If you have a pet, you know they have more personality then some humans. Take away their favorite toy and they pout. Or if you leave without them, they may ignore you for a while upon your return.
If you have a photograph of your pet on your desk, wall or iPhone, why do you like that image? Chances are it shows their personality. They are doing what they love, and look that much cuter doing it.
One of my favorite photographs of my first dog was of him sitting in a pile of socks. He would steal socks every chance he got, and run all over the house, hoping you would chase him. You couldn’t leave socks out anywhere without him grabbing a pair. So when he found a pile of socks fresh from the laundry, he sat in the middle looking like he was in heaven. I couldn’t resist the shot – and its still one of my favorites of him to this day.
That’s the beauty of an amazing portrait. It not only captures your pet, it captures the essence of him as well.
Instead of having your clients bring in their pets, and photographing them on your standard backgrounds, why not learn more about your clients in the process?
Ask Questions First
Before you photograph a pet, spend a few minutes talking with your new client. Why do they love their pet? What makes this pet unique?
With just a couple of questions, your client will be talking nonstop for a long time. People love their pets, and spend a great deal of time with them. So they will undoubtedly have a few things that really touch their heart. That’s what you want to hear. And that’s what you want to capture.
Step Outside Of The Norm
Just like kids, pets also have a best and worst time of the day.
I know for my dog, he is very hyper in the morning, and it would be difficult for me to keep him still for a portrait. Which is why I get up and take him for a 2 mile walk in the mornings.
Ask your clients for their routine. Is there a time of day better than others?
Also talk about options outside of your studio. Are they most happy outside in the park? Do they love going for rides in the car? Or maybe their favorite place of all is at the bottom of your bed, cuddled up by your feet?
Take those ideas, and create a portrait experience, not just a quick shot.
Create With The Sale In Mind
As you are shooting the portrait session, think about what you will sell to the client. Will you be offering a package? What sizes and styles will be in the package? What will be your upsells?
If you offer the CD with all the images in your original package, you will have no additional sales. So it’s important to create a package that offers the client a variety of sizes, and you the profit you need and deserve BEFORE you hand over the CD.
In your lower packages, you can include 2 or 3 low-resolution Facebook image files. That’s a great way of allowing your clients to share your work with their friends, without giving them complete rights to your images. Then showcase your work so your future clients know what to expect before their sessions. That’s the best way to presell before the sitting even takes place.