We love animals, and pets bring a beautiful dynamic to our family home and life. The UK loves them, the pet population on this island it’s reported according to the PAW report that in 2023 53% of adults have a pet. It only made sense for Models Direct to dedicate our own ‘star pet’ category to the busy hub we have. Our clients such as Coco and Eve and Felix have used our pet models for their campaigns – and they’ve been successful. You can check them out here!
Having a pet on set is an interesting experience but it does bring with it challenges too! Imagine how animals much feel with all the noise, traffic, hustle and bustle of a thriving set? So, Models Direct has written up a little blog, easy to read and quick to grab tips to get your pet calm when there are lights, camera and action. Whether you’ve got a potential or busy pet model that’s been signed up, this blog’s for you.
Be camera ready
Having a lens pointing at you can make you feel uncomfortable at the best of times so for our human model counterparts, we say get practising and putting yourself in the spotlight. The same tip can be said for our pets. Of course, they will view the camera differently but most will notice an instrument. They might even understand that it’s yours and it’s important to you.
Get your camera out, your pet may want to explore its smell and texture by sniffing and touching it. Ensure your camera is safe but allowing them to understand it will make the process less daunting for them when future projects arise.
Choose a comfortable location
To begin your pet’s modelling shoot, you can take them to a familiar, comfortable place where you know they’ll be at ease and hopefully cooperative. This could be at the pool, or a particular route you take together. Wherever you choose to go, take your camera with you and let your pet have fun. Luckily there’re lots of indoor places in the UK that are pet friendly too – for example, dog-friendly restaurants, breweries and staycations specially set up that would be happy to have your pet on board.
Prepare an area for photo shoots
You can get a space ready for a perfect practice photoshoot by removing distractions such as unfamiliar objects and going at a quieter time. Loud noises can make pets feel unsettled. Looking for spaces with ample room for movement, and ensuring your companion is safe is a good way to incorporate this point.
Positive interaction and reinforcement
Rewarding your pet with treats, toys, attention and affection is always a great way to implement positive reinforcement. Playing a game, feeding, massaging, stroking, exploring the environment together, training, and exercising together are lovely ways to establish a strong relationship with your pet. During a photoshoot they may need some time out, so don’t forget to reward them!!!
Be patient, and take regular breaks because even animals need some downtime. Bring their favourite toys, treats, props, or even a familiar face along to an assignment to help them feel secure, happy and calm for a busy day ahead.
Remember, animals do have a mind of their own so be prepared for some bloopers and blunders, some amount of anxiety, and ease and address. Not every animal may react the way you’d wish for them to, and clients who have booked animals for a project before will understand this very well. We hope this mini-reading has helped you prepare 4 an upcoming assignment. If you feel like you’d prefer to chat with someone, our Models Direct team are always here to listen and chat with you dispelling modelling worries, queries and comments.