Let’s assume you are an amateur photographer who would enjoy making some extra income from your hobby. With this assumption you should have a couple of digital cameras, tripods, reflectors, lenses and flashes at your disposal.
The reason why I’m taking you down this path is that if you enjoy photography, you could turn that hobby into a part-time job that will earn you a few dollars to add to your income or, if you’ve recently retired, a nice steady income to add to your pension. I’m going to call this pet photography, but I will tell you that this could expand to include far more than just Fluffy and Spot.
But let me tell you about the small pet part of the business you could start. First off, I want to assure you there is a demand for pet photography. According to a survey by American Pet Products Association conducted in 2011-2012, pets are part of over 79.2-million American homes. That equates to approximately 62-percent of all households which means a lot of four-legged family members are out there and if you are as much of a pet lover as many of them are, getting photos taken with the family pet doesn’t sound so far-fetched.
In fact, aside from the festive season when family Christmas cards are sent to relatives and friends, there are many opportunities for photo sessions that will include the furry member of the family and I’m not talking about Uncle Murray!
With this in mind, you can be creative in the marketing of your services by advertising with posters or rate sheets at veterinarian clinics, pet groomers, dog walkers, animal shelters, pet-friendly gated-communities and wherever else you see people with pets.
If you establish a trusting relationship with a pet groomer, consider providing a special photo session once a month with the pet and owner after a grooming for a discount price to get your name and service some exposure.
You’ll want to put some thought into your business plan as to whether or not to set up a small studio in your home or to be just mobile where outdoor settings become your studios. Along with these decisions will be what each photo package will include.
You can include a session fee with add-ons of a number of photo prints and/or digital photos in various combinations. In addition to photographing small animals you can branch out to include what is commonly referred to as equine photography. It’s a little more specialized but will be maybe even more exciting than still life portraits in that horses are typically anything but still life.
For example, you could end up providing professional photos at horse race events, rodeos, horse shows, equestrian centers and more. In the case of horse racing, you could be the official finish line and winner’s circle photographer. With rodeos you could snap a number of great action shots and either offer them for sale to local newspapers, rodeo publications or to the rodeo contestants themselves.
I’ve never known a bullrider to turn down the chance to buy a photo of himself riding or getting thrown by the toughest bull in the circuit. In fact, if you time your shots right, you could end up with some great bullriding spills, or wrecks as they like to call them, which many a rodeo fan would buy along with the contestants themselves. You may end up contracted to attend and photograph some of these annual events as they pass through your region.
You can also set up a website where customers can pay a fee to download digital copies of your photos. Different fees would apply to different resolutions of the same photo.
The possibilities are endless when you start to consider how many ways you can turn your photography hobby into a part-time job when you target pet photography as the niche you want to focus on. If you are lucky, there won’t be many others providing that service already near your community. Even if there is, maybe you could also work together with one who is willing to take you on as an assistant in order to get a few breaks in the industry if you are having trouble establishing contacts in the beginning
. You can find out more by searching online with ‘pet photography’ or ‘equine photography.’