FAQs - Pets

Q. What can I expect before the session?

A. After you have paid your retainer fee and scheduled your session, I will send you a link to my Client Site. There you will find helpful information, including tips on what you should wear to your session. You can also find the Model Releases and Contract forms, which every client must sign.

Q. What can I expect during the session?

A. It will usually last from 1-2 hours. The first 10 minutes or so will be a meet and greet. I want to be certain that I understand your expectations. I also want your pet to be comfortable with me and the camera. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to accomplish that! The time can vary based on the location and how quickly your pet warms up to me and my camera. I generally keep shooting until I feel that I have captured a wide range of creative shots.

Q. What happens after the session?

A. After your session, I will return to my digital darkroom, where I work the rest of the magic with your images! In 3 or 4 days your sneak peak will be up on my blog! In about 2 weeks, I will send you information regarding your very own private online viewing gallery of 35 or more images. From there you can make decisions as to what prints and products you wish to order. I will always be available if you have any further questions or need advice. Once you have placed and paid for your order, you can expect your prints in 2-3 weeks. Some items, such as Gallery Wraps or Books, may take longer.

Q. Why do I, the client, choose the location?

A. I want to have the opportunity to photograph your pet in an environment where they feel most comfortable. You are the best one to know where that place might be. We can do it at your home, a park, an urban site, or anywhere else that your pet can be who they are. If you want suggestions, I would be more than happy to discuss it with you.

Q. What do you do to engage my pet?

A. Depending on the pet, I will bring lots of appropriate healthy treats and toys and spend the first few minutes interacting with your pet until he or she feels comfortable with me. With some pets it might involve playing and being silly, while others need some quiet cuddling and reassurance. Some cats just want to curiously keep me at a distance. I respect that. This is probably the most important part and I will spend whatever time is necessary.

Q. Will I need to help?

A. I like to encourage my clients to be as involved in the shoot as much as they want to.

Q. Can people be included in the photographs?

A. Definitely! I love capturing the special relationship between pets and their people!

Q. Does my pet need to be trained?

A. Basic manners are always helpful, but my goal is to capture your pet being exactly who they are. That could be sleeping or running or anything in between! I would just suggest that you consider the safety of your pet when you choose your location. If you have any concern about an aggressive pet, we need to discuss that up front and create a specific plan.

Q. What if my pet needs a leash?

A. Don’t worry. Your pet’s safety is of vital importance. Most often a leash is not even noticed in an image, or can often be edited out of the picture. My advice is to try to bring a neutral colored one or one that matches their collar.

Q. What time of day is best for my session?

A. For outdoor sessions, the natural light of early morning or late afternoon provides the best light. But much can be done in open shade or even on cloudy, overcast days. Indoor sessions can be more flexible, but it all depends on what style of images you want.

Q. What about cancellations?

A. I completely understand that things come up in our busy lives. Please give me as much notice as possible to reschedule and I will try my best to accommodate you. If weather becomes an issue, we will discuss that together at the time.

Q. I know that you do natural light lifestyle photography, but what if I want studio type images?

A. I do have the ability to bring a portable studio with backdrops and lights to your location. I will be happy to answer more questions about this possibility. Please contact me.

Q Anything else that I need to do to prepare?

A. If your pet has a favorite toy, you might want to bring it along. Depending on the weather you might also want to bring a bowl and water. If you have a drooler, a small towel might come in handy. If your pet is prone to tear stains, it is a good idea to clean them the night before. As all pet trainers know, it is often easier to keep a slightly hungry pet focused more easily if they think a treat is in their immediate future. If the session is near your pet’s dinnertime, you may want to only feed them part of it and save the rest until afterwards. If your pet is on a limited diet, feel free to bring whatever treats that you prefer and I will use those instead of what I usually bring.

Q. So far, most of this sounds as though it is geared towards dogs or cats. Do you photograph other animals?

A. The answer is YES! Be sure to check out my portfolio to see other animals that I have photographed. I love working with horses. If that is what you have in mind, I will need to work with you on an individual basis regarding the little details, but the general ones will still apply. Don’t be afraid to enquire about getting images of your special pet, any pet!!

Q. What experience do you have with pets?

A. I grew up on a ranch with cows, sheep, horses, dogs, cats, bird, fish, guinea pigs and even a pet raccoon! I have had pets my entire life. I am presently owned by three dogs and have been involved in several dog sport over the years including, the breed ring, obedience, rally, tracking, agility and herding. I have shown and ridden horse in the Western venues as well as Hunter/Jumpers and Dressage.

Q. Can I buy the digital files of the images from my session?

A. I do not sell full 300 dpi digital files, except for commercial purposes. The reason for this is that once I release a file, I no longer have control of what can be done to that file, but it is still associated with my business and name. However, with the purchase of $500 or more in product, you will receive a complimentary Keepsake CD of your images. This CD is a non-printable, web-ready version of your gallery. The images are large sized with small watermarks and are intended for viewing on your TV or computer.

Q. What level of quality can I expect from Dancing Dog’s prints and other products?

A. {1} The photos that you receive from Dancing Dog are printed on high quality archival photographic paper at a professional lab. These papers are designed to resist fading over decades of time. The other products come from a number of sources, who all excel at producing outstanding quality products.

{2} Most importantly, you are not just paying for the product. Factored into the cost of each product is the photographer’s time and creativity in their digital darkroom. This includes basic retouching. My intention is to create pieces of art that will be cherished for years to come.