Planning and preparing for your veterinary photoshoot

Exotics veterinary surgeon holding a small snake coiled around the hand at arms length

Planning your veterinary photoshoot

If you’re thinking about investing in a veterinary photoshoot, this guide is a great place to start. The planning stage is your opportunity to:

  • Select a photographic style that feels aligned with your brand 
  • Research your photography options 
  • Explore your photographer’s experience 
  • Choose your photographer
  • Decide which images will help you communicate your services 
  • Create your photography brief 

I encourage all my veterinary photography clients to plan a consultation call. It’s an essential part of the process and an opportunity to ask lots of questions.

A briefing form is essential too. The process of defining the brief will help you develop your ideas, communicate priorities and capture anything you feel is important to share with your photographer. I’ve created a briefing form to guide you, or you can use your own format if you prefer.

How will you use the content from your veterinary photoshoot?

Maybe you have a new website or you’re looking to reduce your reliance on stock photography. Perhaps you need to refresh your images or showcase a new service you’re launching. 

If you’re working with a web designer or marketing agency, it’s worth involving them in the planning stage. They may have a style guide or specific images or services they would like you to capture. 

Vet fully gowned and prepared for surgery

Choosing suitable locations and spaces for your veterinary photoshoot

The photoshoot location makes a huge contribution to the look and feel of your photography. I recommend exploring all the spaces available. This may include reception and communal areas, consulting rooms, operating theatres, laboratories and rest areas. 

Outdoor spaces should be included as well. A professional image of the exterior helps your clients locate the practice if they’re visiting for the first time. 

The quality of light is important to create the right emotional connection. Every practice will be different, and darker spaces may need artificial lighting. It can be helpful to share some phone photos or a quick video walk through of the space. 

Finally I recommend having a good clean and tidy up so everything looks organised. It’s also worth taking a look at paintwork. Do any areas need a quick refresh to repair any chips and cracks?

Helping you and your team overcome nerves during your veterinary photoshoot

For many of you, the thought of a photo session might fill you with dread!

You may feel self-conscious about how you’ll look, or worry how you’ll come across in your photos. It’s totally natural! You put a lot of thought and care into what you do, of course you want your photos to do your work justice.

You’ll be guided at every stage. I’ll get to know you first, and help you relax before we start capturing any photography. 

It’s worth having a chat with your team before the shoot to see who would like to be involved. Some people are naturally confident in front of the camera, so you may want to ask them if they’re happy to represent the practice. 

Don’t forget to include all the teams, including reception, practice management, admin, nurses and the veterinary surgeons. 

Behind the scenes montage of Nick Cole photographing veterinary practices

Selecting and photographing animals during your veterinary photoshoot

Depending on the services you offer and the availability of animals for photography it’s worth taking some time to think about which animals to include. 

If your team have pets and they fit with your photography brief, they can be perfect photography models. Having their owner present often helps the session run smoothly too.

Cats can be restless and unpredictable, however with the owner present, an occasional treat and a relaxed workflow great images can be created. 

With equine and exotics having a specialist vet present is essential to ensure correct handling techniques and a safe environment for everyone involved. 

This also applies to farm animals where extra care is required when working at close quarters.  

Capturing best practice in your veterinary photoshoot

As part of your preparation I recommend a review of the working space to make sure you’re adhering to best practice standards. This should also include a review of protective clothing, jewellery and the consultation or surgical space.

Having a second pair of eyes to scan the space and workflow during the photo shoot is really helpful. 

Equine veterinary nurse with a horse trotting at Cliffe Equine Vets

Viewing and using your business photography

Following your veterinary photoshoot, we’ll start the editing process.

This is where we select the strongest images from your photo session and take them to the next level. The editing techniques are subtle. They’re designed to keep your photos looking natural, while enhancing the storytelling elements so they’re even more engaging.

Your photos will be ready to view through your private on-line gallery and are normally available within two weeks.

Fancy a chat?

Book your complimentary consultation call and get help with any questions you have.

Veterinary Photography Case Studies