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Using photography to create a buzz around your pet business with Kerry Jordan

by | July 9, 2020

Who doesn’t love looking at adorable animal photos?

Big or small, old or young, a fabulous animal photo is always scroll stopping!

Later this month, on July 26th, it’s National Dog Photography Day, and founder Kerry Jordan plans to flood the internet with dog photos.

Kerry founded the awareness day three years ago and last year trended on Twitter at number 1 with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Frank Lampard, Theo Paphitis and Zoella taking part.

Even the Royal Family joined in – this post of the Queen and her Corgis from was the second most liked worldwide from @windsor.royal.family on Instagram.

Brands like Dog Trust (of course), Porsche 911, Debenhams, Chelsea FC, The Woodland Trust, Visit Britain and Sipsmith Gin shared their canine companions.

So it’s quite an event!

In this episode she shares her top tips on how to get involved and using photography to build a buzz around your pet business.

She also shares actionable steps you can follow to get better photos of your dog (they can be applied to any animal though!)

You can listen in on the player link below or continue to read as a blog post.

 

Kerry began working as a photographer ten years ago after leaving her job in the City as a PA.

She started doing weddings and family photography and after sharing photos of her dogs on Facebook, people started asking her to photograph their pets.

The dog photography side of her business grew to the point where she was shooting exclusively pets and last year she rebranded to Fur and Fables.

Kerry has five of her own dogs Scout, Boo, Shadow, Bertie and Jasper which she uses as models if necessary.

And as a multi dog mum, she has a greater understanding of dog behaviour, body language and how to get the best from animals.

Kerry Jordan from Fur and Fables interview

National Dog Photography Day founder Kerry’s dogs!

Why photography is important for your pet business when it comes to publicity

When you see a media opportunity and want to put yourself forward, the journalist is going to need high quality images to go with the story.

If you don’t have these, chances are you will not be used.

Kerry explained: “I recently featured in Woman and Home magazine along with another pet business owner, Keri Squibb from the Dog and I.

“The writer and picture editor both said how much they appreciated having high quality images to go along with our interviews.”

Another of Kerry’s clients, The Lounging Hound, have had their products featured in Sunday Times Homes supplement and Town and Country.

She said: “Seeing one of my images on the front of such a prestigious publication was amazing – I’m not ashamed to say I did a happy dance!”

What pet brands struggle with when it comes to photography

If you’re not yet at the stage where you can invest in photography, Kerry says that you can learn and improve your skills.

And she says the things pet business owners often struggle with is having a vision of how they  would like their images to be.

She explained: “I’ve seen so many dog brands who don’t think about the shoot.

“So they take a photo of their dog in a bandana, and they’re not thinking about anything else apart from the actual product.

“To get a great image, there needs to be some planning, where you’re thinking about what you want to achieve from the shoot.

“It’s good to put together a mood board where you find some images that inspire you, then you have some guidance and this will show straight away in your results.”

Essential images for a pet product business

Kerry says if you’re promoting a product, you should have the following:

Images of the product on its own, on a white background with no distractions.

Images of the product in action, for example, with a toy, an animal playing with the toy.

Pictures encompassing the values of your brand, so for a luxury collar, an image of a dog on a nice sofa or in a restaurant. For a ‘let dogs be dogs’ rough and tumble product, it might be a dog splashing in a puddle.

Photos showing a human element, so the pet, the product and a person, so the customer can picture themselves using it.

Essential images for a pet service provider

Kerry recommends people running businesses like groomers, walkers, trainers and pet sitters have the following images:

Photos of the business owner in uniform and professional head shots.

Images showing the business owner delivering their service, so grooming or walking a dog.

For groomers, images capturing the dog after the groom, playing and looking happy and relaxed.

For walkers, images showing dogs enjoying walks, playing together and having fun.

Dog Photographer Kerry Jordan

One of Kerry’s shots for Redhound for Dogs

Things to consider when booking a photographer

Kerry urges people to choose a dedicated pet photographer.

She says: “If you can, go with somebody who’s purely a pet photographer. Find out how long they’ve been working for as a pet photographer.

“Ensure they have the breadth of knowledge about getting the right shots for dogs and know how to make sure the dog is comfortable.

“An unhappy dog doesn’t make for a great photo.”

Checking the usage rights ahead of your shoot

Kerry says before booking a photoshoot it’s vital to ask the photographer what’s included and what the copyright permissions are.

She explains: “The copyright generally will always remain with the photographer but the permissions that they give to you are quite important.

“I pretty much give them full permission to do anything with their images, but some photographers might say no print images in publications unless they previously notified or give them credit.

“See if they have a dog model database if you’re not using your own dog/dogs and check the suitability of the models depending on your brief.

“Explain you will be using the images for publicity purposes and ask for written permission to use their images.”

National Dog Photography Day trending at number 1!

Creating photos for National Dog Photography Day

National Dog Photography Day trended at the top of Twitter last year with even ROYALTY taking part.

It featured in newspapers and websites all over the world and if you’d like to get involved, you can do so using the #nationaldogphotographyday hashtag.

And you can start preparing now by following Kerry’s tips.

  1. Plan
    Think about what you want to achieve beforehand. How do you want your brand to come across? Create images that encapsulate your brand. If it’s dogs who love to be dogs, have them in muddy puddles. If it’s luxury, prepare more lifestyle shots.
  2. Messaging
    Consider your message. What is it that you want to get across that fits in with National Dog Photography Day? You have a few weeks to plan, so there’s time to get this right.
  3. Get the light right
    The best place to photography your pet with really beautiful soft light is in the shade. If you can get underneath the shade of a tree or in the shade of a building, with your dog facing out that will create a lovely soft image with no harsh shadows. It’s really good for darker dogs as well.
  4. Check your background
    If you’re taking your photo indoors, remove any clutter from the background. So no shoes in the corner or plug sockets on show! It may not seem important, but we’re visual people and these things will detract attention away from your dog.
  5. Make your dog the focus
    Within an image, your eyes are drawn to the brightest part.
    So if you’re going to do a shot outside and it’s a really sunny day, just be aware that if the sky is really bright, that’s where our eyes lead to. Come in closer to your dog so it cuts out the sky and be aware of any bright spots.

Kerry is also coming into my Facebook group nearer to National Dog Photography Day  on July 26th to do a live on how to take better photos.

To join, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/publicitytipsforpetbusinesses

And to be notified via e mail of new podcast episodes, training and events inside the Facebook community and products and services,  Opt in


If you’d like to find out more about National Dog Photography Day, you might like to read:

How National Dog Photography Day went viral 

How launching an awareness day can help your pet business

Why Kerry Jordan founded National Dog Photography Day

Links mentioned in this post that you might find helpful: 

Kerry’s website: www.furandfables.com

Furdography for beginners online course: www.furandfables.com/furdography-for-beginners/

Karen from Luxury Dog Hampers and how her Tweet on Election Day made the Metro: Dogs at polling stations

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