Pet Photography: Q & A with Brooke Jacobs PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Sun, Mar 28, 2010

Giveaways, Pet Photography

Brooke Jacobs Pet Photography

For our next pet photography Q & A we have New York city-based photographer Brooke Jacobs. Brooke has been photographing pets for years and shares her experience with us today, along with a special giveaway at the end.

Brooke Jacobs Pet Photography

How long have you been photographing pets and how did you get started?
After graduating with a degree in photography from Bard College, and moving to NYC, I continued to do my documentary photography while working in the industry. After several years I knew I was uninterested in the typical commercial end of photography and knowing I couldn’t make a living off my documentary work, I started thinking outside the box. Many of my photographs at the time, all done on the streets of NY, included animals and their relationship to the scene at hand. I started focusing specifically on pet portraits in 2003, after having my first dog portraits published in an address book and box set of cards. The joy of seeing my work published and the privilege of capturing images I know will be cherished for years to come sealed the deal for me.

What kind of pet photography do you do? Do you have a specialty?
While I would say I do any kind of pet photography, I do specialize in traditional portraiture, capturing the pets emotional and expressive sensibilities. There are two sides to my work. Half of my work (less so during the winter season) is done in the pets natural environment, park or home and the other half is studio, where I focus on creative ideas and traditional portraiture work.

Brooke Jacobs Pet Photography

Do you do anything special to prepare for a photo shoot with a cat?
Yes! Cats are particular and it is important that the cat wants to participate. I tend to work in areas the cat is comfortable with (favorite chair/couch) and create a calm and quiet area. I like to set up my equipment first then relax on the floor and learn a little about the cat. If the cat likes treats and play, they are ready and willing to follow my lead and go where the fun is. Occasionally there is a cat that doesn’t care for either and I have to win them over with love, patience and lots of petting.

What was the most challenging cat photo shoot you have done? Any funny stories?
Being a cat person, I love working with cats because they are a challenge and I get a kick out of their quirky ways. One thing pet photographers have in common is not only their love for animals but an excitement for a challenge. You NEVER know what is going to happen and that is the fun and uniqueness of every shoot. That said, most of my cat shoots have gone well. I had one kitten that was very shy and cowered down and looked miserable. I turned him around so he wasn’t facing me or the ‘action’ and got one shot of him peaking back before he jumped off the set, hid and was left alone. That shot is one of my all time favorite images. [little tuxedo guy on the blue background below]

I’ve only had one case where the cat hissed the whole time, and boy did I get a great shot of that. I had a friend bring her new kitten Princess over for a studio shoot — I tend to only work with kittens in studio since most cats don’t like to be taken out of their element. She was a little older than I was told (or they knew) and wasn’t happy about this new experience at all. As she jetted off the set, I was sure I saw something extra under her tail and asked them how they knew their Princess was a Princess and not a Prince? They said they had gone to the vet and they knew she was a she. As they left, I mumbled under my breath good-bye Prince (pause) ess. Found out a week later that Princess was a Prince after all.

Brooke Jacobs Pet Photography

Do you have any tips for readers about how to take great photos of their cats?
I have several tips. If your cat needs grooming, groom him/her before the shoot. If grooming is an ordeal for the cat do it a day or two ahead of the shoot so there is no drama the day of the shoot. The shoot should be a fun time to bond with your cat and be a positive experience filled with love, treats, toys and patience.

I have lighting equipment that doesn’t flash right in front of a cats face. If you are using a point and shoot, turn the flash off and choose an area that gets good natural light. That area should also be clutter free.

Cats don’t like being forced to do things so make sure you keep it fun and interesting for the cat (and yourself) with treats and toys and laughter. If your not having fun, your cat isn’t having fun!

Brooke Jacobs Pet Photography

Enter to Win Brooke Jacobs Kitty Post-its!

Brook sells some of her kitten images on cute little post-it note pads through her Etsy shop and she’s offering some for a giveaway! Two lucky readers will each receive a pair of kitten post-its. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. The winners will be chosen in a random drawing on April 4. One entry per person. This giveaway is open to readers everywhere.

Brooke Jacobs Kitten Post-its

Blog Widget by LinkWithin



406 Responses to “Pet Photography: Q & A with Brooke Jacobs PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY!”

  1. 251

    <3 how the sprit of the kit-tays are able to be captured SO well! :)

  2. 252

    I am always taking photo’s of my cats. They love to have thrie pictures taken. They will pose for me too.

