Pet photographers – what do they actually do? What does a day in the life of a pet photographer actually look like?

Running a pet photography business might be something you have always dreamed of…but what does it actually involve day to day? 

It’s a question I often get asked when I meet new people for the first time and tell them what I do, and it’s also one that comes up a heap with my online pet photography courses too. 

And it makes sense right? If you’re going to invest in your skills and achieve your goal of becoming a professional pet photographer, you might want to know what your new routine could look like!

I’ve been a pet photographer for quite a while now, and for a lot of that time I’ve been travelling the world, meeting clients and capturing images with my dogs by my side. Being able to work from anywhere and adapt to whatever comes my way, I like to think I’ve got my routine down to a fine art (she says…)

And while there’s no such thing as an “average” day as a photographer of any kind, if I’m not on an active shooting day my routine does seem to follow a similar pattern. One that allows me to stay creative, productive and happy!

So I thought it was about time I did my very own “a day in the life”, to give anyone considering this unique career insight into what the world of pet photography can look like. 

Here we go!

A Day in the Life of a Pet Photographer

  • 7am (or somewhere around then) – My day starts with addressing the most important business at hand – the hungry, waggy-tailed Collies in my life. 

Loki (the black, white & perpetually hungry one) and Journey (the red, white & perpetually bouncy one) need some breakfast. Meanwhile, I need coffee. And by need, I mean need. 

Next up, we have to let off that excess steam (here’s looking at you Journey) so we stretch our legs on a walk or little hike around wherever I am based. There’s nothing like fresh air and fetch to set you up for a productive day!

  • 8.30 am – Next, it’s time to hop on to those all important emails and general admin tasks. The coffee is usually kicking in by now, so I use the caffeine bump to get all those niggly, bitty but totally important little tasks done. Whether it’s sending invoices, replying to client queries or updating my portfolio. 

Usually, I do some social-media stuff here too, managing my Instagram and Facebook pages, and my YouTube channel too! I love hearing from you guys and what you would like to see next, so I try to keep on top of noting down and replying to comments. 

I might also use this time to order any prints and framework that clients have purchased, after they’ve chosen their final shots. That’s always one of my favourite things, seeing the finished product ready to hang on a client’s wall – goosebumps!

  • 12.00pm – At this point it’s time to pause for lunch. The dogs have usually been happy snoozing and chilling so far, but I might have a quick game of tug or fetch with Journey if he’s feeling fresh. 
  • 12.30pm – Once I’ve had another coffee (thank you caffeine!) it’s into the “work work” portion of my day. 

This can mean I’m either creating lessons or content for my online pet photography courses, scouting locations for my next shoots, or editing a client’s (or my own) images. 

  • 3.00pm – By this time, Journey starts asking for another walkies. So we’ll head out for some more fresh air. If it’s winter, these walks often happen to be at that  ”golden hour” that I’m always looking for as a photographer. So if the light is super pretty I might do some shots along the way by asking my pups to pose at certain locations. 

This is the way I work with my clients too, by figuring out the best time of day to shoot. In the winter, that means wrapping up my morning work earlier, prepping all the gear and factoring in some time to get to know them and their cute canine before that perfect light sets in. In winter, we are equally likely to hold sessions in the middle of the day if it’s overcast. We need to make the most of what light there is!

In the summer, these shoots can be as late as 8pm, which means I’m often doing longer work days in summer than winter. But that’s ok – because all that gorgeous sunlight keeps me energised for longer, I find!

Here is me on a recent shoot with some very well behaved furry pals. I don’t normally bring my dogs with me to either lessons (unless the student wants to use Loki or Journey as their model dogs!) or sessions but this was a bit of a special one!

And that about wraps up my “day in the life” as a pet photographer. I hope it’s offered you a clearer sense of what “we pet photographers” do, including the reality of a behind the scenes non-shoot day. 

While it’s not all glamour and glitz, I feel so lucky because I truly think it’s one of the best jobs in the world. (Hint – cute animals!)

If you want to know how to become a pet photographer, then I’d love you to check out my online photography school! Built around an ethos of flexibility, accessibility and boosting my students confidence, there’s something for everyone. 

From one-off bite size lessons, to six hour workshops, to ongoing fortnightly or monthly mentorship. I truly want every single one of my students to leave feeling equipped, inspired and free to pursue their creativity. Whether you want to simply take better photos on your iPhone, or build your own pet photography business. 

I hope to see you on a course soon! Until then – keep practicing, keep creative and maybe keep caffeinated too!

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