Ep 245: How to break into commercial animal photography with guest Jamie Piper

Commercial animal photography is exploding right now with so many opportunities for photographers who want to expand their offering. The pet industry is booming thanks to increased pet ownership and more people treating pets as an important part of the family. In this episode, we chat to US-based commercial animal photographer Jamie Piper. Chances are you’ve already seen her amazing work in magazines, packaging or online.

Even if animal photography is not your thing you will learn a ton from this episode.

In fact, Jamie had so much great content to share that this episode is 2 hours long!

Gina and Valerie hope you enjoy the podcast.

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Show Notes

Jamie Piper is a US-based commercial photographer who specialises in Animal photography. Chances are you’ve already seen her amazing work in magazines, packaging or online.

Even if animal photography is not your thing you will learn a tonne from this episode. In fact, Jamie had so much great content to share that this episode is 2 hours long!

Part one is a mini-masterclass into understanding the world of commercial photography.

What’s the difference between commercial and portrait photography?

  1. The look
  2. The shoot
  3. Pricing

How is the look of commercial photography changing?

What are the biggest mistakes photographers make entering this genre?

If you were starting out today what would you do?

What’s a pitch and how do you do it?

How important is playing the long game?

If a newbie is contacted for a commercial shoot what should we do?

Part two covers the techniques Jamie uses including:

How to plan and organise a commercial shoot

Jamie walks us through a typical shoot

Jamie shares some fantastic techniques for shooting animals

About Jamie Piper

Jamie Piper is a commercial animal photographer, author and educator based in San Diego California. Jamie started doing pet photography as a hobby in Seattle, Washington in 1999 when she was working part time as a dog walker, and four years later she launched her professional pet photography business Cowbelly Photography, where she specialized in colorful, organic and expressive lifestyle photos of dogs and cats.

Responding to a hunger for information on pet photography as a career that her followers sought her out for, Jamie taught workshops, did consulting and speaking engagements from 2007-2014, ran an educational blog and forum and provided support to pet photographers around the world. In 2012 she authored a resource book, ‘Beautiful Beasties, a Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography’, published by Wiley Publishing, that came to be known as the ‘pet photography bible’ and remains in the Amazon best sellers ranks for Professional Photography books.

From 2003-2015 Jamie shot for a mix of commercial, editorial and private clients around the United States, and in the spring of 2015, seeking both more variety and greater challenges, she moved to shooting exclusively for commercial clients. Her client list includes Pedigree, Frontline, PetNaturals, Freshpet, Purina, The Honest Kitchen, Milk-Bone, VetriScience and more.

These days Jamie shares her passion for the business of commercial photography by educating other new and aspiring commercial photographers of all genres through her website CPR: Commercial Photographer’s Resources, where she writes in-depth educational articles and sells bundled guides, contracts, documents and other products. Her goal is to help reduce the amount of advantage-taking on the part of corporations and agencies who hire new commercial photographers, by empowering photographers with knowledge about commercial photography pricing, contracts, processes, and other information on the complexities of commercial photography. To that end, along with the CPR website, Jamie has a Facebook group, appropriately titled The Business of Commercial Photography, where like-minded professional photographers come together to support each other in their journey to learn more about the often mystifying and always complex business side of commercial photography. Gleaning great personal satisfaction from helping and supporting other photographers, Jamie does her best to be generous with both her time and knowledge.

Jamie shares her home with her big white dog Magoo, and when she isn’t working you’ll find her road tripping, doing interior design, and sharing a craft beer with Magoo and other dog and human friends on one of San Diego’s many dog-friendly patios.


Here’s the promo code I promised you.

Code: gm25519

Amount: 25% off

Good for: any of the commercial photography bundled educational products. (Does not apply to consulting.)

Expires: May 25th.

Social Media Links

Website: https://cowbelly.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cowbelly/
twitter: https://twitter.com/cowbelly
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/commercialphotographybiz/
Products/workshops: https://commercialphotography.guide/

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Above by Jamie Piper

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