How do I get started?  Start by taking a look at the images here on this site. What appeals to you about them?  Do you like studio or on-location shots best?  Think about your ultimate objective?  Do you want beautiful wall art, a lovely photo album to leaf through or fun photo products to remind you often about your loved one?  Digital images are always available; I just encourage you to think about a more lasting photographic product.  If you like what you see, complete my contact form and we can get started!  I will send you a complete Session and Product Guide to review in advance.  Then together at a complimentary creative consultation in my studio in Lafayette, we will design the perfect session.  And most of all – don’t worry!  This is fun.  Even if your pet is a total goof, we will spend our time together laughing.  And laughing people send a happy vibe to their pets and that makes for happy pets!

No one has even been able to get good pictures of my (fill in the blanks – crazy eyed poodle, jet black dog, shy kitty……etc, etc) – How will you?   Between finding the right light, gentle coaxing , tricky noises,  tasty treats and talented post processing, even the most challenging pet will look beautiful.  That is one reason I like to meet your pet ahead of time and see the location – the planning and time playing together all helps. And not just black dogs can be a challenge; all pets deserve to have their fur sparkle!

My dog is a (again – fill in the blanks- total goof, won’t hold a sit for a nanosecond, likes to slobber everywhere, pees in happiness when he meets anyone new, sheds like crazy, travels everywhere  with his favorite gooby toy, etc) – how do you handle that?  It all starts with my personal photography mantra:  “it just doesn’t matter!”  I come prepared for just about anything with towels, wipes, lint rollers, poop bags, very unique attention getters, healthy and delicious treats, laughter, and ‘fur worthy’ clothes.  Pets pick up on our anxiety, so ‘carefree and fun’ is the name of the game.   I encourage and coax behaviors and never discipline if we don’t get them.  You would be amazed at the pictures that can be captured in random moments when your dog charges at me for kisses! And you should see the clothes I wear for outdoor shoots; not pretty but definitely mud worthy!  All that said though, aggressive dogs can be an issue and those behaviors should be clearly discussed with me ahead of time.  We can use precautions to keep us all safe and still create lovely images.

What is included in your Session Fee?  My Session Fee covers all the steps necessary to produce the images you imagine, however it does not include any print products.  It includes our pre-planning time, the fun photography session and professional processing of your images.

What happens at our Creative Consultation?  We spend time ahead of the photo-shoot getting to know each other and understanding your wishes.  This helps insure the images captured are what you have in mind.   Some things we go over include:

  • What are your objectives?  Do you want wall art, table art, or other products?  I have lots of samples to touch and feel.  Your favorite color schemes are also discussed so that backgrounds and end products can be designed to complement your décor.
  • What look would you like to have captured?  Formal studio portrait, real life activities, snoozing, pictures with family, etc? A slideshow of my work tailored to the type of pet being photographed is shown to help you decide your objectives and favorite style. Galleries on my website can be reviewed in advance so you can get a feel for your preferences of studio vs. natural settings.
  • Where do you want things displayed?  For wall art, I can photograph or you can email me images of where you might put wall art so pictorial displays can be created to visualize the look and size of end products.
  • What is your pet like? What captures their interest, makes them nervous, makes them happy?  I prefer to meet your pet in advance so that we can get to know each other.
  • The photographic session activities are reviewed so you know what to expect. If people are to be included, we plan attire and discuss posing so you will be at ease on picture day.
  • The contract is signed and deposit is paid. Model releases are required for all photographs of pets. Model releases for photos with people are highly encouraged (otherwise your friends and family will miss out on my fun Facebook and Blog posts!).
  • Appointment for the photographic session is confirmed and an appointment for the ordering session is made.

How Do You Process My Images? 

  • Your images are archived for safekeeping before any work begins.  I review all images and select the best from your session.  You can read about my archiving methods here.
  • These are then professionally edited. What editing could a dog or cat need you ask?  I get rid of eye goobers, can pretty much eliminate tear stains, and I can even make leashes magically disappear (although, due to the time involved,  I wait to remove leashes only from photos you order).   I brighten eyes to bring out their natural color and make sure noses are shiny and bright.  I get rid of hair, treat bits, and drool spots that might have landed on a beautiful floor or background.   I do this using advanced Photoshop techniques.  This process takes about a week.
  • Your images are then uploaded to your own private gallery for review.  These images stay on-line for your review  in preparation for your ordering appointment.
  • For wall art, I digitally prepare some alternative print displays so you can visualize the end products, utilizing photographs I have taken in your home or that you have sent to me and the new photos of your pet.

What Happens at the Ordering Appointment?

  • At your ordering appointment – which is scheduled shortly after  your gallery has been uploaded, we meet so you can make final product decisions.  We discuss cropping alternatives, color choices where applicable, sizes and products in detail.  All of your images are shown on a large screen TV so you can fully appreciate them.
  • I offer high quality, beautiful products that you can see displayed in my own home. These include framed archival prints, gallery wrapped canvas, mounted prints, fine art albums, as well as unique products like jewelry, coasters, greeting cards, mini-books and digital files.  I highly encourage you to have a good sense of your preferences before this appointment as the on-line gallery will come down after our meeting.
  • Your order is placed and paid for at this appointment and I usually place the order within 48 hours.  Albums design takes a bit longer.
  • Depending upon the product(s) ordered, the turnaround time is 4 days to three weeks.
  • Right after the ordering appointment, I publish fun posts on Facebook and my blog for you to share with family and friends.

How do you handle payments?  I accept checks, credit/debit cards, cash and PayPal payments. The Session Fee is required to book your appointment.  Print fees are due at the ordering appointment.

How do I prepare for my session?  Upon booking you will have access to a ‘client only’ section of my website that will provide you with all you need to know.  But the best advice for dogs?  They should come tired and hungry!  And for cats…..they are in charge, so we follow their lead (with some gentle encouragement).

What if I don’t love the pictures?  Your satisfaction is guaranteed!  If you are not happy, I will retake your pet’s photographs at no charge to you.

Have more questions or ready to get started?  Please complete my contact form or email me at info@sharethejoyphotography.com.  Please include you contact information in your email.