All About Award Winning
Pet Photographer – Julie Austin
It all started with photos of homeless puppies
12 years ago, working at a dog rescue, I started taking pictures of homeless pups to help them find their forever home. There, I learned I had a knack for bringing out an animals playful personality, especially those who’d been abused.
A year and a half later, I left and started my own animal care business. I started taking photos of clients pets for fun, and they asked if I could do private sessions. Even other rescue places started asking me to photograph their animals.
From pet sitter to professional pet photographer
I still loved my pet sitting business. But my artistic background; advanced art classes thru college plus a degree in graphic design, and 10 years of being graphic designer was screaming for an outlet. I found a small team of obsessed pet lovers to help run my animal care business so I could pursue photography full time. I have since sold my pet sitting business and can now devote myself entirely to my photography!
Animals + art = true love
Every day of my life has been spent with some kind of animal. I’ve had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, bunnies, ducks, hermit crabs. I’ve also been an avid horse rider since my parents first put me in a saddle when I was in kindergarten.
My art and graphic design background taught me to appreciate light, composition, colors. Artists that have influenced me most are Georgia OKeeffe, Paul Gaugin. Even authors like James Harriott, Margeritte Henry and E.B. White (Charolette’s Web still makes me cry) have taught me the power stories of animals can have.
I’m so grateful I get to do what I love, telling stories of pets and their owners with photography. And how that’s even been recognized by King 5 Evening Magazine as the Best Pet Photography in Western WA six years in a row (2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017).
What makes me different as a pet photographer?
- I’m as obsessive about my pets as you: All of my dogs have middle names. I can never sell my car because I’ll never ever get the dog smell out. My dogs have better health insurance than I do.
- I photograph any pet: Most pet photographers photograph only dogs or cats. I’ll photograph any pet you have a special connection with (even snakes!).
- I capture the soul of your special relationship: You’ve got a zillion pictures of your pet on your camera phone, or even your own digital camera. But seldom do any include you, or that capture your special relationship. Most pet photographers will only take photos of you pets. I include you as much as you want to be for no extra charge.
In tune with your pet’s mood
Loving animals is not enough to be a world class pet photographer. You also need to understand how hyper-sensitive animals are to human moods and fears. Fortunately, this is one of my superpowers. When a pet photographer lacks this it can make a playful pet clam up, or a cranky pet even worse.
My dad is a USMC Colonel and mom was a teacher. They instilled a discipline to show up ready to give my best regardless of my own personal ‘weather’. Because of this, all animals seem to blossom around my consistently patient, compassionate and playful approach.
P.S. Other things I love to do include walking. There’s nothing better than being outside clearing my head, connecting with nature and spotting wildlife (of course, my camera usually gets a workout too) Here are some of my latest images from these walks.