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. 351

    Great photos! Love the strenth of the black-and-white ones!

  2. 352

    These are totally adorable!

  3. 353

    kittens and post-its – two of my very favorite things!

  4. 354

    love ‘em!!

  5. 355
  6. 356

    Lovely work! Thank you for the catrature tips!:-)

  7. 357

    Awwwh, too cute!:)

  8. 358

    Those are adorable. And would make my post-it “to dos” so much more attractive to look at!

  9. 359

    Kitty Post-its!

  10. 360

    how cute are these?! I’d love to have a few nice photos of my Rita and Blacky.

  11. 361

    Thanks for inspiring me to take better photos of my two cats!

  12. 362
    Courtney W,

    The post-its would be too cute to write on!

  13. 363

    Wow – these pictures are amazing. From experience, I do know that it is extremely hard to take good pictures of cats :)

  14. 364

    I also like the black cat with the blue background. The expression is adorable!

  15. 365

    I love the pictures and wish there were more professional photographers that were open to shooting pictures of cats in their home environments.

  16. 366
    Debbie W.

    Kitties and post-its. I love it.

  17. 367
  18. 368
  19. 369
    Chari Hill

    I love how she is able to capture the true beauty of the cat!

  20. 370
    10 cat Mom

    Those are really neat pictures.

  21. 371

    i really like the post-its. they would definitely make menial tasks like grocery shopping a lot cuter!

  22. 372

    Very sweet post-its. I also appreciate the tips on photography.

  23. 373
  24. 374

    As a cat lover, would certainly enjoy using them, bring it on, Thanks for the offer.

  25. 375

    Beautifully photography, beautiful cats! My hubby is a photographer too and I know how much patience each of these shots represents. Love your stuff! :-)

  26. 376
    Cheshire Kitten

    My human likes to take pictures of me and everyone says I’m photogenic. I wrote a BOOK!

  27. 377

    I agree with Tapp above, as a cat lover, I’d really love to have these post it notes. I use post its a lot and to have kitty ones would be just too great! Thanks for the chance to win these!!

  28. 378

    Such great photos! Wish I could have her photograph my babies.

  29. 379

    Lovely photos!

  30. 380

    great photos! the 3 with the patterned backgrounds were really eye-catching!

  31. 381
    felix y.

    Amazing photos. The kitties are very lucky to be featured!

  32. 382

    Beautiful. Would love to win these!

  33. 383

    I love the photos, so personable. You can see the essence of the cat! Great post-its! Cats and cute notes- fab idea!

  34. 384

    The black and white photos are stunning. Love the post-its!

  35. 385

    The ones with patterned backgrounds are superb!

  36. 386

    Boy, she’s a great photographer! I’m kinda jealous; I was interested in photography in my teens, but it didn’t work out for me. I’d love to win this; I really hope I do.

  37. 387

    That kitten sleeping in the bowl is SO cute!!

  38. 388

    fabulous photos! I love the sticky notes too!!

  39. 389
    Lawrence Carter-Long

    Cute, cute… Totally cute! Just like the photographer! x

  40. 390
    Jess W

    I just love all of her pictures!

  41. 391
    Mary Ann

    The photography is beautiful! Love taking pictures of my kitty, Hemi. Wish I had the same talent!!

  42. 392
    Sandy Y

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m always snapping pics and my furbabies are my most snapped subjects.

  43. 393
    Sheri N.

    Great photos, I love the tuxedo kitty looking back!

  44. 394

    Really cute. I’m a big post-it user and would love using these.

  45. 395
    Ann n Alden

    Yes! Kitty Post-Its.

  46. 396

    Cute, cute, cute!!!!!!!

  47. 397

    Great tips & beautiful pics! And a wonderful giveaway to boot! Thank you so much! :-)

  48. 398

    Love it!

  49. 399

    Lovely! Using these would improve any note.

  50. 400

    You couldn’t find better subject matter than Kittens n” Cats. Cats are cats and they do as they please and kittens are amusing and a great tease.

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