been passionate about art, from a young age I loved drawing animals but also humans. As soon as I had free time, I took out my sheets, my pencils and I was inspired by images or else completely invented the face I was going to draw.
Here are three of my favorite drawings:
But when I discovered photography in 2012, I dropped the drawing… I had no more patience for the drawing which took me a lot of time, I still have some that are still not finished . So I devoted all my time to this new hobby by using an old Pentax, then with my first Nikon. After a class with a photographer in my city, I started to understand the settings and the triangle of exposure, the more time passed, the more I wanted to learn.
Here is Cannelle, my very first model when I sarted in 2012 with my first camera: a red Nikon D3100.
In 2013-2014, it was rather the horses that I liked to photograph, so I went to look for them in the neighboring fields even if I already had two pretty ponies at home!
Stop everything to start again
There was a period when I stopped everything, I did not know where to go in this hobby where the possibilities were endless. Then I took my camera back, I went for a walk with my dog, and I began to understand that the expression of my dog is what I wanted most in the world in my viewfinder. So I proposed on Facebook groups to photograph people’s dogs to learn again and again, I had a lot of messages at this time. People were very interested in this photographic field which was still not well known.
One of my favorite photos from 2017: Cannelle in the autumn heather.
At the end of this year I started to take an interest in Facebook photo groups in order to publish my work and have opinions. In November I decided to offer myself the lens of my dreams: the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM! I really enjoyed this gem.
My first photo shoots
Getting started is not easy, I grant you. But if you only think about failure or your fears you will not progress! I didn’t have many sessions at the beginning (as I was also working beside).
Here is my very first client after registrating myself as professional in April 2018: Nala, a beautiful mixed Husky full of energy! The weather that day surprised us a lot and we had to postpone the session to another day. Its owner had received a gift card for a photo shoot!
Why I became a dog photographer
Why animal photographer and in particular dog photographer, I will say like most that it is because dogs are my favorite subjects. But I would say that I am also because I feel free with them, I don’t feel judged or uncomfortable, it’s a natural and constant feeling. Even if the dog in front of me is not the most obedient, I always find ways to put him in confidence and fin his motivation to make him cooperative.
Each dog has his photogeny, I understood how to bring it out and capture it with nature. There is nothing more beautiful than the light and the natural environment that we are lucky to have on Earth. It gives a surreal dimension when the dogs seem alone in this landscape, they have the power to make us dream and to give us all their love.
I have often been told to be a wedding photographer to earn more money, to which I have always replied that dog photography is one of the only things that makes me happy, one of the only things that makes me forget any worries, it is where I escape. I will never work in a field that I do not like or that stresses me, I did not make all these efforts to do that, I decided that I would do what I love and that I would put all my energy into it.
So that’s why I became a dog photographer!