Did you know that we have a pet photographer in our region? Introducing Bec from Pawtraits … we chatted with her about her Pet Photography Venture.
Hi Bec. What inspired you to photograph pets initially?
I grew up on a farm and have always had pets of my own, so I’m just a big animal lover, really. Pets and animals have always been my favourite subject to photograph, from the moment I got my first film camera. It’s probably how my passion for photography developed as well. I’m sure my mum still has undeveloped film from my first photographic pursuits; I think I averaged a film a week, if not a day! Sorry Mum!
I originally started out my photography career photographing families and would just photograph pets and animals for my own enjoyment. I think the moment that I really thought I could photograph pets came when I was testing out a new studio lighting setup with my own dog, and I really just wanted a beautiful “pawtrait” to remember him by, for when that time comes that he’s no longer with me, and I’ll be devasted that day.
I really just want to offer pet owners the chance to have beautiful images of their pets that they can remember them by; I think that’s why I can create the images I do.
So, you asked what inspired me to photograph pets? Simply the love I have for my own dog.
Do you consider it a challenging job? How do you get the animals to stay and “pose” for you?
When you do what you love, it’s not really a challenge, and when you get to show the owners the images for the first time and see the raw emotion on their faces, it makes any challenges completely worth it.
It would be so easy if all animals were trained ha ha. It’s not so much about getting them to sit and pose, but just letting them get comfortable and having a quick trigger finger! Most pets will be happy to stay near their owners though, so if their owners are happy to be invloved, it makes capturing beautiful images a lot easier.
Which subject has been the most fun to date and most challenging?
Capturing our two dogs is always fun and always challenging. Whenever I want to try out a new setup or technique, I always test it out on them first, before introducing it to clients. They’ve actually started sighing at me now like two teenages ha ha! I have to admit though, they’ll do anything for biscuits.
I recently photographed a bunny, which was a lot of fun!
What’s your secret to capturing the character and personality of each pet you photograph?
I really just let them be themselves. I won’t force an animal to do something its not comfortable doing; their comfort and safety is my number one priority. You really just need to understand their body language, especially when they’re in an unfamiliar environment, if you’re going to get any sort of images. Before I even pick up my camera, I let them have a sniff and a wander around and just let them get comfortable with me and the environment. It also helps to have lots and lots of patience! Ohh, and some treats of course!
Is there a theme running through all your projects/shoots?
It would have to be my chair; I love that chair!
Are there other pet photographers who inspire or influence you? If not, who or what does?
I’m not familiar with a lot of pet photographers. I think it’s an area of photography that’s still new, so not a lot of photographers specialise in it yet. I do like the work of ZOO Studios up in Brisbane and Dog and Co. over in NZ. I enjoy seeing their images and getting some inspiration from them every now and then, especially when I’m feeling a bit uninspired. It’s always nice talking to Kirsty from Dog and Co. when I want to run through different ideas.
What is your spirit animal?
The dog, of course!
Where can our readers follow you, or book in a shoot for their beloved furry, fluffy or feathered friend?
They can follow/contact me through: