We are so happy with how excited everyone is to learn and grow with their pet photography (professionals and hobbyists alike!) We have compiled a list of FAQs that have been asked to help you on your way. Please let us know in the comments if there is anything we have missed and we will add them to a future Q & A session post!
Q & A with Sit Stay Studio’s creator, Ashleigh Wells
How did you start your business and build up a client base?
I started with my business, Ashleigh Wells Photography and from there I was always getting comments from clients and other photographers that my natural strength was working with pets. It was shining through in my work and as my business grew I found my pet families needed different things from their sessions than my human family sessions typically did. In 2014 I started a separate business for pet photography specifically, Sit Stay Studio so I could provide the best services for each type of client.
In 2010 I started photographing dogs for a local rescue organization, Hugabull Advocacy and Rescue Society. This partnership helped me find clients who wanted high quality, fine art portraits of THEIR pets as they had seen in the fundraiser calendar. I donate my time to this project every year and have gone from photographing half the dogs to this year taking on all 12 months of the calendar! I also volunteer for several other local fundraising events for various rescues. Click HERE to sign up for our newsletters that will alert you to an upcoming blog post about how to use these fundraisers to help grow your business and your mailing list as well as how to make the most money possible for pets in need!
What gear do you use?
I have used everything from the Nikon D80 I began my business with to the Nikon D800 that is my main body now. It honestly is not the gear that makes the photography, it’s the photographer behind it. (Although I’m still loyal to Nikon for whatever reason…NIKON FOREVER!)
My lens kit includes: 50mm 1.4G, 60mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, and a 70-200mm 2.8.
My favourite lens for indoor work is my 50mm and for outdoor it is hands DOWN my 70-200mm! That lens changed my work and frankly, the way I see the world around me.
What do you use to edit?
For editing I primarily use Lightroom. I find it is the best program to help me sort, cull and do the initial edits on the most images in the least amount of time. I do use Photoshop as well for editing out leashes and other distracting elements and occasionally adding in light effects and colouring as needed.
Do you shoot mostly studio or outdoors?
I honestly love both and had to learn to be good at both because I live in Vancouver, BC where it rains so much of the year. For pets I often do prefer outdoors because they tend to be more relaxed than they are in the studio.
Do you offer one-on -one mentorship?
I do not currently offer this service at this time, but it is something I would love to provide down the road!
How do you make dogs sit still for so long?
Honestly? I DON’T! HAHA! There is the occasional dog that will sit for a really long time if they are well trained, but most of my shots are captured in a split second that we can get them to sit and is made easier by keeping leashes on (stay tuned for a blog post coming up on how to remove leashes using photoshop)
I hop you enjoyed this introductory Q & A session and please add any questions you’d like me to answer in future sessions in the comments section below!