Tips for Getting Started in End-of-Life Pet Photography

“If you are visiting this page and unsure of where to begin, and how to start offering sessions, I can tell you right now that you have the one thing absolutely needed for this: a kind heart. These sessions can be heavy, heartbreaking, and emotional…but you will also capture moments of tender affection, learn the stories of incredible companions, and be able to honor these lives through treasured photographs. Thank you for considering offering end-of-life pet photography and hopefully the tips below will help you as you begin your journey.”
– Lauren Smith Kennedy

Practice, practice, practice!

Being comfortable taking photographs and knowing your equipment is very important. If you don’t feel confident going in to a session, feel free to grab a friend with an animal (doesn’t have to be end-of-life!) and practice on them! Try out some of the poses + prompts listed here.

Make Your Services Known

If you use facebook, crosspost (meaning share your work) on local facebook groups! Let them know that you’re offering end-of-life pet photography, and show a photo or two! You can also use other social media platforms like Instagram/IG Reels or Tiktok to share your work and inspire others.

Utilize Youtube to Learn!

There are so many incredible educational videos on Youtube. Whether you are brand-new and just beginning, or you’re looking for more advanced editing tutorials, there is something there for you!

Learn Their Story

“Do they have a favorite toy? How long have you had them? Tell me about your story together.” Take some time to learn about the pet you’re photographing and just listen. Of course, be mindful not to bombard with questions, but some of these can really help you learn about the life you’re helping to honor. 

Two of my favorite questions to ask at the end of my sessions: “do you have anything particular that you want me to capture that you want to remember forever?” AND “are there any poses that you wanted to do?”