Pet photography costs and prices can vary a great deal. Depending on your market, prices could range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars pet portrait session. As a general rule of thumb, the price is going to vary based on three basic factors..,
How pet photo prices are calculated
- Skill and reputation of the pet photographer.
- Time spent on the session, travel and edits.
- Quality, size, mounting and number of prints.
To make things even more complicated, not all pet photography studios weigh those different cost factors evenly.
Some studios charge high sessions fees up front and charge little more than retail prices for their prints. Other pet photography companies, such as the Puptrait Studio, prefer not to charge clients a lot (if anything) up front, before the client has had a chance to see their images. In many of these instances, pet photographers may waive all of their sitting or session fees, and instead make most of their revenue off of higher priced print sales.
Which pet photographer pricing model is the most affordable?
Photographers who make most of their money off of print sales tend to be the most flexible (at least in regard to workable budgets) to hire. Which is one of the primary reasons we settled on working with this model. Our studio founder and lead pet photographer, J.B. Shepard, comes from a blue collar family and Baltimore is a working class town. As Baltimore is our home, we think it is important to provide photography at accessible price points.
How do “pay only for prints” pricing models work?
Here at the Puptrait Studio we don’t like charging any session fees. To bring a dog in for a one-on-one portrait session at the Puptrait Studio only costs $99. That fee doesn’t include any prints. But for our studio clients who decide to purchase prints, if they spend $200 or more on their first order within 30 days of proofing, we’ll waive 100% of our sitting fees and apply any payments you made when scheduling your session to your print order.
That said, it’s not unusual for pet portrait clients to leave our studio with prints valued at 10x that amount. Some clients spend as much as $6,000 on prints with us. But there is nothing saying that a client has to spend that much on prints. We leave it up to clients to decide what they think they can afford and what they think the photos are worth after viewing proofs from their session. That’s not to say that print prices vary, but don’t require clients to purchase any prints at all.
At the end of the day, we’re going to photograph a dog the best way we know how – every time – regardless of a client’s budget. Clients who spend $99 benefit from the same quality photography and the same dedicated studio time as the clients who spend $900. And, we happily work with pet portrait clients with budgets every where in between those two price points.
Where you plan to hang a print will help determine optimal size
When shopping for a pet photographer it’s important to consider what you want to get out of the session and then compare the total cost of your session — including the cost of prints. Make sure when reviewing dog portrait portfolios that the photographer is capable of producing the types of photos that you prefer. This might sounds obvious, but it’s a point many dog owners forget to consider. Do you like more conservative shots or would you prefer more whimsical pet portraits?
Once you have an understanding of the style of photo you would like to walk away with, try to envision where you would hang your dog photo. If it’s a larger space, you might need a huge print to fill the wall. If you live in a smaller apartment and share living space with roommates, maybe you want to stick to a smaller and easier to frame size for your pet portrait prints.
It’s only when you’re able to factor all facets of your pet photography session that you will be able to fairly and accurately compare the costs of different pet photographers.
Ask lots of questions and stay informed
Any reputable pet photographer should list their session fees and print prices up front on their website. If you have any questions or doubts about a pet photographer the best thing to do is to contact the studio. If you are working with a professional pet portrait artist, they will likely prefer that you bug them with “dumb” questions than assume the wrong thing only to be disappointed later. Or worse — not consider hiring the photographer for the wrong reason.
30 questions you should ask before hiring any pet photographer
To help pet owners navigate the pet photography market we’ve put together a quick dog portrait photographer buying guide check list. It includes 30 must ask questions you should be able to answer before hiring a dog photographer.
We realize 30 questions might sound like a lot of questions to ask. But in all actuality, you should be able to answer most of these items by visiting just a few pages on the photographer’s website. By keeping track of these questions in a checklist, you can make sure that you’re being thorough in your research and rest easy knowing that you’re unlikely to run into any surprises.
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