Commercial pet photography is a fascinating blend of working with animals, staying on point with a brand idea, and meeting the clients’ needs. On a recent PetSmart project, I collaborated with the PetSmart Senior Art Director to achieve an impactful and vibrant outcome for PetSmart. The vision for this campaign meant that we needed to establish an emotional connection with the animals, and we did so by making direct eye contact with each pet. As you might imagine, this can be a bit tricky. For some animals, like small animals and reptiles who don’t usually sit upright, it’s challenging to capture direct eye contact. To help these little guys out, I created small ledges and used circular cutouts to bring them up to eye level while still creating a relatable perspective. Take a look at the images of the mouse peeking out from the circle and the crested gecko standing on the ledge. It’s not often that a single project allows me to work with a large variety of animals, so I was pretty stoked to shoot images of birds, reptiles, small animals, cats and dogs for this campaign. I captured these unique creatures against bright, colorful backgrounds that really complement each other when viewed together as a collection. Even my grandmother’s dog, Bugs, made an appearance. He’s the small, dark, and smiley terrier mixed-breed on the green background.
What began as a nationwide campaign for PetSmart to re-brand their gift card line expanded to include store-front signage. I love seeing my grandmother’s dog larger than life when I pull into the parking lot of my local store. Bugs has become a bit of a celebrity with all her friends, as you might imagine.
Next time you stop by PetSmart, take a moment to peek at the gift card center and you’ll see the full range of pets I was able to photograph, with selected images on the storefront. Seeing all the animals peering back along checkout lanes gives you a really great way to see all their unique personalities. It’s a bright, colorful campaign that really shows off the range of animals PetSmart serves. I’ve included some of the images below to get you started. Check out my other work for PetSmart, it’s just as cute!