Pet Photographer Career Profile
Do you want to work as a pet photographer?
- Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
- If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential photographers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 25 August 2020
What is a Pet Photographer?
The usual explanation for a Pet Photographer is a very passionate person who is paid to take pictures of a person’s pet. But they are also the amazing people who take photos of domesticated animals for different kinds of clients, including magazines.
2. What do they do?
Media / Business
The primary focus of pet photographers is to take photos of pets and other domesticated animals (critters and farm animals) for different kinds of clients.
- Discuss brief with clients
- Ensure equipment is ready and set up
- Communicate with pet owners to get the best shot of their pets
- Develop photos
- Present photos to clients
- Create and add new work to a portfolio
- Administration, filing and marketing
Where they work:
Pet photographers work in various setting, both indoors (such as in a studio) and outdoors.
Places of Employment –
Most pet photographers work freelance (self employed) through their own businesses. A few do get positions at photographic companies, marketing and advertising firms or magazines.
As most pet photographers are self employed, their income is based on obtaining contracts. On average the income per year is around $36,000. This will differ from country to country.
The most difficult part is always to get your photos seen by future clients. For this reason photographers need to be well versed in the setup and use of social media. They may work long hours and over weekends and holidays to finish work within tight deadlines. Some of the animals might also be difficult to control during a photo shoot.
Future growth and Possibilities:
Pet photography is associated with the general pet trade, which is doing very well. As long as their are pets, there will also be a growing demand for pet products.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as a pet photographer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Good business knowledge
- Good artistic skills
- Good photographic skills
- Basic customer service skills
- Good health and physical fitness
- Excellent computer literacy (editing software)
4. Which Subjects must I have at School?
Art will be your major or most important subject in school, whether you want to study further, or not. It will strengthen your artistic skills and techniques, and prepare you for a career as a photographer.
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
5. What will I need to Study?
To become a pet photographer doesn’t require formal training beyond High School, but many do go on to complete Short Courses or even a College Diploma.
If you do want to study further, then a good College Diploma in photography will be perfect.
Short Courses –
A good background in photography is essential, so be sure to perfect your skills. Short Courses are essential, especially when you do make use of computer software to edit your photos. Photography is not just about aiming the camera and pressing a button. Courses in animal behaviour will also help if you do want to work with pets.
The duration of College diplomas can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
Possible Career Preparation Paths:
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible Combined Career Paths:
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):
Stepping Stone Career:
Being a pet photographer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).
You can begin as an intern photographer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Some of the possible paths:
Training and apprenticeship:
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a photographer will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In some cases entry level positions (or junior photographers) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior photographer or expert.
Join the Pet Photographers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average level of education of those who enter the career:
6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.
Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.
Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.
7. Where can I study further?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards photography.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a pet photographer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being a Pet Photographer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.
Other interesting Careers
Career Profiles and Resources
Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.
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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:
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