I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for several years now and I’m thinking of taking it to the next level by starting a pet photography business. I know it won’t be easy. I know it will be stressful. I also know that it could end up being a very rewarding business.
I’m in the research phase right now. I’m trying to learn more about how to run a business such as this, how to advertise, what kind of work (and I’m expecting a lot of work) goes on behind the scenes, etc and am hoping some of you might be able to shed some light for me with your own experiences.
To keep it simple, my questions are numbered below…
1. My usual photography is focused on nature and wildlife (mainly whales). I’ve never sold my photos so starting a business is a rather scary, but exciting thought. What kind of legalities am I looking at? Do I need to hire a lawyer to go over everything. I’m mainly worried about the taxes side of things.
2. Do you do your own printing at home and bring samples to your clients to purchase or do you work exclusively online where your customers order at their leisure where the printing is done by a 3rd party?
3. When it comes to have a pet shoot, do you try to have to the dog pose for the camera or do you prefer more candid shots? I’m guessing this would be more of a personal preference thing based on the photographer and what the client is looking for. I’m just trying to get a feel for what goes on during a normal shoot. One of my big concerns is that I'm not creative enough to come up with prop ideas and cute themed photos, etc. I worry about how and what I'd be photographing for 1-5 - 2 hours at a time.
4. When I think of doing pet photography it’s mainly dogs and horses that I’d like to work with. I would absolute LOVE to expand and photograph dog agility events, conformation shows, etc and horse events as well. Do the legalities as far as who can photograph these events vary from venue to venue or is it an everyone is welcome kind of thing?
5. How does one find out if their area would be a suitable market for this type of photography? I did look around and saw a few other photographers within range of me, but I don’t know how successful they are. It seems rude of me to just email them out of the blue and ask “how’s business?” if that makes sense.
I’m sure I’ll come up with more questions the more I learn, but would love any other pointers from you as well. Thanks in advance!