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Professional pet photographer Michelle Pelberg loves what she does so much that she feels funny calling it a “job”… and even funnier taking money for it. If you missed her interview with tips on getting started yesterday, you’ll find it here. Today, I’ve asked Michelle to share some of her favorite pet photos, along with some insights on what it’s like to be a pet photographer. Scroll down to see some of her cute animal shots… HAVING FUN AND GETTING DIRTY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL PET PHOTOGRAPHER By Michelle Pelberg in Phoenix, Arizona I’ve always loved pets. As a kid, I wanted to be a vet or a herpetologist. And later, my goal was to become a graphic designer that specialized in pet products. But, all this time, the thought of photographing animals had never occurred to me. Now, I tell people I’m a pet-lover who happens to be a photographer. This attitude allows me to approach my work in a different way. You must understand that there’s so much more to a pet than its breed, hair color, etc. Just like people, pets have their own personalities. And capturing those is what makes this job fun — not to mention all the sloppy kisses you get as a tip! This first photo is a perfect example of personality. It’s one of the first pet photos I ever took, back in my photo school days. While I did set the situation up in the studio — placing the purple silk near the frog — I then sat back to see what happened. It was the frog’s idea to hide under the cloth. Most of my work today is done in and around the pet’s own home. This is a picture from my second shoot as a professional. I just love how happy this guy looks… The best part of photographing a pet is when their owner gets involved, and you’re able to capture that special moment between the two. It’s that split-second when both forget you’re in the room, and they relax and are themselves. Even though you don’t see the owner’s face in this photo, you can still see the love between them, thanks to the lighting and how the hands cradle the dog’s face. Looking at the dog’s eyes, you know she is looking right back at him. I love to visit my local shelter. Though I can’t take every creature home, I feel I can at least help them by taking great photos that will get them adopted. It also helps me cleanse my soul and feel like I’m using my talents for good. (It’s also a perfect place to practice and perfect your craft.) This photo comes from one of my “mini-sessions.” I put the word out that I’d be at a specific park, and owners signed up to have me photograph their pet. Something like this is a perfect opportunity to vary your style and photograph many subjects in one day. Having fun and getting dirty are two mandatory requirements for doing this job.  If you like to roll around in the dirt, you aren’t afraid of water, and you like to laugh, then this is the job for you… Though it took me a while to get here, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do now than photograph pets. I feel funny calling it a job — and even funnier taking money for something I love to do. But I can see myself doing this for a long time — or at least as long as my joints allow me to get up off the floor and keep pace with my subjects! [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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