NEW BOOK! Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography

I WROTE A BOOK! This is the day I’ve been waiting for since November of last year when I signed a contract with Wiley Publishing, who contracted me to write a book on pet photography. I JUST finished writing it (like, a few hours ago, and I’m um, probably still sleeping cause I was up all night finishing the last two chapters), the amazon page is updated, the cover and title are updated, and I can finally announce it! Yippee!! The book will hit the shelves on September 11th, but is available through pre-order now. You can purchase it directly from my gear store below by clicking ‘Pre-Order: Add to Cart‘. (If you purchase it this way instead of the regular amazon page I get an affiliate kick-back I can use to purchase products for fun reader contests, and can also easily track book sales).

Here is a sampling from the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: The history of pet photography: the backstory, early and modern influencers, the value of pet photography and more
Chapter 2: Equipment: cameras, lenses, accessories, computers, software and more
Chapter 3: Working with pets as models: behavior, body language, photographing your own pets and more
Chapter 4: Pre-session checklists: checking equipment and accessories, creating shot lists, defining goals and more
Chapter 5: Photography Basics: ISO, aperture, shutter speed, metering, focusing, EV tables, white balance, and more
Chapter 6: Lighting: natural, auxiliary- flash and studio, lighting challenges, lighting accessories
Chapter 7: Composition: rule of thirds, PLP (Pet Level Photos), capturing expressions, location ideas, variety and more
Chapter 8: Pet Photography challenges: bad behavior, shelter pets, weather issues, ‘stage moms’, studio work and more
Chapter 9: Post-Production: workflow, archiving, editing in Lightroom + Photoshop + other software, fixing common errors and more
Chapter 10: Developing personal style: finding inspiring, defining your own style, editing to create style and more
Chapter 11: Going pro: portfolio building, start-up process, determining expenses, working with clients and more
Chapter 12: Business essentials: pricing, branding, marketing and more!

The book will be approximately 320 pages, and is loaded with images that have captions explaining how I created a shot (every shot has accompanying f-stop, shutter speed, ISO focal length, lens used, exposure mode and metering mode). I designed it to be a rich resource for both advanced amateurs and professional photographers. If you are a photographer who is crazy about photographing pets, this is a must-read! Go to Amazon, buy it now! (Note: I do plan to sign up for the Look Inside program so y’all can have a look at the insides before it’s released).

This book is a terrific alternative to my workshops, and is the first book of it’s kind: a comprehensive guide on pet photography with the professional photographer in mind. I would have given anything for a guide like this when I started doing pet photography professionally 9 years ago, and am so excited to be able to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the past decade+ of photographing animals.

The back-story on the book:

After contacting me in January 2011 asking if I’d be interested in authoring a book, I had my first meeting with my editor at WPPI in Vegas in February of last year, and by the fall, we had a Table of Contents fleshed out and the contract signed. After some holdups on both ends, I was able to hit it hard starting in April of this year, and a few months later, I’m done. I just finished writing the last of chapters, and will be completing the three appendices over the weekend.

I cannot even begin to quantify the amount of respect I now have for full time writers. Writing a 320 page book in a few months was without question one of the hardest things I’ve ever done with my business, and I can’t begin to imagine experiencing that kind of pressure to write year round. I will never ever look at another book the same way again. Thank you to all of the amazing, incredible, wonderful authors out there who work so hard to write books that the rest of us can read and enjoy. I hope this book is good enough to earn me a place in your ranks!

I want to say a HUGE thank you to my clients, family, friends and fans for being so patient with me this year, and my editors for believing I might actually get it done, in spite of my numerous technical difficulties. I’ve essentially been working two full time jobs over the past 4-6 months- one my regular Cowbelly business, and the next writing the book. I couldn’t have gotten through it without the unwavering patience of so many people.

OH, and that’s not it my photographer friends. This is just ONE of the projects I’ve been working so hard on this year. The next one will launch in late July/early August, and be available to photographers around the world. Get excited. No I mean really, get excited.

Cheers! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “NEW BOOK! Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography

  1. Thank you thank you THANK YOU everyone! I poured myself into the book, so I really hope it’s a terrific resource for everyone who reads it. If nothing else, you’ll get a book filled with pretty pictures! HA! 🙂

  2. Congratulations, Jamie! Am pre-ordering immediately–I’m sure the book will be a great reinforcement of all you taught us in your Seattle class.

  3. I’ve been waiting for you to write a book Jamie and I will be buying it as soon as it’s available here in the UK. What a fantastic achievement – and what a wonderful resource for pet photographers – thank you.

  4. I’m so excited, just pre-ordered it. I should recieve the book the week after I attend your workshop! 🙂

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