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Valentine’s Day Pet Portraits: Why We Love Them

Author: The Printique Team

Valentine’s Day is a critical time for a photography business. It fills the dull time between the gifting season and sunny spring months, inspiring anything from boudoir shoots to couple shoots or solo sessions for singles embracing their self-love.  But with a field saturated with talented and well-marketed competitors, how can you set yourself apart from the pack? Valentine’s Day pet portraits are here to solve your Valentine’s Day woes!

Adorable Valentine's Day pet portrait of golden retriever laying in roses.

We’ll note here that photography is, of course, a personal craft! Pet photography isn’t for everyone. If your photography skills reside in a specific form, such as intimate couple shoots, elopements, or dramatic portraits, don’t veer from your strong suits just to make a quick buck; But if you’re still homing in on your area of expertise and enjoy broadening your range, this is for you!

Prepare for your business’s best ever mid-winter season! Gone are the days of slashing your prices or overextending yourself to land a shoot.  Here’s why we love pet portraits – and what they bring to your business’s table!

Adorable Valentine's Day pet portrait of rabbit holding a Happy Valentine's Day sign.

Pet Portraits are a stand-out offer.

For every pet photographer in any given area, there are two or more portrait photographers.  By adding pet portraits to your services, you put yourself in a smaller pool of competition.  Add a few niches to your portfolio, and you’ll be at the top of the list for a large subset of people.  In other words, find a friend with a rabbit, a lizard, and a bird. Your pet photography portfolio will be optimized in no time!

They connect you with new clients.

If you’ve been primarily operating in one specific photography space (portrait, couples, baby) targeting a new demographic can quickly connect you with new clients. Post ads at pet-friendly locations like parks and pet stores.  Don’t just list pet portraits – list all your services!  Someone in this targeted space may stop to look when they see “pet photographer,” but send your information to a friend when they see the couples package you offer.

Once you’re fully stocked with adorable pet photos, these Valentine’s Day pet portrait ads will quickly become the most eye-catching flyers in any room!

Couple photo shoot accompanied by adorable dog.

It’s a practical add on package.

Including pet photography as an add on package to your other available services can line your pockets with an extra couple hundred dollars per shoot.  Say you do scenic couple shoots; By telling the couple they can bring their dog along for the shoot, you can charge a greater amount within the same – or close to the same – time frame.  The couple will get to have their cherished family member in their photos, plus a few solo shots of their furry friend.

They make for incredible marketing assets.

There’s no debating that people love to see pictures of cute animals on social media. With accounts like Mr. Pokee, It’s Doug the Pug, and thousands other like them garnering millions of followers on Instagram, it’s clear that people love following along with the lives of cute pets. Asking clients if you have their permission to share a few of your best photos of their pets online will arm you with dozens of photos with major viral potential – even better if you can shoot some behind the scenes footage for reels and Tiktoks!  Clients will also be more open to and encouraging of you sharing the photos; While they might not be too eager about intimate couple photos being shared online, they’ll love the idea of watching other people swoon over their adorable bestie!

The benefits of pet photography in marketing goes beyond strong content.  When it comes to targeting new clients on social media, catering to the pet photography crowd gives you a leg up.  Take these two hashtag comparisons for example: #nycpetphotographer has less than 3,000 posts, while #nycportraitphotographer has more than 30,000 posts.  This means that if you’re a pet photographer in NYC, you’ll have a much easier time ranking on a hashtag that potential clients may use to find you. Explore what supply and demand for Valentine’s Day pet portraits looks like in your area!

Valentine's Day pet portraits turned into adorable custom greeting cards.

They make adorable – and highly profitable – print products.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: people love their pets! They want their faces on their socks, their shirts, their fridge magnets, their coffee mugs, and everything in between.  Pet photography opens the door to selling highly profitable pet prints to your clients.  By offering their favorite shoot photos on a water bottle, puzzle, mini book, or wall décor piece, they’ll not only be eager to buy, but they’ll be eager to book their next shoot and create more incredible goodies!

We also recommend promoting custom cards to your clients.  Cards will keep their Valentine’s Day pet portraits relevant all through the year, from Happy Birthday cards to party invitations and thank you cards.  They’ll love getting to send an adorable picture of their beloved pet to friends far and wide!