Have you ever wondered why pet photographers’ rates vary so widely? Well, it’s mostly down to two important aspects . . .

  • The level of client experience that the photographer creates for each and every client

  • The skill and artistic vision that the photographer brings to all of their work

As a consequence, pet photography businesses are likely to fall in to one of two categories - '1 - Full Service' or '2 - Shoot & Burn'. A simple analogy would be ‘Fine Dining’ versus ‘Fast Food’. In both scenarios, you receive a meal, but the experiences are completely different, and the price of that meal reflects that difference.

But what do the terms 'Full Service' and 'Shoot & Burn' actually mean and why do prices for these categories vary by so much? And, more importantly, which type of pet photographer and or pet photography experience is the best fit for you and your fur kid/s?

1. 'Shoot & Burn' Pet Photography Experience
A 'shoot & burn' pet photographer is less hands-on. They arrive at the shoot location and will take lovely images of your very special soul mate, and then burn those images to a CD, DVD or USB drive, usually for a set fee. Clients are then free to take their images to any high street printing firm or print themselves at home. 

Unfortunately, as it is up to you to source and order prints and products to enable you to enjoy your pet’s photographs in the real world, you may never find the time and therefore end up not enjoying your pet’s photos to the fullest. In fact, more often than not, once the instant gratification of social media sharing, liking and commenting is over, the storage media will end up in the back of a draw and forgotten.

'Shoot & Burn' pet photography can be likened to a fast-food restaurant - where the pet photographer serves a high volume of customers, spending only a short while with each one and providing a limited choice of medium to low quality products. When you go to a fast food restaurant, you walk up to the counter, order your food, and wait for it to be handed to you at the same counter.

Typically, the pet photographer who adopts this approach to running a business is someone who may not want to have much interaction with the customer, other than the shoot itself and only wishes to deliver the final images and move on to the next client. 

Where they have a successful business they are often employing the 'quantity over quality' model of business, aiming to compile hundreds of shoots a year. But many 'shoot & burn' photographers can struggle to make ends meet because in order to get the necessary volume of customers through their doors, they are not charging appropriately for their time and talent.

2. 'Full Service' Pet Photography Experience
A 'Full Service' pet photographer takes a much different approach, and believes in excellent customer service, high quality products and providing their customers with a full and satisfying experience from start to finish.

'Full service' pet photography is likened to 'fine dining’, where nothing is too much trouble and everything is personally prepared for you from the best quality ingredients available, painstakingly sourced from the finest suppliers.

When you go to a fine dining restaurant, you are seated by a hostess and assisted with your meal choices as well as receive advice on suitable drinks and recommendations on appropriate condiments. Your meal is served at your table and your waiter regularly checks in with you to make sure that you have what you need and that you are enjoying your meal. 

The 'full service' pet photographer spends a much larger amount of time with each of their clients, taking the time to fully get to know them, their pet/s and their individual requirements and he/she will personally guide you through each step of creating beautiful artwork for your home.

From planning and preparing for your unique photography experience, to helping you decide which of your stunning images to choose and where to display them in your home. Your chosen images will be individually re-touched, tweaked and designed into exclusive, high quality products from professional-only print labs. You will have tangible wall art and albums that you can proudly show off to friends and family, and which you will see and enjoy every day. What’s more, they will last a lifetime!

Providing this type and level of service takes much more time and effort, and as a result the 'full service' pet photographer may only serve a handful of clients each month - choosing the 'quality over quantity' business model. And, in order to make a living and to pay for the higher quality products and exclusive personal service he/she offers, you will likely pay a higher price.

So, what type of photography experience is right for you?

This decision depends entirely upon your personal preferences, budget and why you are considering hiring a professional pet photographer in the first place.

Here are some key questions to consider which might help you:

What kind of experience do you want? 'No Frills' or 'Luxurious Attention to Detail'?

How do you feel about your pet having its photo taken?Would you prefer to work with a total stranger, or someone who takes the time to get to know your fur kid as well as your family first, so you can feel more relaxed?

How do you think your pet will react to the experience of having their photo taken? Would they benefit from working with someone who takes the time to make friends with them and work around their individual personality?

How much help would you like in planning and preparing for your session?

Why do you want the images to be taken? Simply to share online with friends and family for fun or as a way of preserving treasured memories and the relationships between you and your fur family?

How do you intend to display your images? Do you have the time / patience / skills to design and order artwork yourself? How long do you want your prints / products to last without fading, warping or cracking?

We truly believe that making sure you are able to enjoy your images for a lifetime in the form of wall art and or fine art albums, and not just as digital files, is just as important as creating beautiful images for you.

And, that is why Vue.Dog® offers a Full Service pet photography experience!


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