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  • Writer's pictureKim Hoshal

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Dog Photographer

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

I’m sure you are saying to yourself, “Of course she thinks I should hire a professional. That’s her business.” And in a way you’re right. I would love the opportunity to photograph your dog, but this is about why you might consider hiring any professional dog photographer. However, since I brought it up, I will share with you why I do what I do.

I have had dogs all of my life. I was raised with beagles and beagle mixes and I loved them. They were the best companions a kid could ask for, and it broke my heart when each of them passed. I wish now that I had more photos of them than I do. Nice ones. Not the kind with glowing eyes and slightly blurry, but ones I could put on the wall or in an album. Their memory is stored only in my head, and in a few, yellowed, not-so-great photos in a box.

Now as an adult, I have been a pet parent to two corgis over the past 24 years. They are truly family members. I started out the photography part of my journey 20 years ago as a professional landscape photographer, so I often have a camera in my hand. When I wasn’t photographing the landscape, I was photographing my dog, Max. Max passed away at the age of almost 14. He was my soul dog and even as I write this sentence my eyes are tearing up. (tissue break) I remember after he passed I was frustrated with myself that I hadn’t photographed him in over a week. What had I been thinking? Why didn’t I take more photos? Luckily, I had tons of photos of him to look back on. For his memorial service I created and printed a big poster of all of my favorite photos of him. It was so nice to be able to look at those photos and tell the stories behind them. They were all memories and moments that I could keep close forever.

Two months after Max left us, my husband and I got Lucas from a corgi rescue. He has been with us for 10 years now. Unlike when we had Maxx, now not only do I have a professional camera, but I have a cellphone. The phone photos don’t make great prints, but it gives me more chances to try out new locations and setups without lugging all of my gear. So poor Lucas is always in front of a lens being photographed. I will treasure every one of those photographs when the inevitable happens, especially this one. (more tissue)

I am so happy that I have quality photos of both of my boys that I can now hang on my wall and honor their life and the memories we created together. I want that for you too. That is why I decided to focus my photography business on dogs. So that I can create beautiful artwork, starring your dog, that you can always cherish.

Now that you know a little about why I am so passionate about dog photography, here is why you might want to hire a professional dog photographer.

o A regular portrait photographer might not know how to photograph, pose,

or work with a dog. A dog photographer’s main goal is to make your dog

look their best. They also know about dogs, how to act around them, and how to create an environment where the dog is comfortable. Some like myself are also dog trainers and can read a dog’s body language, which not only helps us know when the dogs are stressed, but also if they are going to do something worth capturing.

o You likely have tons of photos on your phone, but I’m betting you haven’t printed any of them. A dog photographer will not only take great shots, but has access to high-quality products that are not available to the consumer market. We can even help you pick products that are right for you and your home.

o You want to be in the photo. I’m sure there are quite a few of you that take selfies with your dog. I know the only selfie I will take is with my dog. However, it is not always the most flattering angle when you are trying to get you and the dog in the frame and they are moving around. Imagine hiring a professional to take the photo and all you have to do is enjoy time with your dog.

o You are having trouble getting your dog’s attention without having them come to you when you say their name. A dog photographer has tricks up their sleeves and most photograph dogs while they are on leash, so they stay in place.

o You want a big beautiful piece of wall art and the camera on your phone is not enough to create something of that size. I’m not talking about an 8” X 10” here, I’m talking 40” X 60.”

o A professional knows about lighting, composition, ideal angles and the exact moment to click the shutter. They can remove leashes and clean up those eye boogers. They can make your black dog look soft and furry and not like a black blob. It is truly an art form that takes a lot of practice. That is what a professional brings to the session.

o When you hire a professional, there is a process. The shoot is planned out so that you and your dog don’t need to worry about anything, just show up and enjoy time together. We even help you with the process of choosing photos and products with in-person ordering appointments.

o This is a BIG one, a pro is willing to lay on the ground in all kinds of weird positions to get the shot. It doesn’t matter if there is mud or we have to contort like a pretzel with camera in one hand, noise maker in our mouth, and treat in our other hand. We want to make your dog look like the superstar that they are.

o Your dog is a member of the family and they are worth it. No one hesitates to have senior portraits done or hiring a professional to photograph their wedding or newborn. Dogs don’t have special occasions like us humans, but their lives are still well worth commemorating.

This is Charles. His mom kept waiting to decide to have him photographed. We finally set a date after months of debate and he did great despite the fact that he couldn’t see or hear. I got about 15 great shots of him and his mom in the rose garden. Sadly, he died the next day. She was so thankful to have those images and contacted me later to have a canvas print done for her husband.

Whether you hire Kim Hoshal Photography or someone else (pick me, pick me), remember our dogs are with us for such a short period of time. Don’t wait for someday to capture those beautiful memories. Think of how you will feel years from now when you look at an album or big canvas on your wall with a photo of your best friend. Something that captures their essence in a tangible form and not just a memory or quick phone photo that you will never print. Celebrate your furry family member with a piece of art that you can cherish for a lifetime.

Now enough of this stuff, go give your dog a cuddle.


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