The Creative Q&A: In this new occasional column, we meet an Orange based photographer whose passionate focus on pet portraiture is taking her all the way to New Zealand.
AOW: Tell us a bit about yourself, your background as a photographer and the work you do?
Elle: My name is Elle, and I started my business 3 years ago. I am a nurse 3 days a week, we have a very active, adventurous, fabulous 4.5 year old and 2 doggos that I adore. I dabbled in family photography for friends initially, many years ago, however my true passion is pets. More specifically dogs, and the connection they share with their human/s. Before losing my heart dog 4 years ago, I had a photo session with a photographer in the town we lived in at the time. I still look at those photos every day. The whole experience was wonderful. An experience I want to be able to provide for others. That’s where the idea of Rogue Paws Photography was born.
AOW: How did you get into pet photography?
Elle: There was definitely a time, for many years, I only ever dreamed of being a pet photographer. I have always loved photography, and I absolutely adore dogs- I quiet literally don’t feel complete without one in my life. I transitioned from vet nursing to people nursing in my mid 20s. When I started out in the nursing industry, I was very passionate about the job, so I threw alot of myself into it. However after some very hard lessons about life, people, and the world, learnt working in the nursing industry, I lost my passion for the job. I needed to re-direct my energy into something positive, so I put it into starting Rogue Paws Photography- it was the best decision I could have made!
AOW: What do you love about it?
Elle: I love meeting all of the beautiful dogs in the community. I love connecting with like-minded people that I otherwise would never have met. I love capturing beautiful memories for people. Though my favourite part of the job is capturing the connection between a dog and their human. It is a connection I can so strongly relate to. I see it. I feel it. And it is always such a privilege to capture it for people.
AOW: Is there a big community of photographers who specialise in pet photography?
Elle: Absolutely! The pet photography industry is HUGE. It’s not so well known here in the Central West, but I do hope to continue raising awareness for it- it is such a wonderful industry. I have connected with pet photographers from Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Western Australia. I also follow pet photographers from all over the globe, who produce incredible, inspiring work. There is also a great community of pet photographers on social media that I have connected with too.
AOW: You’re soon heading to New Zealand for a specialist pet photography workshop – what will that be all about?
Elle: The workshop is run by Craig and Charlotte of Unleashed Education. They offer online education and courses, and face to face workshops, including Arrowtown in New Zealand. This workshop will run for 3 days and covers all things related to the art and craft of dog photography. The course includes on location, outdoor shoots with dogs, as well as classroom presentations, inspirational chats and all things editing. We will also be lucky enough to get some one on one time with Craig and Charlotte, who are among the best in the pet photography industry!
AOW: Any tips for other photographers working in niche fields or looking to branching out into now types of work?
Elle: Patience, client education, communication and marketing are key!
It takes time to get your work out there, and be seen. Keep persisting- The passion for what you offer as a niche field is essential for this. Stay in your own lane- it’s great to be inspired by other photographers within the same field, but don’t fall into the trap of self-comparison with others in the industry. Back yourself, 100%. Know that you’ve got this!
Stay true to yourself and the creative work that makes your heart sing. That’s the key to attracting your ideal clients, and keeping the spark alive for what you offer in the industry.
AOW: How can people see your work and get in touch with you?
Elle: You can find us on Instagram and Facebook as ‘Rogue Paws Photography’, check out our website at https://roguepawsphotography.mypixieset.com/ or send through an email at firstname.lastname@example.org