What I learned from my First Breeder Shoot

Many times when you approach people about doing their photos you aren’t really sure what they are going to do.  I approached many dog breeders about a month ago to see if I could do some of their puppy portraits for their websites and Facebook as a promotional tool.

Many of them declined my offer, which is completely understandable.  You have to get used to the rejection.  Luckily, I found one breeder who was willing to give me a shot.  She breeds minature dachshunds.  She didn’t didn’t have much to pay me… So we came up with a way to work together.  She sends me clients and I take a few photos for her.


We met up at her house the first time.  We picked out a few pups that would work well for what she needed and what I needed.

There were 5 dogs we were going to use.  Two were females. Two newborns. And one was a male that was 4 months old.

The 2 females were the next to be bred, the newborns were not sold yet and the 4 month old was going to be one of her studs.


So the day came when she was bringing the pups over and she showed up with 2 which was perfect. One of the females ended up being in heat so she didn’t want to take her, and the 2 puppies were sold so we didn’t need portraits of them any longer.

So here are a few things I learned from this whole thing.

  1. Most breeders have never had their dogs photos professionally taken.
  2. Dogs that don’t know you can be timid. You have to get into their personal space with this weird thing close to your face.  So first thing I should have done was play with them a little bit, and show them I am no threat, with treats and toys.
  3. When your dogs are in the house and not allowed to come out and play, and they are always outside, it can be a little distracting for all parties.
  4. Having your first client is fun.  We are planning our next shoot, the other female that I was talking about before is bred and we are going to have a maternity shoot with her, it will be in about a month and a half and it will be adorable.  As we both get more used to this the photos will be better and the dogs will be more used to it.

The nice thing about having a breeder to take portraits with is we both benefit.  She is going to promote my photos, and I am going to give her photos.  We are both still learning from each other, I am learning a little bit about the breeding side of things and she is learning my side.  There is much more to come as this relationship develops.

We both haven’t quite figured out the potential of either of us yet so I will keep you all posted on how everything goes,