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Animal Photography - The Basics

Animal or Pet photography ranges from portraits of domesticated animals (from dogs to cats to birds) to more editorial type shots that strive to capture the beauty of animals (from horse and equine photography to photography shoots of the Big Five in Africa) interacting in their natural environment. Good animal photography seeks to display, artistically, the character of the creature photographed. These shoots can be held in various locations, from studio, to zoo, to out in the wild. Most Animal photographers have a sense of style and while some may shoot all sorts of animals, certain photographers tend to specialize as some shoot only in the studio and others feel comfortable shooting in the wild. Animal and pet photography images can be used in advertising, for tourism and for editorial purposes.

Fred Levy

Tips for Animal Photography


Find Your Style

Whether you're shooting animals or pets, one of the most important considerations in selecting a photographer is experience. Look for a photographer who has shot similar subjects in a similar environment before. You want your photographer to be a calming influence on all the participants in the shoot so it's best if this is not their first rodeo.


Decide On Deliverables

Be sure to consult with your animal photographer on what your goals are for the shoot and what you intend to do with the images. You should also consider what your turnaround time ideally looks like. With this info the photographer can send you a proposal on what they can achieve and for what price. Make sure you review the proposal and ask any questions to make the contract as clear as possible prior to the shoot.



When you'll want to schedule your animal photography shoot is largely dependent on the animals you want to photograph and the location of the shoot. Many animals have particular times of the day when they are most active or amenable to photography while in other instances you may need a particular event, like a dog or horse show, to be shot.


After The Shoot

Most animal pictures will be delivered digitally. If you use SmartShoot, you can use the image preview room to select your favorites. These are often touched up in post-production (where the photographer corrects lighting, color grades or removes blemishes, etc from the image).

How much does Animal Photography cost?

Animal photography pricing will need to be set based on the type of photography (studio or in the field) required and the level of equipment and skill needed to get the shot for the client. Factors that will determine the price will be experience, equipment, travel, hazards, environmental elements and the client requirements. Some photographer will charge per session and others may charge by print. Communicate with the photographer about what their pay structure looks like and how they would like to manage rights as purchasing full rights to the images can add to the cost.

Find a Animal Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

15- 20 Animal/Wildlife photos needed

Let the photographer know what you intend to have shot and whether there is a particular event to be captured. The more details provided on the event and how long the shoot will last, the better. It's also important to let the photographer know if you're looking for action of more static shots. It's also a good idea to communicate where you would like to use the images (print or web) as this will factor the shoot and the post.

Suggested Price: $800

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