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Four legs, smiles, fur & a camera are just a few things that Jamie Pflughoeft experiences every day as a professional pet photographer. Jamie owns Cowbelly Pet Photography, a Seattle-based company that specializes in taking pictures of cats and dogs. Recently, we spoke with Jamie about her business.

As an undergrad studying animal behavior at the University of Washington, & part-time dog walker, Jamie began taking photos of her furry friends.  But, what started as a hobby blossomed into more when her friend suggested she start a pet photography business.

So, taking her friend’s advice, Jamie created Cowbelly Pet Photography in 2003. It has since grown to be an industry-leading business.

Jamie prefers to use natural lighting to shoot her subjects.  She stated she may have a “different” process than other pet photographers, as she doesn’t pose her subjects.

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photo by: Cowbelly Pet Photography

“I basically just follow them [the pets] around with my camera and photograph what they do,” said Jamie. “The only real gift or skill I have in photography is timing….which makes it easier to capture a look or behavior the split second it happens.”

To prep for her shoots, she sends questionnaires to her clients asking about their pet(s). On the day of the shoot, she discusses with clients any specific shots they’d like captured.

“…I create a shot list and get to know the pets before we begin. They

walk me around their home and show me wall space where they are thinking of hanging art,” said Jamie.

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photo by: Cowbelly Pet Photography

When asked what marketing advice she’d give fellow pet photogs, Jamie was prompt to say there is no magic bullet.

“…No single marketing strategy will work for every business,” said Jamie.

However, she feels everyone should try these options:

  • Work on developing/increasing word of mouth
  • Network in your community
  • Update your website and use social media on a daily basis
  • Hold special events at marketing partner’s locations
  • Do art shows and hang your work in retail locations
  • Send regular email newsletters
  • Keep on top of past clients via email

With nearly 164 million cat & dog owners in the US, pet photography has become one of the fastest growing businesses. Luckily, Jamie is full of marketing & photography tips that will help bring your business to the top of the industry.  On May 30 at 1pm EST, join us for a free webinar with Jamie to hear all of her advice. Plus, Simply Color will be giving away tons of awesome prizes! Register for the webinar here:

For more info on Jamie visit

By Olivia Day