What Is C3 Pet Photography And Why I Started This
Part 1: Why I Want To Be A Professional Pet Photographer
Sometime in February of 2017 I had this idea in my mind: Start getting paid as a photographer. This is certainly a difficult goal to accomplish. Photographer is a very loosely used term today, heck I use it a bit loosely when describing myself. With such a crowded space, I knew that I had to find a niche. Some people are great at weddings and events, others are best suited as a portrait photographer. I started looking through my “favorites” albums and it occurred to me that the majority of my favorites were pictures of my two dogs, Sasha & Cooper.
Then it hit me: I am most passionate when photographing animals. Sure, I like to shoot other subjects. My wife and I had our first son in June of 2016, so he’s 9 months old as of this post. I love photographing my son as he grows so very quickly. Its animals that really get me though. Particularly dogs and their expressions, their head tilts. Their eyes. There’s so much communication that happens between a dog and its owner. Sometimes it’s silent and many times it’s definitely audible. I love it all.
Challenge 1: Building A Portfolio
I have about 120GB of saved photos on my computer, most of which are of my two dogs. So while I love them and they are definitely beautiful dogs, I’m sure most people would get tired of looking at a gallery filled with just their photos. So the first challenge was to build up a portfolio to display to other prospective clients. Who wants to pay for a photo session though from someone who is transitioning from an amateur to a professional? Hardly anyone I imagine. So to do this quickly, I decided to offer sessions at no charge. I turned to social media and I had several of my friends inquire about booking a session. I had eight people contact me in about 24 hours! Hooray! Not so much, now it came time to actually get this work done.
So far I have been able to complete two of them and I have two more scheduled to do. The first was actually a fun volunteer project with the Handsome Dan Rescue Group. They help provide furever homes for dogs in various local shelters throughout Rhode Island. A friend of mine is a volunteer there and she invited me to one of their behavioral classes. This has been a great experience to work with a great group of people who give so much of themselves for the love of dogs. I have been able to work with them twice now and I hope to continue building a relationship with them. You can view the two projects here.
The second session happened recently with my friend Melissa & Eduardo and their adorable chihuahua, Penelope. Penelope may be a small breed, but has a big personality. I have to admit, previously I was not a “small dog” kind of person. My family has always had big dogs and we love them. Penelope though, is such a fun, loving dog to be around. When you meet her, she immediately fills the room with joy and smiles and it's hard to not think of her as “just another dog”. You can view her gallery here.
So I had a portfolio started and continuing on, but now I needed to identify my photography brand.
Challenge 2: Finding A Name - C3 Pet Photography
I knew I didn’t want to go by “Brad Poirier Photography”. That’s fine for those who want to use their name, but for me, this is more than about who I am. It’s about who and what I represent. It was about how I want to differentiate myself from the noise. I stopped and asked myself: “What really inspires me”. I kept coming back to my two dogs. They are the ones that have inspired me to be more creative, to learn and to be a better photographer.
I said earlier that my two dogs names were Sasha & Cooper. Which is true. Cooper is a Pitbull who we rescued from a shelter in December 2014. Sasha is a purebred Boxer who we had since she was a puppy. If you know anyone with a Boxer or have one yourself, you know that they make a “C” shape when they see you and get excited. Their body literally curves into a C-shape. So, since the time she was a puppy, we nicknamed her “CeeCee”, from the shape she makes. Taking the inspiration from my own dogs, I took their names CeeCee and Cooper and C3 was born. It might sound a little silly to some, but for me, these two is where this all started from.
A Little Background On CeeCee & Cooper
My wife and I were married in the summer of 2010 and when we were moving into our first apartment, we really wanted to get a dog. We discussed the option of getting a puppy verses a rescue, and for several reasons we decided to get a puppy. We found a good local breeder and found one puppy that we fell in love with. She was the only one who wasn’t going crazy. Although till this day we think he previously tired her out because she proved to a puppy with endless energy until she was about 3 or 4!
Our second dog, Cooper came to us in December of 2014. Sasha was about 4 years old at this point and we wanted another dog in our family. We really wanted to rescue this time though. We had been following a couple local animal shelters and the Smithfield Animal Shelter had posted a picture of a Pitbull dog named Copper, because of his copper colored coat. They had found him wandering the streets of Smithfield in the summer of 2014 and they think he was about 6 months old at that time. He was covered in a flea infection and needed regular medicated baths. By the time we saw him in December, he was roughly 1 year old. How horrible that must have been for him to spend half of his first year as a puppy in a shelter! We took him home and renamed him Cooper. We just didn’t like the name Copper and thought Cooper sounded a bit more like a boy-dog.
What’s next for us?
We hope you will join us in this journey. We have many projects we want to share and we hope you become one of them!