In February I saw posts by three of my favorite pet photographers Sarah McGraw, Britt Croft and Dana Cubbage looking for models for an upcoming shoot. I started getting excited wondering what they were going to do. Turns out they were meeting up to get to know each other, talk shop and in the process they also photographed four lucky dogs!
Britt, Dana and Sarah generously agreed to let me share their photos and offered some advice for other photographers. Be sure to hover over photos to see photo credit, as I’m featuring all three photographers and one adorable dog! This little guy is Gizmo. He’s both adorable and unique, when asked what breed he is, his owner replied “alien!”
From Sarah: “Pet Photographers are part of a tight knit community. A community filled with people from around the world that will watch each other’s backs, help when someone has a question, and be there to support one another. I’m lucky enough to live within a few hours of two of these fellow photographers – Brittani (from Britt Croft Photography) and Dana (from Dana Cubbage Photography). We have been in contact through emails, Facebook, and our blogs, so we all knew that we wanted to get together for a fun photo shoot day. Finally the stars aligned and we set a date to meet in Charleston, SC – the perfect backdrop to photograph some gorgeous pups! We put out a call for models and we had a tremendous response! Unfortunately, we couldn’t photograph them all so we chose a final four – Lilian, Gizmo, Friday, and Bentley. They were a joy to photograph! While we got some great images from that day, our meet-up was about so much more than just practicing and adding to our portfolios. It was about sharing knowledge with like-minded people, talking shop and finding out was does and doesn’t work for others, picking up new tips and tricks, and simply making the pet photography business better for both the photographers and clients. I feel it is very important to have a network of photographer friends in the same genre as yourself – even if they would be considered “competitors”. If you are worried about competition, keep a couple things in mind.
First, there are plenty of clients out there for everyone.
Second, not every photographer has the same style and look as you.
Third, each photographer offers their clients a different overall experience.
Because of these things, not every photographer is right for a certain client and not every client is right for a certain photographer. As a matter of fact, one of my direct “competitors” in the Charlotte area is now one of my best friends! Try reaching out because you already know they will be awesome people – they love photography and animals! The relationships you have with other photographers should be beneficial to ALL parties. Be sure you offer support to each other and give what you can from your experiences. Be sure you respect each other’s time and don’t cross the line of what is acceptable to ask (like pricing, specific editing techniques, etc (unless your comfortable sharing)) and certainly don’t copy (a big no-no). These should always be healthy relationships and not a one way street. Having a fun shoot day is a great way to break the ice when meeting new people! It’s fun to talk shop while playing around and there is no pressure to perform for a client! Plus, in the end, it’s really interesting to see how different your images look when photographing the same subject and background. You will probably start making yourself think outside the box!
Its so wonderful to see these three women embrace their common interests and reach out to each other. Additionally, each of these photographers are actively involved with helping homeless dogs and are members of HeARTs Speak, a non-profit organization that connects artists and rescues to promote pet adoption.
About Britt Croft Photography: Serving the Southeastern States, Britt specializes in wedding and pet photography with down-to-earth, genuine images. She has two dogs of her own, Lexy and Riley.
About Dana Cubbage Photography: Dana is a professional photographer specializing in weddings and modern lifestyle pet photography in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Dana has three dogs, Camden, Brady and Beckham (formerly known as Little Black).
About McGraw Photography: Sarah is a full-time professional pet photographer specializing in fresh, modern, fun pet portraits taken on-location in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Sarah has two dogs of her own, Sadie and Eva.