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

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

  1. 301

    Inspiring to get out there and capture the kittens at their natural best.

  2. 302

    Beautiful pictures! You really capture what is unique about each cat.

  3. 303
    Lucky & Thomas

    Love them…!!!

  4. 304
    Dawn Garlick

    those are the cutest picture of kitties I have ever seen. Wish I lived close enough to hire her to take pictures of my “kids”.

  5. 305

    so cute

  6. 306

    Fantastic photos. Wish I had one of my cats!

  7. 307

    Fantastic photography! You have captured the various cats whole being-their souls shine through. Beautiful!

  8. 308

    Those photos are adorable. That has got to be a great job to wake up to each day.

  9. 309

    Sweet little baby cats– please give them to me.

  10. 310

    The pictures are all look so good! Taking pictures of my furry ones usually ends in disaster! lol!

  11. 311
    Meg Ree

    Love this!

  12. 312

    I love these! She does great work!

  13. 313

    Very cute!

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

  14. 314

    These are just beautiful pictures!
    Cats are spectacular and these shots truly show their awesomeness!

  15. 315

    I always love reading these posts about taking good pictures of my cats! Thanks!

  16. 316
  17. 317

    love these

  18. 318

    I think these are great!

  19. 319

    These articles are great! I learn so much from them. Time to get my camera and some kibble for some practice!

  20. 320

    Awww…what Cutie Pies!

  21. 321

    yay! Cat notes

  22. 322

    Puuuuurrrfect Postits!!

  23. 323

    What a great idea to personalize the post-its!

  24. 324

    Lovely photographs, especially the solid black cat – black cats are not easy to photograph!

  25. 325

    gorgeous! the black and white kitty on the sticky note looks just like my cat did when she was a baby. love it!

  26. 326

    The pictures are so cute. Great Advice. What an unique idea for post-its.

  27. 327
    nicole pando

    I love the black and white pictures. Wish I had some like that of my cats.

  28. 328
    Kirsta Sendziak

    Beautiful photographs!!

  29. 329

    What cute kitties. Gotta love em.

  30. 330

    These are adorable! Thanks for sharing the photo tips. Get ready kitties!

  31. 331

    Very inspiring work! Love the post-its!

  32. 332
    Darcy B

    Yes please, I love the kitties!

  33. 333

    Adorable post-its!

  34. 334

    These are so adorable!!!

  35. 335
    Lily Kintzley

    Adorable post-its! I wish my cats were so photogenic, it takes talent to get a picture to show how cute they are!

  36. 336

    The photos are so adorable! Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. 337

    Too cute to write on anything!!

  38. 338

    Wow, what beautiful images she captures – makes me wonder what kinds of wonderful portraits she would be able to get of my cats. Love the post-its – they look super cute!

  39. 339

    Lovely photos and interesting interview!

  40. 340

    So sweet, I luv em, thanks for the giveaway!

  41. 341

    I just love cats. All cats of all shapes and sizes. I’ve got 2 of my own and am inspied to go take photos myself.

  42. 342
    Dr. Anne

    Very dramatic images…really nice work!

  43. 343

    i love kitty pictures so would adore this

  44. 344

    Just adorable pictures and such cute cats. Beautiful work.

  45. 345

    Such great images! I need to try some of these tips out when photographing my little miss!

  46. 346

    Wow, gorgeous photos, some people are so talented-sigh! Would love those post-its for my desk.

  47. 347

    Impressive, we all know how hard it can be to get a natural shot of our cats. The sticky notes would be great to have, thanks.

  48. 348
    Alexandra Zeevy

    Beautiful pictures! I love the fact that they aren’t fancy or very spectacular looking cats. My house was the home of many street cats, so these pictures have a special meaning to me. Thanks for sharing them! ^_^

  49. 349

    wish i were that talented. very sweet images of kitties – nice work!

  50. 350

    Lovely work, really captures the kitties personalities.

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