That is a very good question and a great place to start.
I have been photographing dogs for many years now and I am up to five years as a professional and I have been struggling. Not with the business or getting clients, although their could always be more but I have been struggling with the offering.
Many dog photographers have studios and take amazing portraits in their studios and some also do outside sessions. I have a studio, I have various locations I can use for the outdoors, I have even taken photos of a dog in a village church but I have always been looking for something different to offer clients.
Our dogs are so much part of our lives and are so important to us I wanted to create a unique experience for dog owners that is completely different and for ages ideas would pop into my head but would not work through once I applied some serious thought to them.
In the meantime I was offering studio sessions and creating lovely images but it wasn’t really fulfilling my creative needs. I love to be creative and to use my imagination to create things and this is a huge part of my photography.
I wanted to offer an experience and something that offered a very high quality experience. I have always been a fan of Downton Abbey, not so much the actors and the stories but the location and the stunning interior and exterior shots used in the series really got me thinking and my creative juices stirring.
I thought about preserved steam railways but these are not always open, I thought about National Trust and English Heritage places but these are preserved history and not inclined to open up to photographers, let along dogs.
My brain kept ticking over and the idea simmered under the everyday stuff until one day Google came to my rescue, Google maps to be exact.
I looked up wedding venues within a 25 mile radius of Markfield to see what came up in the search results and about 30 venues that were of interest appeared. I went through these, clicking on each one to see what they looked like and how they presented themselves on their web sites and social media.
If they looked remotely interesting, I found out who the right contact was and I sent an email. I sent 30 emails to a wide variety of venues to see if they would be interested in dog photography sessions and doggy birthday parties because I plan to offer both so it would need to be a special venue to be willing to help me.
Rejection after rejection after rejection and then one who was interested and that was Thrumpton Hall. I replied to the email, arranged to visit on their next wedding open evening and I met the team.
All I can say is WoW! So keen, so enthusiastic and so dog friendly! We have done the promo photoshoot and I was delighted that Poppy and Paris, two staff members agreed to dress up in 16th Century period costumes to give our photographs a real WoW factor. Many costumes from many other eras are available which means we could theme the entire shoot with you which will create a truly unique experience just for you and your dogs.
If you would like to know more, give us a call on 01530 242209.