Does your pet love the camera?

As pet fashion trends increase across the globe, so does the need for pet models increase. It really doesn’t matter what breed of dog or cat you have, any pet can be a model with just the right training and a few photographic skills on the part of the owner.

Modeling is fun away for you to spend more quality time with your pet, whilst earning extra money to help you pay for those extra special spa treatments for your little pooch.

Most pet product designers, retailers and manufacturers actually prefer to use their customer’s pets to advertise and market their new products. This could include still shots that are published on the Internet, sales catalogues, and even in magazines.

Before you get embark on your pet’s modeling career, you should first buy yourself a high quality digital camera and practice taking a variety of different shots with it. This will help you later on when you have to put together a portfolio for your pet.

Every pet modeling competition and gig will require a headshot of your pet. When taking a photo of your pet, choose the backdrop wisely. You do not want to place an all white dog against an all white wall. Choose a color that will compliment your pet’s fur or any accessories that they may be wearing. Be sure that there is good lighting before taking the shot. Most pet photographers prefer to use either natural light or they will have spot lights behind the camera.

The next thing you will need to consider is what your fee will be. Most amateur pet model managers set the prices at about $20 per photo that is agreed to be used by a company in their marketing materials. Alternatively, you could also request free pet products from the company in lieu of monetary payment.

There are a few ways in which you can go about marketing your pet’s modeling skills. You can submit your pet’s portfolio by regular snail mail or email, create a website portfolio or enter your pet in modeling competitions.

To submit a portfolio by mail, arrange a variety of photos of your pet on good quality photo paper, together with an informational sheet, in a folder. Remember to be as creative as possible!

The information sheet should include the name of your pet, their breed and age, their weight and size measurements, as well as some quirky tidbits about your pet’s personality.

When sending your pet’s portfolio by email, it is best to save the photos as a .jpg file and to make sure that they are not bigger than 600 x 600 pixels. Only send one or two of your pet’s best photos as sending too many may cause the email to be considered spam by the recipients email server.

In the body of the email you can include your pet’s information and your contact details.

Regardless of whether you are sending your pet’s portfolio via email or regular mail, be sure to call the company within 2 weeks to touch base with them.

With the popularity increase of the internet, another great way to tell the world about your pet is by creating their own website. You can find free or low cost website service plans that also offer benefits such as a photo gallery.

By creating a website for your pet, you will be able to reach a much larger audience and you will also have the ability to keep your pet’s information current. You can also list all your pet’s clients and gigs. It’s the perfect way to create a resume and portfolio in one for your pet!

A really fun way of entering the pet modeling world is by simply entering your pet into pet modeling competitions. One of the more famous one’s, America’s Top Dog, is a competition for dogs that has been held for the past five years. Each year has a theme and for the 2009 contest, the theme is ‘Go Gorgeously Green’. Judges will be looking for the best dog that is eco-friendly and who is doing their part to help create a greener world. To enter your dog, simply fill out the online entry form and submit it along with your dog’s headshot on America’s Top Dog Model website.

Once your pet has been chosen for a few gigs, it will then be time for you to attain the services of an Animal Talent Agency. Some of these agencies even include pet training as part of their menagerie of services that they offer.

One of the largest animal talent agencies in the world is Hollywood Paws Talent Agency. Located in Los Angeles, Hollywood Paws conducts auditions and interviews for prospective pet actors both nationally and internationally. Some of their clients include the animal actors for the Dr Doolittle movies and Scout who starred in Disney’s Air Buddies. You can request one of their brochures by visiting their website.

Who knows, maybe your pet will be the next furry face on the front cover of People Magazine!

Photo Credit: America’s Top Dog Model 2008 Winner: Maia

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