It's Throwback Thursday, and since Labor Day is Molly's 13th birthday, I might as well make her the star of today's post. I've shared other photographs over the years, but these are some of my favorites, and it's about the interaction with my knucklehead buddy here.
But, I want to use this post to remind you of the potential for pet photography. The hierarchy for the top three reasons why people hire a professional photographer goes brides, babies, and pets. Dogs and cats are at the top of the food chain, but I'm not sure enough of you realize the potential market.
It's estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. (Source: American Pet Products Association 2015-2016 (APPA))
Now think about your community and the number of people you know who own a dog or cat. I'm betting for most of you it's an almost untapped market. Plus go one step further and consider how much people spend on their pets.
The APPA found that in 2016 U.S. pet owners are expected to spend $62.75 billion on their furry (or scaly) friends. That brings me right back to brides, babies, and pets....brides start families and families most often add a pet.
Just a fun sidebar - I lived in California for seven years. There was a dog park very near our house and one day I got beat up by a neighbor because I referred to myself as a dog owner. "You can't own your dog - they're free spirits to be appreciated." Only in California would somebody criticize you for "owning" your dog. My response, including a couple of my favorite expletives was simple - "Until Molly can earn a living, drive to the pet store for her food, pay for it and serve herself, I OWN her!"
And, if you need help in pet photography and are looking for a terrific resource for information and how to build a stronger pet photography business, check out Nicole Begley's blog, you'll find a lot of great information at Hair of the Dog and she's also a guest contributor on the Marathon Press blog. I met Nicole for the first time last year when she was teaching a workshop here in Sarasota together with Terran Bayer.
These images are all thanks to Bambi Cantrell in 2007. Typical of Bambi, she can photograph anywhere. Behind the Rangefinder office in Santa Monica, there was a condemned building with sheets of cheap plywood over the doors and windows. When you've got Bambi's skill set, it doesn't matter what the backdrop is; she's going to make it all work.
And, with roots in black and white for so many of us, while I loved all the images from that day, the black and whites are my favorites. They're richer and clearly hide the ugly background. I had some fun with the shot below and chose to keep it in color, modifying Three Dog Night. I'll admit it's cheesy, but it looks great on a barbecue apron!
Throwback Thursday is an outstanding marketing tool especially when you're struggling to find blog content! Take the time to put together a few posts of your own images going back a few years and then remind "Mom" how fast the kids are growing and the family is changing.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
All images by Cantrell Portrait Design
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.