In the wide world of photography, there are a lot of niches that let photographers hone in on their interests and turn them in to work. Just ask Amanda Myers of A Style Photography in Winter Garden, Florida. Like many photographers, Amanda has a diverse skill set that covers many aspects of photography. She specializes in photograph restoration and teaching students of all levels how to improve their general photography and Photoshop skills part of the time. When she isn’t doing that, she focuses on an aspect of the photo industry that caught her eye several years back, pet photography. She was kind enough to share some crucial pet photography tips that she uses to get those adorable shots.
Amanda was inspired to get into pet photography by her Aunt who has always loved to dress up her pets for parties and holidays. An animal lover herself, Amanda was struck by how cute her Aunt’s dogs and cats always looked. She knew that with the right equipment, she could carve out a niche with pet owners who wanted something special for their companions. As a result, she began accumulating her own collection of pet costumes, props, backdrops, and equipment. Before long, she had all that she needed to present any fur baby at their best. Having been in love with photography since the age of thirteen, she was happy to find a niche that she loved. Let’s check in with her and get some tips from the expert herself.
Why have you made pet photography a main-stay at your studio?
I love pets and have fun dressing them up and adding cute props. I also photograph children, families, and events. I recently photographed a fun birthday party with a Great Gatsby theme.
What’s the one item that you need to have on your person at every pet shoot?
Squeaky toy, treats, and patience.
Do you have any tips on getting the pets to “pose” so that you can get the perfect shot?
Sometimes I have the owner’s keep the dog’s leash on, especially at outdoor events, for safety. Then I Photoshop out the leash, so it doesn’t show.
How do you go about choosing the right photo backdrop for a pet shoot? Is it different every time?
My favorites are green, brown, and purple. The brown is great for classic photos. The green is great for seasonal photos and the pink is cute for dressing up photos.
Is there anything specific that you do with lighting for pet shoots?
I usually keep the lighting pretty simple to allow me to focus more on the pet and to be able to let the pet move around on the background. My favorite lens is the Nikon 24-120 f4 N because it gives me the flexibility to get close-ups and full bodies quickly.
One of the great things about photography is all of the different ways that it can be applied to life and turned into a career. Pet photography is just one of these niches. It requires a love of animals, the patience and experience to work with pets, and an eye for setting up and capturing shots that pet owners love. If you are thinking about scoping out the pet photography market in your area, start by checking out Amanda’s company Facebook page. She has plenty of great pet shots, as well as her traditional portrait work and information on the classes that she teaches. Staying busy is key for any photographer and Amanda has it down pat.