  3. 253
  4. 254

    Too cute!! These are some my favorite cat photos…

  5. 255

    Beautiful and full of personality(ies)! If only my cat wasn’t so (completely) shy…but I would enjoy post-its of the not so shy ones!

  6. 256
    Lisa R

    They are adorable. Want them bad.

  7. 257

    I run a cat rescue/shelter, and often have an terrible time getting good shots of the kitties…which are crucial when you’re trying to find forever homes for them! These tips will surely help, and I thank you for them.
    It would be cool to have these post-it’s as well! They’d serve as an inspiration for me!!

  8. 258
    Woodgie's Gramma

    I’d love these. Too cute!

  9. 259

    Gorgeous pictures –
    I love the kitten in the cup!

  10. 260

    My best friend just discovered her beloved pet has cancer, again. Preparing to aid in consoling her, I have been secretly taking photos of Allie to share with her later when she will need some thoughtfulness. These are adorable and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  11. 261

    Those are cute! Please enter me in the giveaway.
    anthy_stl [ATT] yahoo [DOTT] com

  12. 262

    What a great idea, I love these!

  13. 263

    Beautiful photos! I keep trying with my guys.

  14. 264

    Oh my gosh! These are adorable!!!! PLEASE pick me!!!

  15. 265
  16. 266

    Loved the article. I’m obsessed with photographing my kitties!

  17. 267
    Jessica S.

    Stunning work! Such pretty cats :D

  18. 268

    those post-its are cute

  19. 269
    Tammy Botzon

    Precioous! I want them!

  20. 270

    How adorable!

  21. 271

    Absolutely beautiful. You captured so well their curiosity. I have four beautiful cats of my own and I think I took hundreds of photos of them in all sorts of positions expressions and moods and I know it is not easy to get the best photo. Congratulations.

  22. 272
    J Rose

    That one of the black cat is gorgeous. Don’t think either of my black kitties would sit still that long though.

  23. 273
    Cindy G.

    Your kitty “Post-it’s” are so cute!

  24. 274
    R Hicks

    These are the cutest post its I have seen !

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  25. 275

    Your photos are great. I’d love to get my cats photographed. Too bad I’m broke :(

  26. 276

    I photograph the cats at our (large) local animal shelter for our website. We want them to be photographed out of cages and relaxed and cute as possible. This is great advice here, much appreciated.

  27. 277

    what cutalicous note pads. Kittens have the greatest faces!

  28. 278

    Very telling images!
    Thank you!

  29. 279
    James L

    great photgraphs. The black and white one looks like my cat used to when he was a baby.

  30. 280

    I’m leaving the 165th “Aww” and “Cute”. I live with five cats. Awwwl So C-u-u-u-te!

  31. 281
    linny cameron

    oh hey. pretty poses. meow.

  32. 282

    These photos are beautiful! Can’t wait to try out some of these tips and take my own.

  33. 283

    Such great photos! And super cute post it pads! I am always taking pictures of my Angel as well, he’s gotten to be my muse. Well most of the time anyway! he does have his quirks! hehe

  34. 284
    Dianne Adams

    Thanks for all the photography tips. Mine usually disappear the minute they hear the camera being turned on!

  35. 285

    Oh, those are so cute!

  36. 286
  37. 287

    Aw, cute kittehs! :D

  38. 288

    Made me go “ohhh!!!” out loud! Adorable photos. Love the post-it’s!

  39. 289
    Cat Lover

    These have got to be the sweetest kitties I’ve seen in a long time.

  40. 290

    The kittens are sooooo adorable on the post-its!!

  41. 291

    We see all sorts of photos of peoples pets that we end up printing on canvas, it would be really great to work with shots like these, they are fantastic. Great work

  42. 292


  43. 293
    Jennifer Simpson

    Ooooh, love the photos, brillian!!

  44. 294

    These pictures just melt my heart and make me want to just give my kitty a big hug!

  45. 295
    Tami Berry

    OMG, the note pads are so cute. Great photographs :) Cats make such beautiful subjects.

  46. 296

    great photos. would love to win…

  47. 297
    Candice S.

    Such BEAUTIFUL photos!

  48. 298
    Nancy Nelson

    These are TOO cute. And anything with cats on it is even better.

  49. 299
  50. 300
    Moo's mommy

    brook’s photo’s are beautiful!

Leave a Reply