Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography by Jennifer Starr » Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

Making Clients Comfortable Before & During a Pet Photo Session

As my own personal photo shoot approaches, I now realize what my clients must go through. Being on the other side of the lens is way more stressful than being the photographer. Add two dogs into the mix and my anxiety climbs even more! They are going to be easily distracted in a park setting, they aren’t going to smile and perk their ears when I want them to.  Is that plaid scarf going to look silly on Remington? Is the sunflower clip too big for Abby? And what about my outfit? Did I pick the right choice of clothing for me and my husband? Will it be cold? How about windy – that will wreak havoc on my salon styled ‘do! These things are all pretty much out of my control but it doesn’t keep my mind from running wild.

Bottom line, custom photography is an investment and I can understand how nervous my clients probably are before a session. So this brings me to the question – do I make my clients feel comfortable enough before a photo session? It’s just second nature to have everything under control in my head as the photographer.  I may forget that while I am totally confident, my clients might not realize what to expect and have the same worries I am having before a shoot. This is what inspired my recent The Top 5 Things to Expect in Your Pet Photo Session post and this post as part of a “Behind the Scenes” series I am compiling.

Pet photo shoots can (and will) be chaotic and unpredictable. When I meet clients, I excitedly greet their pets first and offer a little “I am going to be your new best friend” treat.  I then remember there are humans around too and introduce myself after wiping the Pupperoni crumbs off my fingers. I try to make everyone feel at ease and eventually start talking in the first person of your dog’s personality.  “Seriously, you want me to do what, lady?” It just comes naturally and hopefully gives my clients a little chuckle throughout the session. Many people tell me they don’t want to be in the photos and while I want to respect their wishes, I also give them a little nudge to go ahead and be in a few. I promise you will regret not being in them more than being captured candidly in a few shots.

While I can’t tell you that the weather will be perfect or your dogs will be on their best behavior, I can assure you with 6+ years photographing only pets and 10+ years editing photos, your session will be memorable and your final photos will be crafted with finely tuned digital artistry.  I am happy to answer and entertain any and all questions you might have before, during and after your session. If you are looking for inspiration, ideas or location preferences, send me an email at jennifer@fixyourimages.com. I can’t wait to help create your perfect custom photography experience.

Me and My Pack
2014 Photo courtesy of Cassandra Castaneda

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