It's Throwback Thursday and while searching for old photographs I ran across the Molly folder. Everyone with a dog or cat has at least a few pet shots over the years and I'm certainly no exception. Then, @PetsPhotography on Twitter ran one of my posts in his daily...I followed him...he posted a comment and all the signs kept pointing me towards doing a post that tied in pet photography. Well, here we are...me and Molly the Wonder Dog.
The hierarchy of why people hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social sector goes brides, babies and pets. This data came out of a Kodak series at least 15 years ago and I don't believe it's changed at all. What has changed is the growing number of pets in the United States.
Data published on the ASPCA site over the last year or so shows "70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. (Source: APPA)." While the UK is smaller the numbers are still impressive with Dogs: 8.5 million (25% of households) and Cats: 8.5 million (19% of households) Source: PMFA.org.uk.
It's a simple point this Throwback Thursday - if pets aren't in your repertoire, maybe it's time to consider. If nothing else, at least be familiar with great pet images, so if you've got a client who wants to pull their pet into the shot, you'll now how to create a "wow" print. That's what Bambi Cantrell did in the portrait above.
In the mean time, this weekend is Molly the Wonder Dog's birthday. I just can't remember if it's her 9th or 10th! (Time flies when you're having a good time.) We got her when she was just ten weeks old and like the relationship we all have with our pets, my dog's smarter than most fifth graders! At one point she was probably the most photographed dog in the industry as Bambi Cantrell, Judy Host, my daughter Jaime, Carey Schumacher and Helen Yancy all had Molly in front of their cameras.
All these years later and she's still got the spirit and energy of a five year old. She's still chasing tennis balls, loves sticking her head out the window of the car and will kill for a Frosty Paws or a McDonald's cheeseburger. With the exception of snoring there's no real change! LOL
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.